Pelosi takes on Chamber of Commerce over campaign spending
The phrase “Buy American” may be taking on a new connotation in the rough-and-tumble battle over corporate financing and the midterm congressional elections.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has been pumping lots of cash into the campaign, received multimillion dollar donations from some major companies as it fought against government policies, the New York Times reported Thursday.
“They give new meaning to the term “Buy American”… they want to buy these elections,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said when asked about the article in an MSNBC interview.
“If they win — which I fully intend to stop them from doing — but if they were to win, it would mean that we are now… a plutocracy and oligarchy,” Pelosi said. “Whatever these few wealthy, secret, unlimited sources of money are can control our entire agenda,” she added.
The Chamber is tax-exempt and not obligated to disclose it donors.
The New York Times says what it found offers a glimpse of how the business network raised money as “it ramped up an orchestrated campaign to become one of the most well-financed critics of the Obama administration and an influential player in this fall’s Congressional elections.”
Citing Federal Election Commission filings, a Politico.com article says that in the past week alone, the Chamber has spent more than $5.2 million – more than $1.7 million for House races and about $3.4 million on Senate contests.
Most spending backs Republicans more than 90 percent of the time and that’s made the Chamber a target of critics who say it’s become too partisan, The New York Times said.
The Chamber has made no secret of its effort to sway the outcome of the Nov. 2 election in which Democrats are fighting to retain control of Congress.
On Tuesday, the Chamber launched a new advertising blitz targeting California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer in her bid for reelection. The three-term incumbent is in a close race with Republican challenger Carly Fiorina, a former Hewlett-Packard CEO.
Photo Credit: REUTERS/Richard Clement (Pelosi at a Capitol Hill news conference)