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Is the Chamber of Commerce Using Foreign Funds to Promote Republican Congressional Candidates?

David Mittleman

It’s pretty scary if the Chamber of Commerce is spending money on political races, whether
foreign or domestic-based. It is illegal for foreign companies to contribute directly to American political campaigns, but there are new allegations that foreign investments are bankrolling current political activities.

A key political group, as well as Vice President Joe Biden, both renewed their arguments on Monday that they suspect vast sums of money flowing to independent groups for political ads come from “foreign sources”. Indeed, the Chamber of Commerce has pledged $75 million to support politicians, mainly Republicans, in the upcoming midterm congressional elections, but vehemently denies funding from foreign affiliates. Dave Levinthal from the Center for Responsive Politics argues that it is impossible to verify Biden’s claims, however, since federal law does not require non-profits, like the Chamber of Commerce, to publicly disclose funding sources.

The new spending on political campaign ads is spurred primarily by the Supreme Court’s ruling to open the doors on unlimited corporate money to promote certain political candidates in ads. Obama first raised the issue of foreign funding for political ads when he called out the Supreme Court in his State of the Union Address. In recent months, the Senate Republicans have resisted legislation to require public disclosure in political advertisements, including having corporate CEOs stand in the political ads to which they contributed.


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