Where in the Constitution does it allow foreign BUSINESSES to directly influence US elections? This doesn't sound very Constitutional to me. Nor ethical. Nor legal.
News recently broke that the U.S. Chamber of Commerceâ��one of the biggest sources of corporate cash backing Republicans this yearâ��has been using money from foreign corporations in India, Bahrain, and elsewhere to fund its attack ads on Democratic candidates, in apparent violation of the law.1
This explosive news could shift the course of the election if the Chamber is forced to scale back and all the right-wing candidates they're helping have to answer for this.
The Chamber knows that. Their strategy is to give no quarter and hope this blows over. In the last week they've actually spent millions more on ads targeted against progressive heroes including Russ Feingold.2
The Chamber claims that it has internal systems to keep the money separate, but the new report shows that the foreign corporations donate directly to the Chamber's general fund, which is where the funding for their political attacks comes from. This would represent a shocking disregard for longstanding American campaign finance laws, all to advance a corporate, right-wing agenda of outsourcing jobs and giving huge tax breaks to multi-national corporations.3
According to the report, the Chamber is allegedly raising money from firms in "China, India, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Russia, and many other places." Even Russian banks and state-owned oil companies in Abu Dhabi may have contributed.
The Chamber is spending more than any other group to back right-wing Republicans and attack progressives in the election.
1. "Exclusive: Foreign-Funded 'U.S.' Chamber Of Commerce Running Partisan Attack Ads," ThinkProgress, October 5, 2010
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=91772&id= … Tx&t=5
2. "US Chamber spends more than $10 million on ads," Associated Press, October 7, 2010
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=91872&id= … Tx&t=6
3. "U.S. Chamber comes out against Senate outsourcing bill," The Hill, September 23, 2010
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=91786&id= … Tx&t=7
wasn't there a long list of foreign contributors to the Obama campaign? and current contributors for many things happening in the US states... that certainly wasn't and haven't been investigated...?
all sides are guilty of taking money unconstitutionally...too many are not reported on, let alone even brought up as an issue
MightyMom this information is outstanding and very informative. Corperations begin their takeover as far back as Kennedy. President Kennedy warned Americans of these Bankers and Corperation before his death. Thanks Again Mighty Mom, powerful information.
Good point. I Googled and yes, there was concern about Obama taking contributions over the Internet.
The problem in today's campaign world, however, is the Supreme
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co … 03413.html
The current problem is exacerbated by the Supreme Court opening the floodgates of corporate money flowing in from --- wherever.
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/supreme- … id=9269776
You are absolutely right! Let's just sell our country to the highest bidder! This is one of the many reasons that everyone needs to vote. It burns me up when people who can vote, just sit by and then complain about how our government is run! They seem to complain the loudest, too! Then we have candidates who never, ever voted, and because they have made alot of money, think they need a new toy and decide to run for public office. What all of a sudden, spurs their interest? The love of money because power equals money-the more power, the more money!
Then look at the half-governor, that little darling of the Tea Party! She decided to quit her job because with her new celebrity status, she could make a small fortune! She doesn't want out of politics, it is her new occupation!
Foreign countries have no business meddling in the electoral process of our country, but now that the Supreme Court has opened the doors, the money pours in. This election it is to GOP candidates who usually support outsourcing and deregulation of big business.
Foreign money shouldn't be in US politics at all however the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling opened the door for just that. I'm not opposed to the ruling because it safeguards free speech as well as political speech.
The decision ruled that corporations and unions (for profit and non profit) cannot be limited on their independent funding of candidate elections. Since corporations and unions can be multinational and they are not making direct contributions to a candidate the doors are wide open for all entities. This also means unions, which are generally democratic, can do the same thing as the US Chamber of Commerce.
It should be noted that the US Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit association and not an agency of the US Government. Also there is no association between the US Chamber of Commerce and your local Chamber of Commerce.
The ruling doesn't protect "political speech."
Although it would be equally despicable if the spending power were in the other pocket (e.g., the Democrats) it happens not to be. It happens to be in the camp of those who want to ship American jobs overseas and keep us depending on foreign oil.
The US Chamber of Commerce may be a non-profit membership organization but it is composed of business members. Show me a union -- pick any union -- with the kind of $ resources the Chamber has.
BTW, I tried to obtain dues information on what it costs to join the US Chamber of Commerce. Guess what? They will not provide that information without first obtaining our contact information.
Hello NO! I don't want to be on their list for any reason!!!
It protects political speech in that it negates the McCain-Feingold Act that prohibited that sort of speech within 60 days of an election.
Most associations, profit or nonprofit, are comprised of business leaders.
Here is a link to facts about unions http://www.unionfacts.com/unions/unionProfile.cfm?id=12
where you can see the total assets of a union and how much they allot for political funds. You're right, no one union has the resources that the US Chamber has yet together their funding is 10 times as much.
Am I worried that the US Chamber's actions will have a huge impact on the elections? NO, for 2 reasons that I can think of:
1. there are at least 27 states that already had provisions in their laws to allow unlimited corporate spending.
2. The people who do vote are those that stay fairly coherent of the issues and I seriously doubt they would trust an ad presented by BP or any corporation over an ad with an actual candidate speaking on the issues.
You see, since the funding cannot be coordinated with a specific candidate their ads cannot have personal interviews and will not have candid photographs (unless they're negative ads) and they will have a narrator. I would only trust ads where the candidate is speaking to the audience and not sound bytes that can be taken out of context.
Do you really think the ads being funded by BP and other corporations are being presented as coming from BP or the corporation
Do you think that if such ads were not effective in persuading voters the campaign managers would continue to use them?
I fear you overestimate the intelligence of the average "voter."
People who stay "coherent" on the issues?
Apparently you do not live in California, land of the "voter initiative."
This is a little unrelated to this discussion but it seems closely related to it.
The free markets are a place to trade goods internationally in an arena where competition brings financial assets to a point near their fundamental value.
Free markets are fair markets goes the rules. If so then how is it possible for bankers ( whom conspiracy theorists figure fly flags sovereign to international groups more that to national sovereignty ) to print money out of nothing in order to capitalize the auctions of the free markets.
Isn't that like using wooden nickles to buy stuff for you and for the nations treasury and charging you interest for trading the SOMA portfolio ?
If it smells bad the it's probably ....
I've got an eerie feeling poop is about to hit the heavenly fans...
It really pisses me off. "The year America was sold" will be the title of novels to come.
If it's true, it's wrong and it is, of course, up to the opposition to point it out. But I don't see how it's a whole lot different that the millions and millions of dollars that came in "anonymously" via the internet to Obama's campaign.
If you want to cry about political corruption, you won't hear a lot of opposition from me ... but don't pretend it doesn't happen across the board.
Where you REALLY don't see the corruption is in the primaries, not because it's not there, but because they are less scrutinized than the general election ...
And let's talk about franking privileges ... basically the incumbent gets to use tax money to send out campaign literature.
And about foreign lobbyists who dump money into whichever incumbent's campaign they can influence. You think BP didn't have democrats in their pockets as well as republicans?
To pretend that one side had more corruption than the other side is just plain hypocritical.
There are ethical and unethical business people.
There are ethical (really one or two exist, I've seen 'em !) and unethical politicians.
The problem in both politics and business is that it is easier to lie than tell the truth and easier to cheat than to play fair.
I certainly haven't seen a lot to be proud of from either party when it comes to ethics.
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