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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5, 2010
1:19 PM

CONTACT: Public Campaign

Rick Bielke
Communications Director
(Ph)202.293.0222 | (Fx)202.293.0202
rbielke@publicampaign.org

Watchdog Responds to Troubling New Report on U.S. Chamber of Commerce Funding

WASHINGTON - October 5 - Public Campaign responded to the new report from Think Progress alleging that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is using foreign donations to influence elections.

“The U.S. Chamber has pledged to spend $75 million this election cycle to install its acolytes on Capitol Hill, and now it appears they might be doing it with foreign money.” said Nick Nyhart, president and CEO of Public Campaign. “If these allegations are true, the Chamber must immediately remove any advertisement paid for with foreign funds.”

“No wonder the American people are angry—everyday they see a new story about a secretive outside group spending unlimited sums on our elections without any sort of transparency or accountability,” said Nyhart. “It’s too late to do anything before November 2nd, but Congress must immediately work to put elections back in the hands of voters.”

According to the report, Think Progress has found that the Chamber is fundraising for its general fund, which is used to pay for the attack ads, from foreign nationals and foreign corporations, possibly in violation of campaign finance law. The full report is available online.

In September, an IRS complaint was filed against the Chamber alleging that it “violated tax codes by laundering millions of dollars meant for charitable work from a group with ties to the insurance giant A.I.G.”

Public Campaign and a broad coalition of organizations representing millions of Americans have been urging Congress to pass the Fair Elections Now Act (S.752, H.R. 6116/1826), legislation that would make elected officials accountable to the people, instead of their big campaign donors. With Fair Elections, candidates can run competitive campaigns by relying on small donations from people back home.

On September 23rd, the Committee on House Administration passed the legislation and it now heads to the floor. Nearly 300 state and national organizations, representing millions of Americans, have signed a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urging her to bring the legislation to a vote when Congress returns after the election.

Learn more at www.fairelectionsnow.org.

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Public Campaign is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to sweeping campaign reform that aims to dramatically reduce the role of big special interest money in American politics. Public Campaign is laying the foundation for reform by working with a broad range of organizations, including local community groups, around the country that are fighting for change and national organizations whose members are not fairly represented under the current campaign finance system. Together we are building a network of national and state-based efforts to create a powerful national force for federal and state campaign reform.


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