Chamber Took $885K From 84 Foreign Companies
But says it doesn't use it for political purposes
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2010 8:16 AM CDT

(Newser) – The US Chamber of Commerce has flatly denied recent Democratic attacks claiming that it uses foreign money to fund its political campaigns, and mainstream media fact checkers have largely backed them up. But Think Progress says those organizations have missed the point, pointing to data from the Chamber’s own disclosures indicating that at least 84 foreign companies have donated a total of $885,000 directly to the Chamber’s 501(c)(6), the same account that funds its attack ads.

The money is collected by bilateral “Business Councils” used to actively solicit money from foreign firms, promising them “access to the US Chamber of Commerce and everything it does.” The Chamber has posted a response calling the allegations “false and baseless, not to mention tiresome and desperate,” saying Councils don’t engage in political activity. David Axelrod, meanwhile, tells the Washington Post that Democrats intend to press the attack. The use of funds from undisclosed sources “is a serious issue," he argues, "and we’re going to continue to raise it.”