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U.S. Chamber broadens attack on Think Progress, alleges Soros-funded plot to silence business

With Dems seizing on Think Progress' allegations that U.S. Chamber of Commerce attack ads may be partly funded with foreign cash, the Chamber sends over its most detailed response yet to the charges, leveling the scorching claim that the liberal blog is part of a Soros-funded plot to stifle the free speech of corporations.

The Chamber's response, from spokesperson Tita Freeman, concerns what are known as "AmChams," or foreign chapters of the Chamber that raise money from foreign corporations and send dues to the Chamber's American headquarters. Think Progress alleged that such dues go into the same general fund that bankrolls the Chamber's multimillion dollar ad campaign against Democrats.

Ms. Freeman, providing more of a glimpse into the Chamber's books than it had previously, says that only a total of roughly $100,000 in dues come in from the AmChams annually -- which is dwarfed by the millions and millions the Chamber is spending on ads:

These accusations by a George Soros-funded, anti-business blog (not a "report," as some in the media are saying) are unfounded, deceitful, and completely erroneous. They are a desperate attempt to silence those who support free enterprise, and a diversion by people upset about their grim prospects in the upcoming election.

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. Those dues fund our international programs and have nothing to do with our voter education programs...

The Chamber's 300,000 members, a relative handful are non-U.S. based companies.

The entire storyline is fallacious and indicates the sad state of journalism. Today, "Think Progress," or anyone else with an axe to grind, can create stories out of whole cloth that are then legitimized by the traditional media.

The real motivation behind Think Progress' blog is clearly to take business and its representative organizations out of the advocacy process (whether it be legislative or commenting on a member of Congress' record) -- a playing field that is not exactly level when you consider that labor unions and their allies far outspend business on election efforts.

When I asked Ms. Freeman whether the dues from AmChams go into the same general fund that bankrolls the Chamber's ads, she declined to answer. "We don't feel obligated to answer that question because we follow all applicable law, and no foreign money funds our voter education activities," Freeman told me.

As for the Chamber's new claims about AmChams, the original Think Progress post argued that the Chamber also raises money separately from foreign companies that goes into its general fund. With regard to the Chamber's comparison to labor union spending, the political activities of unions are monitored by the Labor Department and union political spending is bankrolled by membership dues.

I've reached out to Think Progress for a response to the Chamber's latest counterattack, which seems likely to up the temperature and keep the story going.

By Greg Sargent  | October 6, 2010; 4:08 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, Labor  
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Comments

I had just posted this below, but this is an appropriate thread to repeat my query:


Has there been an concrete proof offered, to back up the claims that the chamber is using foreign contributions? I just want to be sure that neither side gets carried away with playing the Xenophobia card.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 6, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

So ... who is funding them? There is only one way for them to refute the statements. Till they use it, the assumption has to be that the allegations are correct and the Chamber of Commerce doesn't want us to know.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | October 6, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

edit;

any concrete proof....

Posted by: Liam-still | October 6, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Haha.

Just like a right winger.

These bozo's are predictable.

Open up your books then. Prove to America you aren't accepting foreign donations.

Prove to the every day American the Chinese or Saudi's aren't funding these ads because they perceive the Democratic agenda bad for their bottom line.

The Chamber of Commerce - Because China and Saudi Arabia deserve a voice too!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | October 6, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

George Soros is 80 years old. Who are the Republicans going to use as their foreign-born Jewish-born villain and all-purpose whipping boy when he dies?

Watch the movie "Up" and think "Soros" every time the dog exclaims "Squirrel!!!" and you have a good picture of how the Republicans respond to any investigation.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | October 6, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

"Leveling the scorching charge that the liberal blog is part of a Soros-funded plot to stifle the free speech of corporations."

Well isn't that true?

Also - perhaps someone can help me - aren't we talking about $300,000 out of $90 million?

I love this: "Till they [open the books], the assumption has to be that the allegations are correct."

Guilty unless proven innocent - that's the America I know and love. They have to open their books even though, you know, legally speaking they don't really have to.

Posted by: sbj3 | October 6, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Gee Greg, I think you struck a nerve.
It's quite axiomatic that any foreign funding in our election process is bad for the American working public, but the top 2% are thrilled.

Posted by: filmnoia | October 6, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

@AMViennaVA: "So ... who is funding them? There is only one way for them to refute the statements."

It's like the birthers, only this time, the Chamber of Commerce is Obama. /snark

"If the Chamber of Commerce would just release their long form contributor certificate . . . "

I guess they have polling or other data suggesting that all out war with the Chamber of Commerce, by name, is a good idea? Because I'd think it'd be like declaring war on the Rotary and the 4H Club. Because, you know, they can attack ad content and whatnot without directly attacking the Chamber of Commerce.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 6, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

The problem with this line of inquiry is that it only gets at the symptom. The cause will just go on unless we reform campaign finance.

OK, maybe the scandal of Saudis contributing to GOP candidates will get people to notice, but isn't the sheer outpouring of dollars already cause for alarm? Especially the secrecy of those contributions?

You aren't supposed to be able to buy government. BOTH parties should agree to that and do something about it.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 6, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Money is fungible regardless.

If I understand how the rules work regarding funding political campaigns, by accepting foreign money and increasing the spending the would do on their behalf, that raises the amount they can spend on elections.

So if Chinese companies give 10 million to the chamber, the Chamber can spend an additional X% on U.S. elections.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | October 6, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

The Chamber of Commerce - Because China and Saudi Arabia deserve a voice too!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | October 6, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

It smacks of someone fishing around for a wedge issue, instead of it being a substantial foreign funding scandal.

I doubt if the Chamber of Commerce would not be able to raise plenty of domestic contributions to fully fund their political campaign efforts.

I do not like it,when either side starts to engage in xenophobic campaign tactics. It is easy to stir up passions against foreigners, during tough economic times.

I would urge both parties to resist engaging in such demagoguery.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 6, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Clearly the democrats are not considering the Chinese and Indonesian Money that Bill Clinton was alleged to take in.

OR the 2008 Obama campaign and those allegations.


This has just gotten ridiculous - the democrats accusing the Republicans of EXACTLY what the democrats have done.


It doesn't work.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 6, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

"Free speech of corporations" pretty much says it all.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | October 6, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Forest Creature:

"In Your Pants!!!"

Posted by: Liam-still | October 6, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Liam

There is never ever proof - they just throw the allegations out there - like throwing spagetti at the wall.


See what sticks...........


It doesn't matter what the TRUTH is - and apparently it doesn't matter what the democrats have been doing for the past 15 YEARS either

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 6, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

"Free speech of corporations" pretty much says it all.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | October 6, 2010 4:37 PM
...................

But America did that to itself, without any help from foreign powers.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 6, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

"You aren't supposed to be able to buy government. BOTH parties should agree to that and do something about it."

As much as I agree with your sentiments this has been going on through out our history. It might have been worse in the days of the robber barons of the Gilded Age. Yes, campaign finance reform is needed, but it has to be voted on. Politicians are no different from the rest of us, they usually operate out of self interest, and it's in their interest to keep that moolah flowing.
I'm afraid that the only way this could ever have a chance of changing is if the Progressives find common cause with the Tea Party types and march on Washington together with torches, pitchforks and AK 47s. Highly unlikely since the Far Right is drinking the corporate Kool Aid.

Posted by: filmnoia | October 6, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Forest Creature:

"In Your Pants!!!"

Posted by: Liam-still | October 6, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

"In Your Pants!!!"

PS - So how much did BP give to the Chamber?

I'm guessing many of millions.

Posted by: PaciolisRevenge | October 6, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

@Liam: "I do not like it,when either side starts to engage in xenophobic campaign tactics."

Well, there is a real question of legality--it's against the law for foreign interests to be directly funding campaign activity, to my knowledge, so it's not just about scary foreigners, but about the general legality of how campaign funds are being raised.

That being said, I think "huge amounts of anonymous money--this should be disclosed to the American people" is the way to go. Because, in the end, it should be disclosed.

If you're going to be advising me about who I should vote for, I have a right to know who the heck you are--not necessarily individually, but certainly collectively.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 6, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

film, I know, I know.

But since things have gotten even more blatant, I was thinking this would just topple the whole thing over.

I guess with the lack of courage in the gov't lately, and the arms race that the GOP is running, there isn't any easy solution.

I'm surprised no one just makes a simple "wasted resources" argument.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 6, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Truly mind boggling the Chamber of Commerce would say, ...'Labor unions and their allies far outspend business on election efforts.' Everyone knows that's totally untrue.

Corporations and their front groups, with the help of the Citizens United 5-4 Supreme Court ruling, have unleashed unprecedented hundreds of millions of corporate dollars funneled through groups such as 'Americans for Prosperity' and Karl Rove's 'American Crossroads.'

Posted by: flreader7 | October 6, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

"Franken asks FEC to probe U.S. Chamber's funding after report"

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/123017-franken-asks-fec-to-probe-us-chambers-funding

Now we *know* there's nothing to this.

Posted by: sbj3 | October 6, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Kevin,

Yes, i agree with you on that, but so far it appears that this Think Progress site has engaged in pure speculation, that commingling of funds from foreign sources, with domestic donations, just might be taking place.

Now Greg, cites one example of a candidate treating it like it was a proven fact, without a shred of actual proof having been provided, to show that is actually the case.

"One embattled Dem, Rep. Tom Perriello of Virginia, has already hit back against Chamber ads set to run in his district, describing them as un-American"

That sort of demagoguery always bothers me. "un-American" smacks of McCarthyism.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 6, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Greg pays me to post here.

Unitl he opens his checkbook to prove that he does not, assume it's true.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 6, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Al Franken is a complete clown

LET'S probe the sources of ALL the money for ALL the commercials that got him elected.


What a joke !!!

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 6, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

"Campaign watchdogs want IRS to probe Rove's American Crossroads"

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/122607-watchdogs-want-investigation-of-rove-backed-gop-group

Yep - sounds like a coordinated effort to intimidate to me.

Posted by: sbj3 | October 6, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

The ONLY way to solve this problem is to get rid of ALL THE MONEY


Publically fund ALL Congressional elections and all Presidential elections.


It has to be done by Constitutional Amendment.


THEN and only then will Congress be able to spend ALL their time on legislation - whereas now they have to spend so much on fundraising while in office.


You do realize that if that was in effect in 2008, Obama would have NEVER been elected. Obama would have never been elected without the $600 MILLION DOLLAR advantage he pulled - much of that being questionable money to ANY objective observer.

.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 6, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Good. Let's have this war and make it loud enough for everyone to hear.

The minimal requirement (I don't think it is near enough but I'll take it for now) is complete transparency on funding.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 6, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse


Greg pays me to post here.

Unitl he opens his checkbook to prove that he does not, assume it's true.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 6, 2010 4:55 PM

...................

I have no reason to doubt what you say. After all Greg has always been someone who threw good money down a drain.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 6, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

sbj3,

""Campaign watchdogs want IRS to probe Rove's American Crossroads"

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/122607-watchdogs-want-investigation-of-rove-backed-gop-group

Yep - sounds like a coordinated effort to intimidate to me. "

Please don't call it a "witchhunt"!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 6, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

@sbj3

"Campaign watchdogs want IRS to probe Rove's American Crossroads"

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/122607-watchdogs-want-investigation-of-rove-backed-gop-group

Yep - sounds like a coordinated effort to intimidate to me."

If American Crossroads has done nothing wrong, then there is nothing to fear (sound familiar?).

Posted by: wiccan | October 6, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Let's get ALL THE MONEY OUT OF POLITICS

You think we would have had the Wall Street crisis without all this money ?

You think we would have deregulated derivatives??


You think we would have had the Free Trade Deals the way we have them???


You think we would have this ridiculous health care bill ???

GET ALL THE MONEY OUT OF POLITICS -


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 6, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

@flreader7: "Everyone knows that's totally untrue."

Why is it mind boggling that a business lobby is saying things that are totally untrue? The multi-billion dollar advertising industry is supported by the penchant of businesses to "tell" us things that everyone knows are totally untrue:

(1) The right shampoo will turn any man into a babe magnet. So will the right beer, the right deodorant, and especially the right car.

(2) People who drink copious quantities of beer are invariably lean, tanned, and youthful.

(3) Couples get ready for sex by watching a sunset while soaking in side-by-side "his 'n hers" bathtubs.

What the Chamber is doing is many things, but I find it completely consistent with how American business operates.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | October 6, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

"I have no reason to doubt what you say. After all Greg has always been someone who threw good money down a drain."

Snort! Ok, that stings.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 6, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

"The ONLY way to solve this problem is to get rid of ALL THE MONEY"

I am with you STRF, and I have just poured gasoline on all of mine and set fire to it:

"In Your Pants!!!"

Posted by: Liam-still | October 6, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Chris Van Hollen basically went out there yesterday and said OBAMA BELONGS IN JAIL.

It is that simple.

You want to start talking about IMPROPER MONEY - the foreign money - and the violations - take a look at Obama's 2008 campaign - CALL THE BANKS - GET THE CREDIT CARD INFORMATION - and let's see if OBAMA GOES TO JAIL.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 6, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Snort! Ok, that stings.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 6, 2010 5:05 PM

....

Sorry! Troll Hug? There there. Feel better now?

Posted by: Liam-still | October 6, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

@wiccan: "(sound familiar?)"

No.

Posted by: sbj3 | October 6, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse


Has there been an concrete proof offered, to back up the claims that the chamber is using foreign contributions? I just want to be sure that neither side gets carried away with playing the Xenophobia card.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 6, 2010 4:15 PM

_____________________________________

Not wanting to have foreign citizens, corporations or governments influence the outcome of American elections isn't "Xenophobia."

It's common sense.

Posted by: WhateverHeSaid | October 6, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Any truth to the rumor(which I just now created) that Christine O'Donnell is about to launch a new online site named Wiccanapedia.con?

Posted by: Liam-still | October 6, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Count on the Republicans to defend the principle of "one dollar, one vote".
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | October 6, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

"Greg pays me to post here. Until he opens his checkbook to prove that he does not, assume it's true."

TrollMcWingnut--ha! We're probably on different sides of the political divide, but I always appreciate humor. That was funny--I hope it was meant to be :)

Posted by: carolanne528 | October 6, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

No no no, you see I take the foreign money and put it in my LEFT pocket and the domestic money goes exclusively into my RIGHT pocket. And of course all companies with headquarters in America are only American, not in any way Multinational. Like News Corp. Purely American for more than half a decade.

More to the point, what are the foreign chapters doing with the money they raise, over and above the dues they pay?

Posted by: Bullsmith1 | October 6, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

ah! the old "george soros" meme.

i can't imagine that soros would have any money left if he actually funded as many organizations and blogs as organizations like the USCOC accuses him of supporting.

Posted by: henryphillip | October 6, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Republicans and their propaganda wings have spent thirty years selling out America. Some wahhabi dollars bought Sam Alito's fancy robe.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KMKD1Mi8o0&feature=related

Posted by: mikeVA1 | October 6, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Same sleazy Dem tactics every election cycle. Start filing baseless lawsuits and hurling unfounded accusations and "working the ref" at the last minute.

COC "could" be breaking the law. So could everyone else.

Next.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 6, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Liam-still,

I heard it will be "Wiccapedia.con" and that it will have a particularly awesome "spell check" function.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | October 6, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Not wanting to have foreign citizens, corporations or governments influence the outcome of American elections isn't "Xenophobia."

It's common sense.

Posted by: WhateverHeSaid | October 6, 2010 5:12

............
Define Common Sense. The Tea Party claims that they are the Common Sense movement.

Unproven speculation on a website does not add up to truth or evidence to convict. I asked if any actualevidence or proof had been provided to back up the allegation, and your answer was "common sense" That is a ridiculous response.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 6, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Feingold gets Penalized by the NFL


Feingold agreed to change his campaign commercials after the NFL said that it has not authorized the use of a video of an football player mooning the crowd.


Penalty is 15 yards and the Republicans get a First Down.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 6, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

More to the point, what are the foreign chapters doing with the money they raise, over and above the dues they pay?

Posted by: Bullsmith1 | October 6, 2010 5:16 PM.

...................

I came across a recent report, in The Irish Times, that reported that the American Commerce chapter in the Irish Republic has been running a publicity campaign to try a persuade the Irish Government to not raise corporate taxes, to try and dig out of the huge financial hole that Ireland is now in.

I assume chapters in other countries probably are spending their funding in similar fashion.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 6, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Feingold gets Penalized by the NFL


Feingold agreed to change his campaign commercials after the NFL said that it has not authorized the use of a video of an football player mooning the crowd.


Penalty is 15 yards and the Republicans get a First Down.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 6, 2010 5:20 PM
........................

Well that would explain why Larry Craig was seen rushing on the field to take the snap,

STFR

"In Your Pants!!!"

Posted by: Liam-still | October 6, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

I just signed a deal with Republicans. I give em some foreign cash, all fresh, newly minted zeros, and they sell out America.

Posted by: mikeVA1 | October 6, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

"ah! the old "george soros" meme.

i can't imagine that soros would have any money left if he actually funded as many organizations and blogs as organizations like the USCOC accuses him of supporting."

He made his fortune in currency speculation. His big score was shorting the pound to the tune of 10 billion and "breaking" the Bank of England. That's your hero.

So ask yourself whether the money he has flooded into our political system is American or foreign money.

Any other easy questions?
See any ironies in all this?

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 6, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Well, we sure don't want them foreign companies from Bermuda like Foster Wheeler (FWLT), Marvell Technology (MRVL), Nabors Industries (NBR), Ingersoll-Rand (IR) Cooper Industries (CBE), or Tyco (TYC) stirrin the pot in the US, do we?

Posted by: sold2u | October 6, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Where was the liberal's concern when the half-black nitwit passed on public financing and took money from "family" in Kenya? Why hasn't that money been accounted for? Liberals are hypocrites!

Posted by: mgrantham2 | October 6, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

HUNGARIAN IMMIGRANT - foreign money or what -

OR who cares about the $2,000 per person Federal limit on contributions


_________________________

In an interview with The Washington Post on November 11, 2003, Soros said that removing President George W. Bush from office was the "central focus of my life" and "a matter of life and death." He said he would sacrifice his entire fortune to defeat President Bush, "if someone guaranteed it." Soros gave $3 million to the Center for American Progress, $5 million to MoveOn.org, and $10 million to America Coming Together.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 6, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

@qb: "Same sleazy Dem tactics every election cycle. Start filing baseless lawsuits."

Yup. We got Allred out here in Californy.

Posted by: sbj3 | October 6, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Yes indeed. Gloria Allred planted the illegal alien in Meg's house, nine years ago, and also stole the notice from Social Security, seven years ago.

I bet Gloria also put the birth notice about Barack Obama in the Honolulu paper, back in 1961. That women can see the future all the time.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 6, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

"Yup. We got Allred out here in Californy."

Lunatic lawsuit against Tom Ganley in Ohio. Probably others out there.

Obama's thuggish campaign took it to a whole new level in 08.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 6, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

"Yes indeed. Gloria Allred planted the illegal alien in Meg's house, nine years ago, and also stole the notice from Social Security, seven years ago."

Allred should be disbarred. Aside from the lawsuit being totally frivolous, she completely sold out her illegal "client" for Jerry Brown.

If you can't see that, you can't see anything. And if the California bar is not investigating her conduct, they should be ashamed.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 6, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

This is precisely why I will never again join the Chamber of Commerce. They are not about helping small businesses. They are about helping Republicans.

Posted by: COLEBRACKETT | October 6, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

henryphillip said: "ah! the old "george soros" meme."

Yes. Aside from the C of C's refusal to disclose this is a clear indicator that what they are up to here in their address to TP's piece is straight up propaganda of the Hannity/Limbaugh tradition.

For forty years this body has moved to wire DC so that the interests of corporations trump citizen-led democracy.
http://www.mindfully.org/Reform/2004/Republican-Propaganda1sep04.htm

Posted by: bernielatham | October 6, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Federal law should require all political ads to identify those paying for the ads.

Posted by: greg68 | October 6, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Allred should be disbarred. Aside from the lawsuit being totally frivolous, she completely sold out her illegal "client" for Jerry Brown.

If you can't see that, you can't see anything. And if the California bar is not investigating her conduct, they should be ashamed.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 6, 2010 5:42 PM |

.......

Nonsense. Gloria has been doing the same thing, with all her clients over the years. She is in it for the big fat check settlement, that Meg will cut, to get the topic out of the headlines.

Gloria sues people for clients, and gets them big settlements. That is her MO. It has nothing to do with Jerry Brown.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 6, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

They're being funded or using overseas money, however, AmCham is NOT AWARE OF IT YET!!! You see, AmCham is not digging hard enough, but wait until one of their S/Elected (wrote it on purpose this way), get supposedly voted in. Then its, Oh, well, we weren't aware that our secretary was putting these direct deposits, in our S/Elected individual's shoe box.

AmCham - Well, we'll just check our books (uh, shoe boxes) to see where the money landed....

Posted by: clifton3 | October 6, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Struck a nerve, indeed. Good.

Every story that exposes the travesty of the Citizens United ruling is important.

The American people need to understand the consequences of what happened when the Supreme Court trampled all over the rights of every voter in our democracy with that ruling.

The Chamber of Commerce is protesting way too much. Think Progress is on to something big here. I hope you all keep digging.

Posted by: elscott | October 6, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse


"Yup. We got Allred out here in Californy."

Lunatic lawsuit against Tom Ganley in Ohio. Probably others out there.

Obama's thuggish campaign took it to a whole new level in 08.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 6, 2010 5:39 PM
.................

Who can ever forgive President Obama for sending that gang of thugs to Florida, back in 2000 to bang on the doors and windows, where the ballots were being counted. How did he ever get away with doing the dirty work for Bush/Rove back then!

Posted by: Liam-still | October 6, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

@liam: "It has nothing to do with Jerry Brown."

I think you are a lot of things, Liam, but before that comment I might not have called you naive.

Posted by: sbj3 | October 6, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Why would anyone but a Chamber toady believe anything that the Chamber says?

Posted by: angelos_peter | October 6, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Why exactly is The Chamber of Commerce tax exempt? All I ever hear about them doing is interfering with the political process.

Posted by: gjcomm | October 6, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

"Think Progress's investigation has found three things: the Chamber has foreign offices, those offices contribute dues to a general fund controlled by the Chamber's headquarters in Washington, and Chamber HQ spends money from the general fund on political advertisements. That's all they can actually show.

"In order for there to actually be a violation of the law, ThinkProgress would have to show that funds sent from Chamber offices abroad, known as AmChams, were spent on American political activities. But ThinkProgress readily admits that it cannot demonstrate that connection. Instead, it has challenged the Chamber to prove that it doesn't use foreign funds for domestic political activities.

"... The Chamber's claims, like those of ThinkProgress, should not be taken at face value and without scrutiny. But ThinkProgress has made an allegation that it acknowledges it has no concrete facts to support, and is trying to shift the burden of proof onto the accused."

And Greg and MSNBC and The NY Times and everyone here is lapping it up.

Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/lachlan-markay/2010/10/06/media-parrot-far-left-blogs-smear-campaign-against-chamber-commerce-#ixzz11cQSXyqN

Posted by: sbj3 | October 6, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Keep erasing tapes and shredding "documents" much? By the way, who asked them to comment in the first place? Was it an interview situation? The response seems somewhat strongly worded, ... if they were even asked in the first place. Formally.

Posted by: deepthroat21 | October 6, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Good one COC. You Doooshy Conservatives are out of your minds.

Posted by: porcelainproductions | October 6, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse


@liam: "It has nothing to do with Jerry Brown."

I think you are a lot of things, Liam, but before that comment I might not have called you naive.

Posted by: sbj3 | October 6, 2010 6:00 PM |

................

I at least am consistent. I asked for some evidence that the Chamber was spending foreign money on their political campaign.

You agree with that, and then you turn right around and start making claims that Allred has colluded with Jerry Brown, without providing any evidence to back up such a cliam.


AlLred represents clients that can be placed in the public eye, to extract big fat check settlements. She did it for one of Tiger's mistresses, and got her big fat check from Tiger. I guess you must believe that Jerry Brown was also behind that suit.

Meg just did not care if her maid was legal or not, and neither did her husband, seven years ago, because back then, Meg had made no plans to enter politics.

It is as a simple as that. Now she has tried to come across as tough on employers that hire illegals, and demanded that they be held accountable. That is when she put herself directly in the gaze of Allred, who then pounced on her wounded prey. It is what Allred has always done.

Meg will cut the check to get it out of the headlines. Gloria is skilled at picking up the scent of blood on the trail

Posted by: Liam-still | October 6, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Apparently the democrats have answered Christine O'Donnell

THE DEMOCRAT Krystal Ball - running for Congress in VA 1 has some pictures out with her performing an act on a sex toy attached to a man's nose


And some racy stuff with a girl.

To be honest, these pics are not nearly as hot as one might imagine - Krystal is pretty hot, though - and the pics were of her six years ago.


Another one .....

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 6, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

STRF;

"In You Pants!!!"

Posted by: Liam-still | October 6, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/10/happy_hour_roundup_103.html

Posted by: sargegreg | October 6, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

When the Supreme Court allowed unlimited funding by corporations, special interests for campaign funding, they destroyed the power of the American people.
Of course there are those who will abuse, just as we have been abused by corporations these many years but if their records are private what can be done?
The Chamber gave millions of dollars to ensure the plan to bring outsourced jobs back home was not allowed to pass, so that alone tells us whose side they, like the republicans, the judicial system are on.

Posted by: kathlenec | October 6, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

And the Chamber of Commerce said that President Obama was anti-business.

Well let's just say that the rogue Right-Wing Conservative Chamber of Commerce is selling and trading middle class Americans dreams to their foreign partners. What does that make them?

Traitors!

What does the Chamber have to hide. Show us who your money funders are that are controlling and own the Conservative agenda?


Tsk, tsk...


And people are complaining that all of the jobs are in China and India.

You can thank the Conservatives for that.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | October 6, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Kevin_Willis @ October 6, 2010 4:25 PM: I will repeat my question: Who is funding the Chamber of Commerce? I believe that at least some of their funds come from foreign interests. They are free to prove me wrong.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | October 6, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Several posts here about Citizens United and corporate campaign contributions.

Feel free to read up on how democrats said the law allowed them to ban books. Then ask yourself what you think of that and if Bush had proposed it.

www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/08-205.pdf

www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/08-205%5BReargued%5D.pdf


Posted by: Cryos | October 6, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

tom donahue and the members of the chamber continue to stab the american public in the back. shame on them.

Posted by: ssfs20007 | October 6, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Same sleazy Dem tactics every election cycle. Start filing baseless lawsuits and hurling unfounded accusations and "working the ref" at the last minute.

COC "could" be breaking the law. So could everyone else.

Next.


Posted by: quarterback1 | October 6, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

One word --

ACORN

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 6, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a lawyer and I'm sure that campaign finance regulations are much more convoluted than they need to be BUT if the majority at SCOTUS thinks corporations should be treated as individuals under the law, shouldn't a corporation face the same limits that an individual faces in terms of total campaign donations?

Posted by: rogerward | October 6, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

What happens when a sovereign wealth fund dislikes the President? We have a nice menu for a coup. We have the Republican Tea Party and their ready-made mob and the people like Judge Richard Allen Posner willing to write a justification. This group already tried to remove the President with some contrived, abuse of the law and they've even rewarded themselves. I am still waiting for Richard Allen Posner's book on the worst President, GWBush in American history.

Posted by: mikeVA1 | October 6, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Campaign finance reform will never happen, it needs congress to write the law. That law would have so many loopholes a ocean-going car carrier could steam through it. If, we the people, innundated the networks and radio stations with constant complaints about the ads, maybe they would air fewer, costing less money. Keep complaining, complaining, and complaining.

Posted by: boleson02 | October 6, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Campaign finance reform will never happen, it needs congress to write the law. That law would have so many loopholes a ocean-going car carrier could steam through it. If, we the people, innundated the networks and radio stations with constant complaints about the ads, maybe they would air fewer, costing less money. Keep complaining, complaining, and complaining. Clog their email servers, again and again and again. Make it very uncomfortable for them.

Posted by: boleson02 | October 6, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

No one should be crying for the Extremist Republican party here. Thanks to the hideous Citizens United decision that the activist right wing Supreme Court justices passed recently, the Extremist Republican party already has the backing of foreign and domestic Mega Corporations and Big Oil cash laundered through the elitist right wing psychopaths at the Chamber of Commerce, and they also have the oil billionaire Koch brothers and their front man KKKarl Rove busy buying Senate and House seats all over America right now.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 6, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Get back to me after the Dems, liberal/progressive fundraising organizations and the unions open their books to the public.

Posted by: bethg1841 | October 6, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Ask the GOP why they outsourced the US INS help desk under Bush to Bangalore India. A German friend of mine was having problems with his wife's visa. He had me listen in on a conversation. We had a snow storm and he asked the contact at INS how he was weathering the storm. The reply was that here in Bangalore it is 88 degrees. How shameful was the remark my friend replied.

Posted by: Americacares | October 6, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Who gives a damn what the US chamber of Chinese interest has to say.


They are traitors towards the American people.

Posted by: PennyWisetheClown | October 6, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Sigh this thread is hopeless. I guess the liberals posting are cool with banning books as long as it meets their ideals of what should be banned. Sad.

Posted by: Cryos | October 6, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

What did Republicans and US Chamber of commerce have in common? Both are Traitors, they destroyed America and propped a third world country like China into a world power. Who benefited by taking manufacturing to China? CEOs, the Wall street and their stooges in the congress, while the American middle class got shafted. Giving back the congress to Republicans will hasten our downfall, even Obama's Presidency can not stop this. It is sad that we are our own worst enemy.

Posted by: Realist17 | October 6, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that the Chamber didn't deny the allegations: they just attacked someone else instead!

Posted by: thrh | October 6, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

The phrase "free speech of corporations" makes me sick. I wish the Supreme Court agreed with me.

Posted by: brian_away | October 6, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

"
Liam

There is never ever proof - they just throw the allegations out there - like throwing spagetti at the wall.


See what sticks...........


It doesn't matter what the TRUTH is - and apparently it doesn't matter what the democrats have been doing for the past 15 YEARS either


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest

Then why didn't the CoC deny the allegations, instead of evading the question?

Posted by: thrh | October 6, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Sigh this thread is hopeless. I guess the liberals posting are cool with banning books as long as it meets their ideals of what should be banned. Sad.

Posted by: Cryos | October 6, 2010 8:02 PM

.......................

It was your Church Lady crowd that has been all about banning books, and going berserk because someone like Bono lets the F. word slipout. Something that he never has to restrain himself from using, in his homeland.

Right Wingers are all about suppressing Free Speech, and Promoting Fee Speech.

Palin will not recite two words from the palm of her hand, without first being handed a 100K fee, and a couple of bendy straws.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 6, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

when they trot out the george soros allegation you know you got 'em by the short ones. tom donahue and the american chamber of terror are treasonous traitors at war with the american people.

Posted by: ssfs20007 | October 6, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

As a lifelong liberal Democrat, I have never been impressed with the political efforts or results of Mr. Soros.

I was astonished when he took out a full page ad, in the Wall St. Journal on the eve of a Presidential Election. As if the readers of that paper were going to be swayed by his full page ad, supporting the Democrat for President.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 6, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

This will only be settled when the Chamber releases the names of all its donors, both foreign and domestic, and how much they have given to the campaign to buy the American Government. Corporate interests now control Congress, all of the media that really counts, and the Supreme Court. Alito and Roberts were put in there to do the bidding of powerful corporations and the wealthy. They are becoming so entrenched that it may soon be impossible to challenge them at any level.

Posted by: bird-1 | October 6, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Everything the radical right-wing Chamber of Commerce does is very obviously tainted by foreign money. Most of its members have stolen American jobs by offshoring the American manufacturing base. IT and white collar jobs are following suit offshore. As far as I'm concerned, that converts these supposedly "American" companies into foreign ventures. Accordingly, the "American" Chamber of Commerce is "American" no more. These people better be very careful about wrapping themselves in the American flag in the future, especially since that flag was probably manufactured by coolie slave labor in China or Viet Nam.

Posted by: ejs2 | October 6, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks that Allred is working for Jerry Brown either is an idiot or doesn't live in California. Or, perhaps, both. And that is on top of being a partisan Republican hypocritically trying to dismiss Witman's clear law breaking in this case.

But anyway, back to the subject. It is very telling that, instead of simply proving that Think Progress is just blowing hot air, the blatantly partisan CoC attacks them with a load of the same tired idiocy we've come to expect from the extremist right. After all, Think Progress made some very specific accusations. Specific accusations are easy to disprove, **if** they're false, particularly when they rely on simple numbers.

So why does the CoC resort to stupid attacks that would only fool the mentally deficient, rather than simply open their spreadsheets? Because they have something to hide. They really don't want the public to have any idea how they're working, because one way or another, it is absolutely against the interests of our country.

Posted by: jiji1 | October 6, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

with foreign money being paid in to the general fund of the us chamber of commerce we're supposed to believe that with the comingeling of funds and next to no oversight by anyone. that the chamber of commerce will only give misinformation and lies in their ads against the dems that don't play ball with commerce

Posted by: blinwilly | October 6, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

i have the impression that all this talk about American entrepreneurs being the best, etc.
Well, Germany and most of europe + Canada are doing much better with higher taxes, tons of unions and a higher currency. to me that means that the american entrepreneurs are mostly overrated and would succumb in a competitive playing field, they have become a bunch of whiners and all this idea that you have to have a business at any cost is bogus, to have a business you need to be tough and smart, not everyone is...as simple as that.

Posted by: biglio | October 6, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Conservatives appear to be utterly galled that anyone with money would support liberal causes. The GOP has numerous George Soros' on its side but the real George Soros makes them just foam at the mouth. George is the star of numerous right wing conspiracies. He's currently withholding support for Democrats but his reputation with the GOP as some kind of horrifying rogue financier is cemented for all time

Posted by: Waterloo1 | October 6, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Did the Chamber provide a Chinese and Arabic translation?

Posted by: BBear1 | October 6, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

"Conservatives appear to be utterly galled that anyone with money would support liberal causes."

No, we're in awe of your hypocrisy.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 6, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Ms. Freeman, George Orwell would be impressed. The CoC doesn't spend millions to support Republican candidates. It funds "voter education". Unfortunately Fox News has a lock on the award for the George Orwell Award for Contorting the English Language. "Fair and Balanced". Indeed.

Posted by: exco | October 6, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

"shouldn't a corporation face the same limits that an individual faces in terms of total campaign donations"

Citizens United did not concern donations/contributions. It concerned independent expenditures.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 6, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

I have an idea! Let's not vote based on crappy commercials and the amount of signs in peoples' yards...

Posted by: kanebrandon | October 6, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

"Soros-funded"? Really?? That's the best they could come up with, was a far right tin foil hat dogwhistle?

Wow. I didn't know what to think about the accusations before this. After hearing that, it sure sounds like the Chamber got caught with its pants down. Talk about a lame response.

Posted by: n0ym | October 6, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe anyone is trying to silence business. What is desired is to have some accurate accountability as to who is providing the big cash sums.

Posted by: chucko2 | October 6, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Quarterback,
You wrote: "No, we're in awe of your hypocrisy."

There's no hypocrisy involved. Liberals believe in the American dream, including the idea that hard and smart work are rewarded.

The only difference is we believe that should apply to everyone, not just an ultra-rich few.

Posted by: n0ym | October 6, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

No controlling legal authority, in other words?

Posted by: mattintx | October 6, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Many of the defenders of the CoC are missing the point, maybe deliberately. They are trying to separate money from foreign sources and money from domestic sources that have been commingled in the same pot.

It's like Gov. Goodhair in TX took state money that was budgeted for education and replaced it with federal money, spent the state money for something else, and then claimed that he hadn't used the federal money to balance his budget, that he had actually used the federal money the way it was supposed to be used. Now he's upset when that loophole was closed, but that's a different story.

The same thing here. The CoC is probably using money that came from foreign sources (note that the dues from foreign AmChams is not all the foreign money going into the pot) to pay for political ads. Claiming that the money comes from domestic sources is only valid when it is not replacing foreign money. When they come from the same pot, you can no longer claim that they are separate.

Posted by: dkmjr | October 7, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

The Chamber of Commerce arrogantly thumbs their nose at Washington and the laws of this land. They care NOTHING for this nation... all they care about is multi-national corporations and the money those corporations give the Chamber. How they are allowed to break our laws and then have the audacity to throw out red herrings when they get caught is disgusting. And how conservatives can support this group who would rather see this nation fail than their corporate friends be held accountable is beyond me.

Posted by: clintatl | October 7, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Forget the Chamber of Commerce...When you take money from Russia and China to funnels through the United States political system (mainly GOP)...and your only rebuttal is look at the progressive and George Soros....Than, you just admit your guilt!

Greg Sargent....You think you're doing something by writing this article? How much were you on sale for?

Posted by: dove369 | October 8, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to the hideous Citizens United decision that the activist right wing Supreme Court justices passed recently, the Extremist Republican party already has the backing of foreign and domestic Mega Corporations and Big Oil cash laundered through the elitist right wing psychopaths at the Anti US Chamber of Commerce, and they also have the oil billionaire Koch brothers and their front man KKKarl Rove busy buying Senate and House seats all over America right now.

Welcome to a new kind of democracy (Fascisim), people...
.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 8, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

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