ThinkProgress has an incredible expose on how the “US” Chamber of Commerce is fundraising from foreign companies in support of their partisan political efforts.
The Chamber has repeatedly sent out issue alerts attacking Democratic efforts to encourage businesses to hire locally rather thanoutsource to foreign counties. The Chamber has also bitterly fought Democrats for opposing unfettered free trade deals. To galvanize foreign businesses, the Chamber has commissioned former Ambassador Frank Lavin — who served as the McCain-Palin Asia campaign director and has appeared on television multiple times recently saying a Democratic Congress is bad for business — to speak before various foreign Chamber affiliates to talk about the stakes for the 2010 midterm elections.
Because campaign finance laws prohibit foreign entities from contributing to political races here in America, we asked the Chamber to defend the legality of its fundraising operation. We have yet to receive a response. But as word of our investigation began to leak out yesterday, the Chamber informed Politico’s Mike Allen that it is now “preparing a response.”
This is explosive stuff. I don’t know how much traction this will get, but it is clearly a major scandal. Foreign companies trying to buy influence in American politics? Anyone associated with this should be ashamed of what they’re doing to our democracy.
It’s just a reminder that the US Chamber of Commerce, unlike many local chambers of commerce, is not a friend of anyone other than major multinational corporations and the people who will protect their interests in the halls of power.