A collection of newsworthy information as reported from newspapers, magazines, and blogs.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

US Chamber of Commerce Uses Foreign Monies to Get Republicans Elected

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

Thomas J. Donohue is president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Since assuming his position in 1997, Donohue has built the Chamber into a lobbying and political powerhouse with expanded influence across the globe.  Under Donohue's leadership, the Chamber has also emerged as a major player in election politics, helping elect congressional pro-business candidates through financial support and voter activism generated through the Chamber's powerful grassroots program.  Read more.

Think Progress documented three different ways the Chamber fundraises from foreign corporations: (1) An internal fundraising program called “Business Councils” used to solicit direct, largely foreign contributions to the Chamber, (2) Direct contributions from foreign multinationals like BP, Siemens, and Shell Oil, and (3) From the Chamber’s network of AmCham affiliates, which are foreign chambers of the Chamber composed of American and foreign companies.

According to ThinkProgress, at least 84 foreign companies have given at least $885,000 to the Chamber of Commerce’s 501c(6)—an entity the business-advocacy group uses to fund political attack ads. A large number of these foreign companies are based in India, while big foreign banks like Credit Suisse and HSBC also gave $15,000 each to the Chamber. The nonprofit Chamber of Commerce has said on Fox News that its foreign money totals “approximately $100,000”; Fox News’ parent company, News Corp., donated $1 million to the Chamber’s recent ad campaign.  Read More 

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