Corporate donors fuel Chamber of Commerce’s political power Major U.S. companies wrote big checks last year to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for dues and political activity, recent disclosures show. But many other large corporations that have helped support the Chamber’s pro-business advocacy and ubiquitous political issue ads remain a secret to the public. The Chamber — one of Washington’s major political powers, with annual revenue of $200 million — pledged to spend $100 million this election cycle to support candidates focused on corporate concerns. But the corporate trade association does not have to name the companies that donate, and those firms can decide whether to share that information. [The Washington Post]
Today, the Washington Post joins the chorus of disbelief over the U.S. Chamber's intended shift in election strategy to avoid disclosing who's financing its political attack ads. The Post says the Chamber's switch to independent expenditures from the issue ads they used to run constitutes a "notable shift in strategy for the nation’s largest business lobby, which has long characterized itself as focusing primarily on policy rather than politics."
Where is the talk about the U.S. Chamber’s lead role in opposing disclosure in the recent uptick of public interest groups and businesses who are advocating corporate political spending transparency and disclosure? This week, the Center for Economic Development (CED) held a luncheon where its leaders released three reports on political spending by corporations in a post-Citizens United world. More...
After receiving applause for my question, Google’s head lawyer David Drummond – who was helping Page to answer questions – responded that the company’s membership in the U.S. Chamber is something senior leadership debates a lot. He added that while there are some things that the U.S. Chamber is good for, there is a lot of stuff it does that Google doesn’t agree with.
He concluded by saying that, “while we are members for now, it’s something that we do review.”