Michael Steele Throws The Gauntlet: "Put Up Or Shut Up"

All right, Chairman Steele. I'll take your challenge. You said this to David Gregory: MR. GREGORY: Our investigative correspondent, Mike Skiff, has said that "Not since Watergate have we seen this kind of special interest money without
up

All right, Chairman Steele. I'll take your challenge. You said this to David Gregory:

MR. GREGORY: Our investigative correspondent, Michael Isikoff, has said that "Not since Watergate have we seen this kind of special interest money without transparency washing into an election cycle." Are you worried about this?

MR. STEELE: No. I don't know what they're talking about. No one's produced one shred of evidence that any of that is happening. And, you know, I--look, you know, when President, then candidate, Obama was asked to disclose some of his donors because there was suspicion of their being, you know, the foreign source of money into his campaign, they refused to do it. So don't give me this high and mighty, you know, holier than thou attitude about, about special interests flooding, flooding the political marketplace. The Democrats have been dabbling in those areas and clearly disclose it. If you, if you think that there's something out there, disclose it, Nancy. Disclose it, you know, anyone else who's got that evidence. Don't just make the charge and sit back and say, "Oh gee, see." Give, give the evidence. Put the evidence out there and then let's have that discussion about whether or not they are, in fact, foreign...

MR. GREGORY: But, Chairman, are you denying, are you denying that there is special interest money, that there's outside money that's coming into the campaign that is not being disclosed?

MR. STEELE: I...

MR. GREGORY: We don't know who the individuals are in these, some of these groups that are sponsored?

MR. STEELE: I--Dave, how would, how would I, how, how would I know that? I don't run those organizations, number one. I'm prohibited by law from engaging such--in such activity, number two. So I know we don't take it, and I suspect that those organizations out there, those 527s and others know what the law is and are complying with the law. So if you have evidence to the contrary, produce it. Otherwise, put up or shut up.

I am here to "put up". And when I'm done, you should sit down and shut up, Mr. Chairman Steele, because you obviously don't bother to read much, or get out, or even watch the evening news.

Let's start with the excellent Think Progress investigation, where they clearly track foreign money flowing into the US Chamber of Commerce general account. Now watch carefully, and you'll see the beginning of where I "put up":

We documented three different ways the Chamber fundraises from foreign corporations: (1) An internal fundraising program called “Business Councils” used to solicit direct, largely foreign contributions to the Chamber, (2) Direct contributions from foreign multinationals like BP, Siemens, and Shell Oil, and (3) From the Chamber’s network of AmCham affiliates, which are foreign chambers of the Chamber composed of American and foreign companies.

Moving along now to the New York Times' investigative report on special interest dollars flowing into the US Chamber of Commerce:

And 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. These large donations — none of which were publicly disclosed by the chamber, a tax-exempt group that keeps its donors secret, as it is allowed by law — offer a glimpse of the chamber’s money-raising efforts, which it has ramped up recently in an orchestrated campaign to become one of the most well-financed critics of the Obama administration and an influential player in this fall’s Congressional elections.

That's now four different instances of foreign money flowing into the US Chamber of Commerce to influence our politics and elections, Chairman Steele.

I realize that this money is not flowing through the RNC, as you point out. This is because Karl Rove, Tom Donohue and Newt Gingrich have decided to hijack the Republican Party control by defunding the part you're in charge of, leaving you as a puppetmaster of an empty stage, with $20 million in debt at the end of this cycle. Sadly, American Crossroads will likely help the RNC retire that debt, but it will come with a price -- your head.

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