Tales from the Trail

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.

pelosi“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.”

Bejeebers! A scary fiscal outlook and Tea Party politics

Tackling huge budget deficits and growing debt is essential for the United States to avoid a financial market crisis that would push interest rates higher and severely damage the U.S. economy, many economists have warned.

Compromise and statesmanship will be needed to cut spending and raise revenues to narrow the budget gap, and that might not be possible inUSA-ELECTIONS/TEAPARTY the current political environment, says at least one experienced budget expert.

“We’re certainly going to have a more fiscally conservative Congress next year,” Rudolph Penner, a former Congressional Budget Office director told a U.S. Chamber of Commerce forum.  “The Tea Party, if nothing else, has certainly moved both the Republicans and Democratic Party to the right.”

Butchers offer financial services? “Completely false,” says Obama

President Barack Obama started his day by learning he had won the Nobel Peace Prize,  but that didn’t stop him from quickly turning downright prickly.

After a meeting with Americans who had been ripped off by the financial system, Obama on Friday said big banks and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce were trying to block some of his efforts at financial regulatory reform.

They specifically want to torpedo his plan for a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, he said. Legislation creating the agencyOBAMA/ is now working its way through Congress.