Talk:U.S. Chamber of Commerce
U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a powerful business lobbying group in the United States that "has become a fully functional part of the partisan Republican machine" since CEO and president Thomas J. Donohue took office in 1997. Prior to Donohue's tenure, the Chamber "used to be a trade association that advocated in a bipartisan manner for narrowly tailored policies to benefit its members." The total revenue for 2012 amounted to $190 million, more than $40 million more than in the previous year.
According to its website, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce "has one overarching mission—to strengthen the competitiveness of the U.S. economy. It describes itself as "the world's largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region."
Despite these claims, a 2014 report by Public Citizen reveals that more than half of its 2012 contributions "came from just 64 donors" (a fourth of the budget came from 16 donors, each contributing more than 2$ million.) While the Chamber extols its "mom-and-pop shop" and "local chamber" members, and while small business owners run the gamut politically, it almost exclusively supports Republican interests. In May 2014, for example, the Chamber endorsed and paid televsion the ads for 10 House candidates, all of whom were Republicans.
The Koch brothers -- David and Charles -- are the right-wing billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries. As two of the richest people in the world, they are key funders of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on the Kochs include: Koch Brothers, Koch Industries, Americans for Prosperity, American Encore, and Freedom Partners.
Freedom Partners, a group that serves as the "outlet for the ideas and funds" of the Koch brothers, donated $2 million to the Chamber in 2012. In addition to the financial ties, Mark V. Holden, vice-president and general counsel for Koch Industries, also serves as a director for the legal arm of the Chamber, the Institute for Legal Reform.
- Matt Stoller, "Tom Donahue, the 'Gang of 6' and Red America," MyDD, December 13, 2006.
- Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, "Guide Star," IRS 990 for 2012, accessed June 30, 2014.
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce, "About," organizational website, accessed June 30, 2014.
- Fibre2fashion.com, "USA : Chamber backs fight against internet piracy," U.S. Chamber of Commerce profile via Fibre2Fashion.com, October 19, 2007.
- Public Citizen, "The Gilded Chamber," organizational publication, February 16, 2014, accessed June 30, 2014.
- Ashley Parker, "Chamber of Commerce Makes Ad Buy Supporting Pro-Business Republicans," The Politics and Government Blog of the New York Times, May 6, 2014, accessed June 30, 2014.
- Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei, "Exclusive: The Koch brothers' secret bank," Politico, September 13, 2013, accessed June 30, 2014.
- Institute for Legal Reform, "Guide Star," IRS W-990 for 2012, accessed June 30, 2014.