You are hereFireDogLake: US Chamber Spends for GOP– and Chamber Members Drop Out in Protest

FireDogLake: US Chamber Spends for GOP– and Chamber Members Drop Out in Protest

September 27, 2010- In case you missed it: The Washington Post put together a bee-yoo-tiful chart capturing the latest spending by that giant of lobbying groups, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. According to the chart, the Chamber has *reported* spending nearly $7 million on "independent campaigning" so far this cycle. That "reported" word, however, is key: In addition to the spending listed, the Chamber has run ads in Missouri, Illinois, and Ohio (and possibly elsewhere), but since they didn’t fall within the 60 day window before a general election, or a 30 day window before the primary, the spending isn’t required to be reported to the FEC as electioneering communications.

One thing we do know: that spending is benefiting one party and one party alone. According to the FEC, 96% of the money reported has been spent on behalf of Republicans.

Wonder how America’s small business owners (significantly less than 96% of whom are Republicans) feel about the partisanship of the U.S. Chamber? Well, they’re not pleased.

High-Profile Chamber Members Resigned After the California Chamber Endorsed Meg Whitman. According to the Los Angeles Times, members of the California Chamber of Commerce, including the president of the University of California and the chancellor of the state community college system, resigned in protest after the Chamber made the partisan decision to endorse Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman. "I do not believe the board is using sound judgment by catapulting the California Chamber of Commerce into the center of a fierce political contest," Jack Scott, community college chancellor, wrote. "…It is destructive to the chamber’s core mission and the businesses it represents when it becomes a partisan operation." (LA Times, 9/5/10)

American Electric Power Dropped Out of Ohio Chamber After Kasich Endorsement. "A day after the Ohio Chamber of Commerce endorsed Republican John Kasich for governor, one of the state’s largest electric utilities says it is leaving the chamber and its president is resigning from the chamber board," reported the Columbus Dispatch. "We think it creates division within the chamber among different businesses," spokeswoman Melissa McHenry said. (Columbus Dispatch, 9/24/10)



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