It seems like a phony issue for the a struggling Obama administration to be promoting – the allegations that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce may or may not be using foreign contributions to fuel political ads against Democrats. However, President Barack Obama would be best advised to make sure his party wasn’t doing something similar before using the bully pulpit to push this meme.
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“All of political Washington is trying to figure out where we go from here now that the on-again, off-again battle between the president and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce seems to be on again today,” Javers said. “The latest salvo came again today. President Obama said you just don't know as a voter where the money is coming from that finances the Chamber of Commerce -- what he calls attack ads against Democrats. He says one possibility is that money from foreign corporations could be coming into those Chamber of Commerce coffers that finances those ads. The Chamber of Commerce now says, ‘You know, look we don’t use any foreign money to finance these ads. It’s entirely walled off.’”
However, even the New York Times called shenanigans on these allegations. In its Oct. 9 issue, Eric Lichtblau reported that “there is little evidence that what the chamber does in collecting overseas dues is improper or even unusual.”
“They do get money from foreign Chambers of Commerce but it’s a very small amount and entirely separate from the campaign spend,” he continued. “But look at this. If you look at the issue of foreign money, actually, U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies are under campaign law allowed to operate political action committees and in the past year, in the past election cycle, they've given more than $12 million. So there is some, let's call it foreign-connected money, if not actually foreign money that’s involved in this campaign cycle.”
As CNBC “Power Lunch” co-host Tyler Mathisen explained, this money is not the same that the White House has been accusing the Chamber of not being open and transparent about. However, this “foreign-connected” money goes to more Democrats than Republicans, as Javers explained.
“Well, we’ve got about 160 of these PACs,” he said. “Interestingly here, President Obama might want to look up the statistics because they're favoring Democrats. More than $6 million has gone to Democrats and more than $5 million has gone to Republicans from those subsidiaries – subsidiaries of foreign companies. So clearly that group favoring the Democrats by a pretty healthy margin.”