The Center for Justice & Democracy released a new study last month revealing how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce provides substantial financial and strategic assistance to local front groups to influence state elections, including funding major media buys to smear local candidates in political races around the country. The report, “The Secret Chamber – The Inner Workings of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Hijacking of an Election,” draws from a cache of newly-released papers and deposition testimony uncovered in connection with litigation surrounding the failed 2004 election bid of Deborah Senn for Washington State Attorney General. Joanne Doroshow, Executive Director for the Center for Justice & Democracy, had this to say:
Most people believe the Chamber is an apolitical and innocuous business support organization. But it is anything but. This group has its hands in just about every level of electoral politics, dipping into the very foundations of our democratic process. It is important that this effect, which has largely stayed under the radar, become known to the public.
I would recommend that you obtain a copy of the full report. It tells how the U.S. Chamber has been used by powerful special interests in a manner that few people – once they learn what is going on – would ever tolerate. Some of what the Chamber does in political campaigns is nothing short of “gutter politics” of the worst sort. Apparently, the leadership of the U.S. Chamber condones this sort of thing. In the process, the Chamber is taking in and spending tens of millions of dollars in political races around the country. You can read the full report by going to www.centerjd.org/lib/studies.htm.
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