Chamber CEO Matt Mahood Joins Republican Exodus over Trump

Donald Trump’s many harangues against free trade and immigration—not to mention his rhetorical penchant for the sexist, racist and ad hominem barbs—has prompted an exodus from the party that nominated him. Droves of Republicans would rather eschew their membership or defect across the aisle than share an affiliation with the GOP frontrunner. Even Thomas Donahue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a longstanding pro-biz Republican bastion, excoriated Trump’s economic policies as populist and anti-corporate. His local counterpart, San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO and longtime Republican Matt Mahood, was so over Trump that he switched to “no party preference” after the June primary. That makes Mahood the first non-Republican Silicon Valley chamber chief in 16 years. His immediate predecessor, Pat Dando, was a grand-old-partier. As was Jim Cunneen. That brings us back to 2000, the year Steve Tedesco, a Democrat, stepped down as chamber CEO. “I guess I’ll come out of the closet,” Mahood told Fly, stressing that his personal political affiliation has no bearing on the chamber. “I simply cannot support our current presidential Republican nominee.” Like many Left Coast Republicans, Mahood says he’s socially liberal and fiscally conservative. A lot of it comes down to immigration reform—considered a bipartisan cause in Santa Clara County, where immigrants make up nearly half the workforce and hold $26.5 billion in annual spending power. In the South Bay, pro-immigrant groups once divided between labor and business have coalesced to support reforms for both unskilled and high-skill H1B immigrants. As evidence of the fledgling coalition, Mahood joined labor-backed immigrant rights groups at a gathering to denounce a U.S. Supreme Court decision that blocked sanctioned work opportunities for undocumented residents. In August, he again appeared with a mix of labor and business immigration reformers to promote a new study about the economic impact of the foreign-born workforce. And while chambers of commerce generally lean Republican, Silicon Valley's flagship business lobby plans to throw its weight behind a pair of federal immigration bills authored by Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat.


Matthew Mahood, 2011-present (No Party Preference)
Pat Dando, 2005-2011 (Republican)
Jim Cunneen, 2000-2005 (Republican)
Steve Tedesco, 1990-2000 (Democrat)
Ron James, 1974-1990 (Republican)
Sandy Webber, 1969-1974 (?)
Fred Burtner, 1964-1969 (?)
Russ Pettit, 1944-1964 (?)
Roscoe Wyatt, 1919-1944 (?)
D.B. Moody, 1886-1919 (?)

Correction: A previous version of this article inaccurately listed Ron James as a Democrat and Steve Tedesco as a Republican. 

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  1. > Donald Trump’s many harangues against free trade and immigration—not to mention his rhetorical penchant for the sexist, racist and ad hominem barbs—has prompted an exodus from the party that nominated him. Droves of Republicans would rather eschew their membership or defect across the aisle than share an affiliation with the GOP frontrunner.

    Dear Mr. Fly:

    I think you’ve been munching on a moldy turd.

    Your characterization of Trump as “against free trade and Immigration and “rhetorical penchant for sexist, racist, and ad hominem barbs” is just mindless progressive partisanship with the customary overdose of distortion and name-calling.

    I’ve often wondered at the wisdom of giving pencils ruled paper to people who are not grown-ups and expecting them to write actual sensible things.

    But, tolerant, big-hearted person that I am, I’m willing to give you one more chance.

    If you want to offer some adult criticism of Trump or his policies, maybe you could leave out YOUR ad hominem attacks.

  2. > Donald Trump’s many harangues against free trade and immigration . . .

    Ignorant, wishful left wing narrative. Get your nose out of TheDailyKos for a few minutes.

    Tremendous meeting between President Nieto of Mexico and President-to-be Trump.

    Trump looked and sounded at the same time respectful, serious, diplomatic, principled, and presidential.

    Undoubtedly, Trump will peel away ten or fifteen percent of the Hispanic vote, just as he will peel away ten or fifteen percent of the African-American vote simply because he is talking TO them.

    When Hillary loses a slice of the HIspanic and African-American vote, it’s over for her.

      • > You never fail to provide the most disgusting and ignorant ranting on this site. Keep it up pal.


        There’s a market for disgusting and ignorant. You, for example.

  3. Matt Mahood should vote for Hillary. Two peas in a pod. All about their own needs and the needs of their special interest friends. This guy has helped milk every penny out of the city for their special downtown projects. Nothing but bums and urine! Good job Mr Mahood we dont care what you think about Donald Trump. You should take some business lessons from the man.

  4. Chamber of Commerce or Chamber of Hors?
    I’ll take Mr Manhoods place, I dropped out of the Republican party after George the second’s broken promise of no new taxes and George the thirds pushing down the border fence, and wild democrats like spending spree.
    From my point of view the Chamber is now run by nothing but Clinton Fund donors, Hillary supported and DNC insiders.

  5. After watching several Trump rallies free online*, I’m still waiting to hear one of these legendary racist barbs from him. Do they occur in some alternate dimension?

    *Unlike Hillary, Trump doesn’t use noise machines to hide his promises to the 0.001% Hillary answers to.

  6. I would like to see the dumb faces of these socialist elites when Mr. Trump wins this November. A better situation would be a massive exodus of these clowns to other countries :-D

  7. One thing that has really struck me over the past few weeks is the way that prominent conservatives like George H.W Bush, Ted Cruz and even Karl Rove and their pro-business allies like our very own San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO and longtime Republican Matt Mahood, have turned out or even have lined up against the candidacy of Donald Trump.

    It’s not that they’re doing it, though; it’s the reasoning behind it.

    In virtually every case, the main reason given for the strongly-worded denunciation of Trump’s candidacy is that… he’s not actually a conservative and or good for business. They all seem to say Trumps not for things traditional conservatives and/or their pro business supporters go for these days (i.e free trade, limited government, unwavering support for gun ownership, opposing marriage equality, and banning abortion)

    Now i understand that for some of the usual suspect or suspect’s here on SJI it’s easy to make fun of Mahood and/or to simply say that the feeling it describes doesn’t match up with their perspective on the ways they see things rolling out, but it’s incredibly important to pay attention to it because this feeling makes up almost the entirety of Trump’s support (from people who aren’t supporting for other reasons not centered around Trumps bigotry and xenophobia).

    But for those of you who are not blind to facts…you can find all the details of Trump’s say tax plan on his website and i strongly encourage you all to look them over. That’s also where Trump says a little more about jobs, mostly that lower tax rates for businesses will mean adding lots of jobs for Americans.

    And, of course, its no surprise that the biggest benefits of Trump’s plan will go to the richest taxpayers in our country.

    So if you haven’t spent any time on Donald Trump’s website, i really recommend it. Its very simple, it kinds reads like a 6 year old came up with the text.

  8. Republicans are destroying themselves from within. Regardless if they vote or not, they have basically voted for Hillary. I’m leaving the Republican Party because I can’t stand to be a part of a party that is weak, petty, and disingenuous. Trump may make comments that are a little strong, but my god, to listen to Hillary (when she does speak and isn’t hiding) drives me up a wall. The real cowards are those who have turned their backs because their precious little weasel Ted Cruz or panty waste Jeb Bush didn’t make it into the finals. You have only 2 choices in the race, so you better figure out whom is the least problematic.

    • We are just weeding out the RINO’s and sending them back to the DNC that gives them their marching orders.
      Hopefully the Tea Party will come to their senses and join the Truperters.

  9. Ron James is a good republican I am a good democrat. I think you need a better fact checker

  10. ‘Mahood’. That’s an Arab name, isn’t it? Now the article make sense.

    I’m still looking for actual, credible reasons for this hit piece, either from Arab Mamood, or Mr. Fly. But all I see is the typical petty demonizing of a “Can-Do” guy—a guy that the entire DNC has been unable to find any dirt on. So they fabricate. They play on emotions. They lie.

    I’m still waiting for the anonymous “Fly” to list the “racist, homophobic, &etc.” statements that the future President has made.

    Hint to Fly: telling the truth doesn’t qualify. The truth stands on its own. That only leaves your bogus insinuations.

    Now, shall we discuss the thoroughly corrupt serial liar you support? On her, I can give you chapter and verse.

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