However, Councilman Bill Molinari criticized the decision to endorse at all. “They’re basically choosing up sides and because of the variety of political views and relationships with different people, the chamber would be better off to stay impartial and not endorse,” Molinari said. “The people they’re endorsing may not win the election,” he said. “How do you then suggest that you have a productive relationship with people you didn’t give a chance to be considered.” Molinari said he especially resented the endorsements because no forum was held to get all of the candidates’ views. Reactions like Molinari’s are reasons that some chambers stay out of the endorsement business. And in fact no other Whittier-area chambers endorse in city council elections. “We represent 700 businesses and maybe some of them would be in favor of one candidate or another,” said Chris George, president of the Whittier Area Chamber of Commerce. “We always felt that is wasn’t in our best interest to have some kind of rift between the businesses,” George said. “So we just stayed out of that kind of stuff.” Stacy Cripe, executive director of the La Mirada Chamber of Commerce, said it’s usually the larger chambers which are more likely to endorse. “They usually have some kind of leadership program,” she said. From that, you can get good candidates, she said. In La Mirada, it just hasn’t been necessary to endorse, she said. Mail items for It’s Politics to the Whittier Daily News, P.O. Box 581, Whittier, CA 90608; fax (562) 698-0450; phone (562) 698-0955; or e-mail [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Editor’s note: It’s Politics reports Saturdays on the ins and outs of Whittier-area politics and city government. When the Montebello Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee endorsed the two incumbents for the upcoming Nov. 6 City Council race, it reflects a new trend. In the past, many chambers of commerce have avoided getting involved in these kinds of races, but more and more are choosing to endorse, said Denise Davis, vice president for media relations for the California Chamber of Commerce. “The voice of business in a local community is an important one,” Davis said. “Chambers are realizing the power of their voice, and they want it heard.” About 30 percent of local chambers have created political action committees – a required step in order to give money – Davis said. The Montebello chamber began endorsing four years ago as a way of increasing its influence, said Albert Napoli, chairman of the chamber’s PAC. It endorsed Bob Bagwell and Norma Lopez-Reid in this year’s election. “They’ve made some pretty tough decisions for the betterment of the city,” Napoli said. For example, the city’s budget has gone from a $1 million deficit to a $1.5 million surplus without a tax increase, he said.