Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chamber Of Commerce Serves Right-Wing Agenda Of Undisclosed Corporate Donors

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has emerged as a leading force against the Obama administration–and has made it easy for corporations to anonymously support Republican candidates. As long as corporations don't earmark contributions toward specific campaigns, they can avoid, according to federal election rules, being identified in ads produced by the chamber. Corporations can rest assured, however, that the chamber is in sync with their goals. The New York Times has analyzed the tax filings of corporate foundations and other public records to show how corporate donors have financed the chamber's, and their own, right-wing agenda. The chamber is opposed to legislation requiring it to disclose the names of corporations who contribute to their campaign ads, including the following:

Prudential Financial sent in a $2 million donation last year as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce kicked off a national advertising campaign to weaken the historic rewrite of the nation’s financial regulations.

Dow Chemical delivered $1.7 million to the chamber last year as the group took a leading role in aggressively fighting proposed rules that would impose tighter security requirements on chemical facilities.

...Goldman Sachs, Chevron Texaco, and Aegon, a multinational insurance company based in the Netherlands, donated more than $8 million in recent years to a chamber foundation that has been critical of growing federal regulation and spending...

...health insurance providers funneled at least $10 million to the chamber last year, all of it anonymously, to oppose President Obama’s health care legislation.

...More recently, the News Corporation gave $1 million to support the chamber’s political efforts this fall; Chairman Rupert Murdoch said it was in best interests of his company and the country “that there be a fair amount of change in Washington.”

The News Corporation, the parent company of Fox News, also donated $1 million to the Republican Governors Association. Murdoch is well aware of the "fair amount of change" that the Chamber is working toward in the November elections:

...the chamber asserts in filings with the Federal Election Commission that it is simply running issue ads during this election season. But a review of the nearly 70 chamber-produced ads found that 93 percent of those that have run nationwide that focus on the midterm elections either support Republican candidates or criticize their opponents.

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