The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Rick Bielke,Communications Director,(Ph)202.293.0222 | (Fx)202.293.0202,

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


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

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.