You are hereBloomberg: Chamber’s Donohue Keeps Cash Coming After PG&E, Apple Defect

Bloomberg: Chamber’s Donohue Keeps Cash Coming After PG&E, Apple Defect

November 12, 2009- Apple Inc. and three other members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce quit over its opposition to climate-change legislation. President Barack Obama denounced the group for “spending millions” to kill a planned consumer financial-protection agency.

Tom Donohue, the 71-year-old president of the nation’s largest business-lobbying organization, responded by doing what critics and admirers alike say he does best: using a fight to raise money in support of the Chamber’s agenda.

“He’s never better than when he is scrapping against somebody,” said Lana Batts, who was the chief lobbyist at the American Trucking Associations, where Donohue was president from 1984 to 1997. “If I were a major business owner, Tom Donohue is the guy I would want to be leading the charge.”

After the criticism over the climate bill, Donohue simultaneously mounted a public relations blitz and bashed detractors. He invited reporters in to hash over the issue and hosted Chamber talks with Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and economic adviser Larry Summers.

He also told a Wall Street Journal columnist that critics expecting him to back off should “put their damn helmets on,” and deployed the Washington-based group’s Web site to rally the troops. “Help Stop Attacks on the U.S. Chamber,” the site says. “Liberal left wing extremist groups and their leftist allies continue their attacks. Don’t let them muzzle us.”

The solution proposed by the organization, whose 300,000 members include Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Caterpillar Inc., Pfizer Inc. and Lockheed Martin Corp.: Send money.



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