Former Daily News publisher Tracy Rafter is chief executive of the new Los Angeles County Business Federation scheduled to be formally announced today with 44 member organizations representing more than 70,000 businesses. Lawyer and city commissioner David Fleming — who has worked closely with the Daily News, shall we say — is chairman. Fleming talked it up to the papers ahead of time and couched the group as a counter-force to labor's clout in Los Angeles.
The federation formed "to organize businesses, the collective chambers, trade groups and business organizations so that we can put together the numbers and get the attention of the political leaders" as a way to boost economic vitality, said Fleming, who is also the outgoing chairman of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.
Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor AFL-CIO, found it curious that business would present an image of itself as unorganized and lacking clout.
"Business has a very strong and active presence with regard to the political decisions made in the city and county of Los Angeles, and it always has," she said.