You are hereAlternet: Not Your Father's Chamber of Commerce: National Organization Is Now a Tool of the Radical Right

Alternet: Not Your Father's Chamber of Commerce: National Organization Is Now a Tool of the Radical Right

Once a sane advocate and even community-minded organization, the Chamber of Commerce has been captured by the Republican Party.

October 15, 2009- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is often seen as an extension of the local Chambers of Commerce with which many of us grew up -- the staid, nonpartisan organizations that not only advocated for local businesses, but were also a part of the broader fabric of communities across America. They lobbied local governments, but they also promoted small towns' business districts, sponsored local parades and outfitted Little League teams.

But that image couldn't be further out of date. The organization was formed some 90 years ago to represent an umbrella group of American businesses' diverse interests. But under the leadership of Thomas J. Donahue, it has become increasingly partisan, even reactionary, in its steadfast opposition to even modestly progressive proposals in Congress, including those that are in the apparent interests of some of its member firms.

Matt Stoller noted in 2006, "the national Chamber of Commerce isn't pro-business … it's just a fully captured right-wing organization that has been taken over by the Republican Party."

What distinguishes it from other conservative lobbying shops is its massive resources; the CoC has a budget of upwards of $150 million per year, and it throws that into a wide array of affiliate organizations that influence public policy in myriad ways and at every level of government.



Backbone Campaign
Liberty Tree
Progressive Democrats of America
Peoples Email Network
Justice Through Music
Locust Fork Journal
Berkeley Fellowship UU\'s Social Justice Committee
The Smirking Chimp
Progressive Democrats Sonoma County
Center for Media and Democracy
Chelsea Neighbors United
Atlanta Progressive News
Yes Men
No Nukes North