Think Progress' Faiz Shakir On US Chamber Of Commerce Foreign Funding


Keith Olbermann talked to Think Progress' Faiz Shakir about his recent article on the US Chamber of Commerce.

GRAPHIC: How The Chamber Gets Its Foreign Money:

After consulting with the Chamber of Commerce’s chief lobbyist Bruce Josten, the New York Times and the Washington Post publish articles today largely dismissing concerns about the Chamber’s foreign sources of funding as a means to raise money to air political attack ads. Both the Times and the Post articles fail to appreciate the scope of the Chamber’s foreign sources of funding, focusing instead too narrowly on independently-run, foreign-based “AmChams.” [...]

In fact, as ThinkProgress has noted, “AmChams” are only a small piece of the puzzle. Most of the Chamber’s foreign sources of funds come from large multi-national corporations which are headquartered abroad, like BP and Siemens. Direct contributions from foreign firms also are accepted under the auspices of the Chamber’s “Business Councils” located in various foreign countries. [...]

Neither the Times nor the Post appear to have pressed the Chamber to answer two critical questions:

1) How many foreign sources of funding does the Chamber have? The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent received this statement from a Chamber spokeswoman: “[Of] the Chamber’s 300,000 members, a relative handful are non-U.S. based companies.” How many is a “relatively handful,” and how much do they contribute?

2) Are the foreign funds being directed into the same general account that is used to pay for partisan attack ads? Again, the Post’s Greg Sargent pressed on this point. The Chamber, which is running more than $10 million in political advertising just this week (the largest expenditure in one week by an outside group), said, “We are not obligated to discuss our internal accounting procedures.”

Go read the whole article for the graphic and more.

Faiz Shakir also did a great job reminding everyone of Karl Rove's past after his carping about being put on an "enemies list" this weekend.

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