Business groups stand by Boehner, plot against tea party

“I don’t know of anybody in the business community who takes the side of the Taliban minority,” said Dirk Van Dongen, longtime chief lobbyist for the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, who has known Boehner since the lawmaker’s first election.

In the hallways of the country’s leading trade associations, there is talk about taking on tea party Republicans in at least three states.

The first is Michigan, where Rep. Justin Amash, who had been challenging Boehner during the debt-ceiling fight, is facing a possible challenge from a business-backed candidate. Business lobbyists also talk about funding a challenge to another tea-party-backed Republican incumbent, Rep. Kerry Bentivolio.

Another area for possible combat occurs in a special election next month in the 1st District of Alabama, where former state senator Bradley Byrne, a self-described business-oriented Republican, faces off against Dean Young, a tea party-endorsed candidate who says he’s “against homosexuals pretending that they are married.”