quote:Reporting from Washington — In a potential sign of Democratic unease with the White House midterm political strategy, some of President Obama's allies have begun to question his sustained attack on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has long claimed bipartisanship but is being increasingly identified as a GOP ally.
Some Democrats on Capitol Hill worry that the White House is going too far in charging that the politically powerful business lobby may be using foreign money to fuel its election efforts. The charge ignites strong feelings among job-hungry voters. But Democrats are concerned that it may be overstated and could harm moderate Democrats in swing districts.
The charge was first leveled by a liberal-leaning think tank last week, and since has been pressed by Obama and top White House aides. It stems from allegations that the same chamber fund that takes in dues and fees from overseas memberships is used to finance political activities.
While I agree with your assessment of the SCOTUS' decision in this regard, you know damned well that the Left (Soros, Unions, Move-on, et al) have been gaming the system as much if not more than the GOP.
Again, the keys are in the hands or the voters/consumers of the shit that gets shoveled out by both sides. Money can buy a lot of ads and such, but it can only buy elections if the people buy the bullshit.
That is why it is not only your right, but in a way your civic duty to vote, regardless of your political persuasion. If you can legally vote, and don't? Well, you are not part of the problem, you ARE the problem. Let that sink in.
ThinkProgress documents more foreign funding to Chamber
by Joan McCarter
Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 04:36:04 PM PDT
ThinkProgress has a new investigation to supplement their story from last week that documented "the disclosure of fundraising documents U.S. Chamber staffers had been distributing to solicit foreign (even state-owned) companies to donate directly to the Chamber’s 501(c)(6)."
This new chapter of the investigation adds significantly to ThinkProgress's case with very specific donations documented that are far beyond what the Chamber has publicly acknowledged in interviews.
ThinkProgress began by documenting the three ways in which the Chamber fundraises from foreign corporations, and how that money goes into its "501(c)(6) entity, the same account that finances its unprecedented $75 million dollar partisan attack ad campaign." The Chamber has responded with a focus on just one of those avenues for fundraising--the red-herring AmChams, the network of Chabmer affiliates internationally, composed of American and foreign companies. The Chamber acknowledges their existence, and that it receives money from them, but has stonewalled any attempt to deteremine whether or not that money is making its way into their attack ads for Republicans. To date, the traditional media has just bought that story, has accepted the Chamber's "just trust us" line. From today's report:
The Chamber is being deceptive. In addition to multinational members of the Chamber headquartered abroad (like BP, Shell Oil, and Siemens), a new ThinkProgress investigation has identified at least 84 other foreign companies that actively donate to the Chamber’s 501(c)(6). Below is a chart detailing the annual dues foreign corporations have indicated that they give directly to the Chamber (using information that is publicly available from the Business Council applications and the Chamber’s own websites)....
Again, all of these annual dues are collected in the same 501(c)(6) the Chamber is using to run partisan attack ads. The data above reflects information from public sources, and the Chamber likely has many more foreign corporations as dues-paying members — but refuses to divulge any of the funders for their ad campaign....
Here’s how the Chamber’s unusual foreign fundraising operation works. According to this internal Chamber staff chart obtained by ThinkProgress, the Chamber has an international division devoted to promoting free trade and related policy issues. U.S. Chamber staffers, based here in Washington, D.C. with offices in the Chamber’s building at 1615 H Street, create bilateral “Business Councils” fundraising programs to solicit money from foreign corporations in Korea, Egypt, Brazil, Bahrain, India, and other places. For instance, the Chamber’s US-Egypt Business Council directs potential members to wire their checks to the US Chamber of Commerce. The application also notes that checks should be marked “ATTN: Leila Vossoughi.” Vossaoughi is a regular staffer at the Chamber. Promotions to join the Chamber have included promises that foreign firms obtain “access to the US Chamber of Commerce and everything that it does” and pledges to help the foreign firms promote free trade policies in America. All of the staffers who manage the Business Councils work directly for the Chamber. These Business Councils are nothing like the Chamber’s AmChams, which are foreign affiliates of the Chamber composed of American and foreign businesses abroad. Business Councils are based in the Chamber and even hosted on the U.S. Chamber’s website domain. Bylaws from the US-Bahrain Business Council confirm that the money the U.S. Chamber raises from these applications — which welcome foreign-owned businesses — goes into the Chamber’s 501(c)(6).
There is no intermediary for this money, like an "AmCham" or some other affiliated organization. This money goes directly into the Chamber's general account--the account that funds the attack ads. This amounts to about three times the amount of foreign funding Think Progress documented last week--from just two sources, the so-called Business Councils they've setup in India and Bahrain. And it's at least eight times more money than the Chamber has acknowledges comes to them from foreign sources.
Perhaps this will spur some enterprising investigative reporter in the traditional media to stop trusting the Chamber.
Factcheck.org pointed out earlier this week that the claim was unproven despite being asserted as fact. That doesn't mean it's not true, although the CoC has said that the amount of money it takes in from foreign corporations is so relatively small compared to its overall operating budget that trying to pin their ad expenditures on foreign corporations is a flim-flam at best.
Well, from the CoC point of view, at worst it'd be a heinous attempt to smear them and their preferred candidates. From the other point of view, it'd be a heinous purchase of American government favour by foreign corporations and governments via warping the democratic process.
Clinton got hit with somewhat similar allegations, incidentally, that he took campaign funds from the Chinese government and in return gave them access to formerly restricted hardware. It's a popular refrain, because foreigners are eeeebil, unlike fine, upstanding Americans, lantern-jawed defenders of freedom.
quote:Originally posted by Coincidence That's cool, but I really just wanted to know what's opposite from a flim-flam on your spectrum. Heinous it is.
No, when I say that the CoC would say that "at best, it's a flim-flam", that construction means that they're claiming it's a con trick at best, and at worst something, well, worse, like a very nasty smear.
I didn't say it was a flim-flam; I don't know enough about the truth of the accusations. My understanding is that the CoC's opinion is that it's a flim-flam.
quote:Originally posted by Coincidence This is only about vocabulary.
It -- "an X at best" -- is a common usage of the words in English; not quite an idiom, but it has a particular meaning that's well-understood and where, in general, the "at worst" part can be left out. Which I assume you know, so I am bemused at your interest.
"Flim-flam" is also a commonly-used description of a trick/misdirection.