I think The President should not have gone over to the US Chamber of Commerce to try and get them to help in creating jobs here in America. Oh I know it’s called the United States Chamber of Commerce, but their vested interest is making its member corporations happy, not in America’s unemployed.
If that means outsourcing valuable American jobs to save the corporations’ “bottom line” so that their executives can continue to receive unprecedented amounts in bonuses, then hey, that’s what The Chamber does.
No amount of personality or concessions in the form of deregulation will change these people’s’ minds. The President should have by-passed this group. The same group, by the way, who spent hundreds of millions on defeating the Democrats in the last election.
The good news for President Obama: The Chamber of Commerce broke into applause twice during his speech Monday morning to welcome his ideas.
The bad news: They clapped just twice, in a 35-minute address.
Obama himself acknowledged early on that he doesn’t have the best relationship with the Chamber. (“Maybe if we had brought over a fruit cake when we first moved in, we would have got off to a better start,” he joked.)
The first applause line came halfway through Obama’s remarks, as he spoke of opening up new markets and selling more American goods in other countries.
“I’ll go anywhere to be a booster for American businesses, American workers and American products,” Obama said, to which the audience broke into applause. Then, in an ad-libbed moment, Obama remarked, “And I don’t charge a commission.”
The only other applause for Obama came at the end, when Obama once again hit the right note in calling for bringing jobs back the United States.
“That’s good for everybody,” he said. “So if I’ve got a message, that message is: ‘Now’s the time to invest in America.’ ” As the audience applauded, Obama repeated, “Now’s the time to invest in America.”
There’s no surprise here. Supreme Court Justices Thomas, Scalia and Roberts blatant association with right-wing business groups confirm that they have become tools for corporate interests.
Court now sides with Chamber of Commerce two-thirds of the time
Those who have been arguing that the Supreme Court is growing more friendly to corporate interests while becoming less friendly to everyone else will now have statistical ammunition for their arguments.
A study has found that the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts has undergone a fundamental shift in its outlook, ruling in favor of businesses much more often than previous courts.
According to the Northwestern University study, commissioned for the New York Times, the Roberts court has sided with business interests in 61 percent of relevant cases, compared to 46 percent in the last five years of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who passed away in 2005.
And the study notes the Rehnquist court itself was considerably more pro-business than earlier courts.
Meanwhile, a second study, from the Constitutional Accountability Center, has charted the growing influence of the US Chamber of Commerce on the courts. The chamber started filing amicus briefs with the top court three decades ago in an effort to prompt more business-friendly rulings.
According to the study, the Roberts Supreme Court has sided with the Chamber 68 percent of the time, up from 56 percent under the Rehnquist court, and noticeably higher than the 43 percent during the relevant part of Chief Justice Warren Burger’s court, which ended in 1986. More…
After reading our ThinkProgress reports on the Chamber of Commerce’s secret corporate funding, an entrepreneurial fan of our blog passed us this web ad he conceived.
Last week, ThinkProgress published an exclusive story about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s foreign fundraising operation. We noted the Chamber raises money from foreign-owned businesses for its 501(c)(6) entity, the same account that finances its unprecedented $75 million dollar partisan attack ad campaign. While the Chamber is notoriously secretive, the thrust of our story involved the disclosure of fundraising documents U.S. Chamber staffers had been distributing to solicit foreign (even state-owned) companies to donate directly to the Chamber’s 501(c)(6).
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. The Chamber quickly acknowledged that it receives direct, foreign money, but simply replied, “We are not obligated to discuss our internal procedures.” Instead of providing any documentation or proof to demonstrate foreign money is not being used for electioneering purposes, the Chamber launched an aggressive media strategy to first, attack ThinkProgress with petty name-calling and second, to confuse the media by highlighting the Chamber’s relatively minor AmCham fundraising, which the Chamber says (also without documentation) totals “approximately $100,000” from all 115 international AmCham chapters. The Chamber and the media largely ignored ThinkProgress’ revelation about the Chamber’s direct foreign fundraising to its 501(c)(6) used for attack ads.
Yesterday, the Chamber’s chief lobbyist Bruce Josten, who has been spoon-feeding much of the media distortions about our report, went on Fox News (whose parent company donated $1 million to the Chamber recently for its ad campaign) to again try to dilute the issue by dissembling about the Chamber’s fundraising and membership. “We have probably 60 or so foreign multi-national companies in our membership that we have had for decades, many of which have been in the United States for half a century or a century,” said Josten.
The Chamber is being deceptive. In addition to multinational members of the Chamber headquartered abroad (like BP, Shell Oil, and Siemens), a new ThinkProgress investigation has identified at least 84 other foreign companies that actively donate to the Chamber’s 501(c)(6). Below is a chart detailing the annual dues foreign corporations have indicated that they give directly to the Chamber (using information that is publicly available from the Business Council applications and the Chamber’s own websites.)
In the history of the United States, I don’t think that any president has ever been confronted by a more powerful enemy than the United States Chamber of Commerce and those top companies that comprise the USCOC.
The Daily Beast
A new analysis of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s donations show just why Obama has been attacking the group so hard. The chamber, which is the world’s largest nonprofit lobbying group, receives millions of donations from big businesses and then turns the money into a powerful tool to fight regulation of those industries. For example, insurance companies poured at least $10 million into the chamber’s coffers while the Obama administration was fighting for health-care reform. Now the group has turned to electoral battles, spreading its largesse almost exclusively to Republican candidates. Its donations are anonymous.
Read it at The New York Times
Vice President Joe Biden sounded a common campaign theme late Friday in Wisconsin as he stumped for an endangered Democratic incumbent and another Democrat seeking to replace a veteran committee chairman: anonymous campaign funding.
“Why do you think the Chamber of Commerce will not tell us who is contributing to them? … Follow the money! Follow the money!” he said at a Milwaukee fundraiser for Rep. Steve Kagen (D-Wis.) and state Sen. Julie Lassa, who is running to replace House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.). Both candidates are in tight races with Republican challengers.
At the fundraiser, Biden also sounded what has become a familiar campaign theme for the vice president, saying Democrats were only trying to climb out of “this god awful hole, this god awful hole the Republicans have dumped us into. And it is deep.”
This is Biden’s third campaign trip to Wisconsin in four months. He campaigned in June for Sen. Russ Feingold and last week for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the Democratic candidate for governor.
Huffington Post – Howard Fineman
Republicans, buoyed this fall by freelance groups spending secret donations on TV ads, should fear what comes next: an especially vicious GOP presidential race in 2012 fueled, ironically, by that same kind of cash.
In other words, the Swift Boaters of ’04 could be back in ’12 — this time torpedoing potential Republican nominees — while President Obama can stay safely ashore.
Hard-core conservative “independent” money, roaming the landscape for contenders to attack, could play havoc; so, too, could hidden money from the left, moving by stealth to cripple electable candidates.
“All of the infrastructure of these shadow parties will be established and in place,” said Evan Tracey of the Campaign Media Analysis Group. “They’ll be tempted to pick a side, pick a candidate, and get involved.”
For now, the Supreme Court rulings on campaign finance have done what they were expected to do: give Republicans a huge boost — nearly a 9-1 cash advantage in independent spending, according to Tracey.
Corporations are funneling money into trade associations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — a fact that President Obama is noting at every campaign stop.
But the bulk of the action — and money — tends to involve individual, high-rolling conservative donors who stayed away from the action in 2006 and 2008.
We, as Americans, need to pay close attention to the United States Chamber of Commerce’s relationship with Crossroads GPS and the Chamber’s relationship with foreign contributors. The motives of the USCOC are not in the interest of American citizens and American jobs…
Following ThinkProgress’s exclusive report detailing how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce actively solicits foreign money and funds its attack ads against Democrats, many are calling for a Justice Department investigation. Similarly, two campaign finance watchdog groups have called on the IRS to investigate a shadowy group set up by Karl Rove and former RNC chair Ed Gillespie, Crossroads GPS, which is connected to the 527 group American Crossroads. Though both groups — the Chamber and American Crossroads — had flown under the radar by taking advantage of legal loopholes that allow them to avoid disclosing their funders, the extent of their shadowy practices has only recently become clear.
Now, a new investigation by ThinkProgress details just how intertwined the two groups are in their quest to advance a conservative political agenda. At every turn, from the operatives running the two organizations to their targeted races to their media firms, American Crossroads and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are bound to one another. Prior to becoming President and CEO of American Crossroads, Steven Law served as chief legal officer and general counsel of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. His duties included personally overseeing the legal side of the Chamber’s multimillion-dollar political program.
Similarly, the man currently in charge of the Chamber’s political activities, Bill Miller, has a history with Law and Rove. In April, the three met along with other GOP consultants, to coordinate how to jointly fight Wall Street reform. The very next day, Miller sent out an e-mail directing all Chamber members to fight reform and Rove appeared on Fox News to peddle his theory that the Wall Street reform bill would result in the government snooping into “everybody’s checking account.” Continue reading…