VIDEO: Waxman Confronts ‘U.S.’ Chamber Over Foreign Money Questions, Secret Corporate Campaign Funds

Earlier this month, ThinkProgress investigated the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and found fundraising documents soliciting money from foreign businesses for the same 501(c)(6) account the Chamber is using to wage an unprecedented $75 million dollar partisan attack campaign. ThinkProgress documented evidence of at least 80 foreign companies giving at least $885,000 to the Chamber largely from two countries alone. The Chamber has acknowledged that it accepts foreign funds for its 501(c)(6), but refuses to say how much and which funds they use for their partisan attack ads. While speaking to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for a trade event with Israeli businesses, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) chastised the Chamber for killing billions of dollars in private sector jobs by helping to lobby against clean energy climate reform. He then finished his remarks, in front of a body of Chamber executives and lobbyists, by confronting the Chamber for accepting foreign money without providing “proper transparency and disclosure”:

WAXMAN: An event like this conference today is an appropriate use of contributions from Chamber members overseas. Spending such money on an election in any country would be inappropriate. In this country it would also be illegal. I urge the Chamber to be transparent, to provide full disclosure on the contributions it is making in this election cycle. Without proper transparency and disclosure it is hard for the Chamber to be a role model for corporate citizenship in America and around the world.

Watch it:

A secret memo obtained by ThinkProgress shows that David Chavern, the second most powerful lobbyist at the Chamber, quietly met with Koch Industries and executives from over a dozen other oil and coal companies to plot the 2010 midterm elections last summer. Chavern also met with Tom Petrie, a Bank of America VP who specializes in Bank of America’s oil investments (Bank of America is one of the largest American shareholders of BP).

Update Yesterday, during his debate with GOP opponent Robert Hurt, Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA) slammed the U.S. Chamber and Hurt for opposing disclosure. Referencing the Chamber’s support of outsourcing policies, Perriello vigorously denounced the Chamber for accepting foreign money, then running ads in support of pro-outsourcing candidates like Hurt. Watch it:

\\THINKPROGRESS

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Posted in Capitalism, Money, Republicans, US - Israel relations
4 comments on “VIDEO: Waxman Confronts ‘U.S.’ Chamber Over Foreign Money Questions, Secret Corporate Campaign Funds
  1. David Cay Johnston takes a look at the Bush Tax cuts. What he sees isn’t pretty:
    The question to ask is whether their policies worked as promised. Have they even come close? Where is the prosperity…?

    The hard, empirical facts:
    The tax cuts did not spur investment. Job growth in the George W. Bush years was one-seventh that of the Clinton years. Nixon and Ford did better than Bush on jobs. Wages fell during the last administration. Average incomes fell. The number of Americans in poverty, as officially measured, hit a 16-year high last year of 43.6 million, though a National Academy of Sciences study says that the real poverty figure is closer to 51 million. Food banks are swamped. Foreclosure signs are everywhere. Americans and their governments are drowning in debt. And at the nexus of tax and healthcare, Republican ideas perpetuate a cruel and immoral system that rations healthcare — while consuming every sixth dollar in the economy and making businesses, especially small businesses, less efficient and less profitable.
    This is economic madness. It is policy divorced from empirical evidence. It is insanity because the policies are illusory and delusional. The evidence is in, and it shows beyond a shadow of a reasonable doubt that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts failed to achieve the promised goals.

    When Republican policymakers slashed taxes early in George Bush’s first term, they had high hopes about what the policy would achieve. Americans were told, for example, that these tax cuts would create millions of jobs, keep a balanced budget, and generate robust economic growth.

    As this tax policy gets ready to expire next month, it’s worth noting that the Republican plan failed rather spectacularly. On job creation, Bush’s record was the worst since the Great Depression. On balancing the budget, Bush racked up the biggest deficits ever, and added $5 trillion to the debt, en route to being labeled “the most fiscally irresponsible president in the history of the republic” by his comptroller general

    So why in the world is anyone giving any credence to the insistence by Republican leaders that tax cuts, more tax cuts, and deeper tax cuts are the remedy to our economic woes? Why are they not laughingstocks? It is one thing for Fox News to treat these policies as successful, but what of the rest of what Sarah Palin calls with some justification the “lame stream media,” who treat these policies as worthy ideas?
    The Republican leadership is like the doctors who believed bleeding cured the sick. When physicians bled George Washington, he got worse, so they increased the treatment until they bled him to death. Our government, the basis of our freedoms, is spewing red ink, and the Republican solution is to spill ever more.
    Those who ignore evidence and pledge blind faith in policy based on ideological fantasy are little different from the clerics who made Galileo Galilei confess that the sun revolves around the earth. The Capitol Hill and media Republicans differ only in not threatening death to those who deny their dogma.
    How much more evidence do we need that we made terrible and costly mistakes in 2001 and 2003?

  2. Put U.S. Interests–Not Israel’s–First

    David Cay Johnston takes a look at the Bush Tax cuts. What he sees isn’t pretty:
    The question to ask is whether their policies worked as promised. Have they even come close? Where is the prosperity…?

    The hard, empirical facts:
    The tax cuts did not spur investment. Job growth in the George W. Bush years was one-seventh that of the Clinton years. Nixon and Ford did better than Bush on jobs. Wages fell during the last administration. Average incomes fell. The number of Americans in poverty, as officially measured, hit a 16-year high last year of 43.6 million, though a National Academy of Sciences study says that the real poverty figure is closer to 51 million. Food banks are swamped. Foreclosure signs are everywhere. Americans and their governments are drowning in debt. And at the nexus of tax and healthcare, Republican ideas perpetuate a cruel and immoral system that rations healthcare — while consuming every sixth dollar in the economy and making businesses, especially small businesses, less efficient and less profitable.
    This is economic madness. It is policy divorced from empirical evidence. It is insanity because the policies are illusory and delusional. The evidence is in, and it shows beyond a shadow of a reasonable doubt that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts failed to achieve the promised goals.

    When Republican policymakers slashed taxes early in George Bush’s first term, they had high hopes about what the policy would achieve. Americans were told, for example, that these tax cuts would create millions of jobs, keep a balanced budget, and generate robust economic growth.

    As this tax policy gets ready to expire next month, it’s worth noting that the Republican plan failed rather spectacularly. On job creation, Bush’s record was the worst since the Great Depression. On balancing the budget, Bush racked up the biggest deficits ever, and added $5 trillion to the debt, en route to being labeled “the most fiscally irresponsible president in the history of the republic” by his comptroller general

    So why in the world is anyone giving any credence to the insistence by Republican leaders that tax cuts, more tax cuts, and deeper tax cuts are the remedy to our economic woes? Why are they not laughingstocks? It is one thing for Fox News to treat these policies as successful, but what of the rest of what Sarah Palin calls with some justification the “lame stream media,” who treat these policies as worthy ideas?
    The Republican leadership is like the doctors who believed bleeding cured the sick. When physicians bled George Washington, he got worse, so they increased the treatment until they bled him to death. Our government, the basis of our freedoms, is spewing red ink, and the Republican solution is to spill ever more.
    Those who ignore evidence and pledge blind faith in policy based on ideological fantasy are little different from the clerics who made Galileo Galilei confess that the sun revolves around the earth. The Capitol Hill and media Republicans differ only in not threatening death to those who deny their dogma.
    How much more evidence do we need that we made terrible and costly mistakes in 2001 and 2003?

  3. Put U.S. Interests–Not Israel’s–First

    Dear Representatives:

    For the first time in 60 yrs, would you
    please do as you were elected to do.

    Please put U.S. interests–not Israel’s–first when making difficult budget decisions.

    While ordinary Americans struggle to find living-wage jobs, affordable housing, and quality
    health care, and massive cuts in government programs are contemplated to scale back the out-of-control
    U.S. deficit and debt, U.S. Foreign aid to Israel continues to rise.

    President Obama’s FY2012 budget request is expected to include a record $3.1 billion in military aid to Israel.
    Just this week, Obama has offered an additional 20 F-35 stealth fighter jets to Israel, increasing our 2010
    military aid to Israel by another $3 billion.

    Enough is enough. If we’re going to live within our means as a country, then we’ve got to prioritize funding
    human needs, rather than Israel’s war machine, and genocide of its neighbors.

    I am especially appalled that this increased level of military aid to Israel funds its human rights abuses against
    innocent Palestinian civilians, encourages its construction of illegal settlements and entrenches its illegal 43-year
    military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip.

    I strongly urge you to help cut the deficit and debt by ending U.S. aid of any type to Israel.

    They certainly have never been the friend and
    Allie you continue to claim.

    Remember the USS Liberty, Iraq lies, Iran lies,
    Lebanon lies, Syrian lies, and of course the
    Zionist activities prior to the Holocaust.
    Their lobbies that buy out congress.

    They now represent the Worlds largest and
    deadliest organized crime syndicate.
    Controlling media, US congress, and the idea
    of globalization, say nothing about Wall St.
    and the World Banking system.

    An audit of the Fed is absolutely necessary
    to prove to what degree our financial
    institutions have been raped, since the appointment of Allen Greenspan 1968–2006.

    You borrow money from China to give away to a criminal State, and bill it to
    our next generations of Americans. That makes no sense to anyone. The
    whole time Israel laughs all the way to off shore Banks.

    Sincerely,

    Ronald L. Waldron

    highfive4all.com

  4. From: Ron Waldron
    Sent: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 6:10 PM
    To: The White House
    Subject: Re: Tell Us What You Think

    What I Think, has not mattered nor will it ever !!
    but you ask, so here is my most recent answer..

    Subject: Obama has become a disappointment to all of us:

    I’m disappointed,” said the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “This leaves much of George Bush’s faith-based initiative in place. That’s not the change many Americans hoped for when President Obama took office.
    Obama has become a disappointment to all of us that worked our asses off on his campaign for the good of the people . Change, B.S. faith based is nothing more then
    the Zionist control of everything including Evangelicals. This president was to be the Constitutional President ??
    Zionism is the anti-Christ and propaganda the sheep follow, and the money source for corruption that comes from the American tax payer in the form of foreign aid to
    Israel, that comes back to buy out our leaders.
    Wars to end, corruption to end, lobbies to end, campaign reform, tax the out-sourcing Corporations, no more censorship, Transparency, BETTER health insurance on and on promises.
    Certainly a one term president as our democracy also ends and Fascism takes over more & more.
    Bush and the republicans misrepresented facts, and were out right liars. Obama and the Democrats prove to be no better.
    Just as Obama has caved into the internal controls of syndicate micro-management of our government, we all have failed the next generations to come.

    America has failed completely, and are the last to realize just how bad the failure is.

    If in fact there is some kind of God, he would have no reason to bail out the evil doers.

    All we can do is turn off toward any politics, let them sink or swim on their own, as they have done to us..

    THE END or dam near it.

    From: The White House
    Sent: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 4:00 PM
    To: rwaldron@stny.rr.com
    Subject: Tell Us What You Think

    Wednesday Nov. 17, 2010
    Do You have 5 Minutes to Help Us Out?

    As a subscriber to the White House email list, we want to know what you think about our emails and the White House online program in general, so we put together a short survey. Can you take a few minutes to let us know what you think?

    Your survey responses are completely anonymous and not tied to your email address. White House staff will only use responses to this survey to help improve our email program and online program.

    Did You Know?

    Here are some other cool things on WhiteHouse.gov that you may not know about.

    White House White Board
    Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee breaks down key economic issues like tax cuts for the middle class, jobs trends, and the National Export Initiative in this video series.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/whiteboard

    West Wing Week
    West Wing Week is our exclusive look at what’s going on at the White House each week, with special episodes dedicated to dispatches from places like the Gulf Coast and Iraq. Check out this week’s episode here:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/west-wing-week123

    Inside the White House
    Thousands of visitors tour the White House each day, but now you don’t have to travel to Washington, D.C. to get a peek inside. Check out our new interactive tour with some incredible behind-the-scenes photos from the Photo Office and our best “Inside the White House” videos.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/interactive-tour

    Photo of the Day
    Each day, new photos of the President, Vice President and First Family are posted in the Photo of the Day gallery. In addition, there are periodic photo galleries of important events and trips. Check out the photo of the day and other galleries here:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/photogallery/november-2010-photo-day

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    Want to know what President Obama is up to today? The President and Vice President’s schedules are published online each day. You can even download the calendars using iCal. Check out what the President is up to right now:

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    You can get all of these features and more on WhiteHouse.gov, or sign up for the Daily Snapshot email and have the best of WhiteHouse.gov delivered to your inbox each morning:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/daily-snapshot

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    The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW • Washington, DC 20500 • 202-456-1111

    Dear Representatives:

    For the first time in 60 yrs, would you
    please do as you were elected to do.

    Please put U.S. interests–not Israel’s–first when making difficult budget decisions.

    While ordinary Americans struggle to find living-wage jobs, affordable housing, and quality
    health care, and massive cuts in government programs are contemplated to scale back the out-of-control
    U.S. deficit and debt, U.S. Foreign aid to Israel continues to rise.

    President Obama’s FY2012 budget request is expected to include a record $3.1 billion in military aid to Israel.
    Just this week, Obama has offered an additional 20 F-35 stealth fighter jets to Israel, increasing our 2010
    military aid to Israel by another $3 billion.

    Enough is enough. If we’re going to live within our means as a country, then we’ve got to prioritize funding
    human needs, rather than Israel’s war machine, and genocide of its neighbors.

    I am especially appalled that this increased level of military aid to Israel funds its human rights abuses against
    innocent Palestinian civilians, encourages its construction of illegal settlements and entrenches its illegal 43-year
    military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip.

    I strongly urge you to help cut the deficit and debt by ending U.S. aid of any type to Israel.

    They certainly have never been the friend and
    Allie you continue to claim.

    Remember the USS Liberty, Iraq lies, Iran lies,
    Lebanon lies, Syrian lies, and of course the
    Zionist activities prior to the Holocaust.
    Their lobbies that buy out congress.

    They now represent the Worlds largest and
    deadliest organized crime syndicate.
    Controlling media, US congress, and the idea
    of globalization, say nothing about Wall St.
    and the World Banking system.

    An audit of the Fed is absolutely necessary
    to prove to what degree our financial
    institutions have been raped, since the appointment of Allen Greenspan 1968–2006.

    You borrow money from China to give away to a criminal State, and bill it to
    our next generations of Americans. That makes no sense to anyone. The
    whole time Israel laughs all the way to off shore Banks.

    Sincerely,

    Ronald L. Waldron

    highfive4all.com

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