Recently, the Obama White House and the Democratic National Committee have been waging attacks on the US Chamber of Commerce and republicans claiming that they are allegedly injecting foreign money into campaigns.
While campaigning on October 10th for Democratic candidates in Philadelphia at the “Moving America Forward” rally, President Obama attempted to raise suspicions about foreign money being used in campaigns by saying :
” Thanks to a Supreme Court decision called Citizens United, they are being helped along this year by special interest groups that are spending unlimited amounts of money, on attack adds … without ever disclosing who’s behind all these attack adds. You don’t know. It could be the oil industry, could be the insurance industry, could even be foreign owned corporations, you don’t know cause they don’t have to disclose. … the American people deserve to know who is trying to sway their elections.”
Click the link to see the video clip: President Obama Speculates on Alleged Suspicious Funding
The Democratic National Committee released the following ad accusing and attempting to raise suspicions that Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie, and the Chamber of Commerce are spending secret foreign money to fund campaigns.
The first organization that alleged the Chamber of Commerce was accepting foreign donations for political ads was a blog, Think Progress which is affiliated with The Center for American Progress. They put out the following attack ad alleging the Chamber of Commerce was using foreign money in campaigns.
On Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer challenged White House Senior Advisor David Axelrod on the validity of accusations that foreign money is being funneled into campaigns – citing a New York Times article that states the Chamber of Commerce isn’t using foreign money to fund campaigns. Axelrod respondedwith continued attacks, one retort being “Do you have any evidence that they’re not Bob?” Apparently Axelrod operates on the assumption of guilty until proven innocent.
View the exchange:
At a time when the national unemployment rate is 9.6 percent, one may wonder why all of a sudden the Obama administration and its allies are waging such a campaign of attacks on a business federation in which 96 percent of its members are small businesses with 100 employees or fewer; small businesses that account for three-quarters of all new jobs in this country. Taking a look at the US Chambers web site may reveal one reason why.
The Chamber of Commerce has a series of ads highlighting some of President Obama’s allies’ activities in California that has been harmful to businesses. Take a look at these commercials below.
Current law prohibits the use of foreign money for political advertising within the United States, but thus far, there is no evidence of the Chamber of Commerce using foreign revenue to fund it’s political ads. The Chamber of Commerce does collect membership fees from foreign affiliates, but that revenue is strictly used outside of the U.S. Foreign membership dues only make up a small percentage of the Chambers total income, which only adds up to $100,00.00 of a total budget of over $200 million USD. To date, the Chamber of Commerce has spent $25 million during the 2010 election cycle.
The Chamber of Commerce website explains these foreign membership dues:
The Real Story
AmChams are independent organizations, created to represent American companies in overseas markets, and they do not fund U.S. Chamber political programs. Collectively, AmChams pay nominal dues to the Chamber – approximately $100,000 total across all 115 AmChams. Under our budgeting system, the nominal funds received from AmChams and business councils are used to support our international programs.
Whenever a new AmCham is formed and wishes to become a member of the Chamber, we have a significant vetting process (including an examination of by-laws and members) to ensure that the AmCham is not controlled by a foreign government.
The Chamber is proud to have global companies among our membership. Of the Chamber’s 300,000 members, a relative handful are non-U.S. based companies. Click here for more info on foreign companies operating in the U.S.
To point out how bogus and diversionary these claims against the Chamber of Commerce are, Democrats from the House and Senate received approximately $1.02 million from PAC’s during the 2010 election cycle, according to the Center for Responive Politics. In contrast, the GOP has taken approximately $510,000 from PAC’s on the same list. The Center for Responsive Politics list also tracked PAC receipts and disbursements up to September 13th with the Federal Election Commission and those statistics report that House and Senate Democrats received $6.5 million through PAC’s for the year versus $5.6 million for Republicans.
PAC’s generate all their revenue for political contributions from U.S. employees of subsidiaries of foreign companies. In layman’s terms, if you work for a foreign corporation, you and your co-workers can collect donations to send to a political party as a group of American employees like – Honeywell International, etc. All contributions are made public by the Federal Elections Commission rules. All PAC’s associated with subsidiaries of foreign corporations are under the same rules as American firms’ PAC’s.
When you take in to consideration that the Obama administration and some democrats have been demonizing businesses as big evil rich corporations, it makes sense why they feel threatened by the Chamber of Commerce ads. It’s because those ads show how Democrats and their policies have hurt businesses and employment in the U.S. in a time when they should be doing everything within their power to help businesses expand and grow jobs for out of work Americans.