Thursday, January 14, 2010

Nonprofit Warns Candidates Against Accepting Support From The Chamber of Commerce for Midterm Elections

/PRNewswire/ -- The campaign ( today issued the following warning to any 2010 candidate who accepts any direct or indirect money, advertising support, or lip service from the United States Chamber of Commerce or any of its astroturf front operations: The Chamber and its CEO Tom Donohue are toxic assets plagued by scandal, criminal investigations, shareholder lawsuits, NGO criminal complaints, the National Scrooge Award, control by big business insiders, defections by responsible companies, and the antipathy of the general public. Any Chamber-supported candidate will be tied to these scandals during the midterm elections.

Tom Donohue, president and chief executive of the Chamber, promised the "largest, most aggressive voter education and issue advocacy effort in our nearly hundred-year history." In fact, Chamber is poised to spend upwards of $50 million to manipulate the 2010 mid-term elections. That money will go toward electing candidates who support polluters, robber barons, deniers of health care, warmongers, and those who ravage the environment. This money is, in addition to the billion or more dollars the Chamber has spent during the last decade, gutting the economy by helping companies ship American jobs overseas and raising CEO pay at the expense of workers. America is much worse off because of the Chamber's anti-American policies. Job losses are staggering, while businesses supporting the Chamber, its CEO, and an army of lobbyists pocket obscene profits and bonuses with no regard whatsoever for the American worker.

"The Chamber wants to buy Congress at a time when people are hurting, dying, losing their homes and jobs, and seeing their children unable to attend college," said spokesperson and lawyer Kevin Zeese. "However, Americans have had enough of robber barons, and they are not going to take it anymore. If a candidate gets support from the Chamber, we are going to call him or her out for accepting tainted money -- money from big business that is not going into creating jobs, providing health care, and cleaning up Wall Street. We will demand that candidates renounce the Chamber's support, return any funding, and condemn the Chamber's advertisements and policies. If they do not, we will expose them as a friend of Tom Donohue, the man who repeatedly met with the leaders of Communist China to outsource good American jobs, the man who is under investigation by the SEC for insider trading and false reporting, the man who has lied to Congress about the Chamber's membership and small business support, the man who has created patriotic sounding front groups to mislead trusting Americans, the man who schemed with the likes of Jack Abramoff and Ken Lay to betray the public trust, and the man who has justified crime after crime committed by dues-paying members of the Chamber."

StopTheChamber urges all 2010 candidates to run clean election campaigns, untainted by money, laundered through the Chamber of Commerce. Neither the Chamber membership nor its board votes on how the Chamber spends money on elections. Instead, the decisions are made by a tightly knit group of big business insider tycoons led by Tom Donohue. But those businesses -- multinational corporate banks, Wall Street, insurance companies, big energy, and big pharma -- top the list of the most hated companies in America. They pay billions upon billions in bonuses to multi-millionaire executives who squeeze the lifeblood out of hardworking Americans. Candidates who ignore this reality and sell their vote for greed over the common good will find that the antipathy of American voters presently directed toward Wall Street and the Chamber will be directed at them.

StopTheChamber will be launching an ad campaign next week to spread this message to all candidates running in the 2010 midterm elections.

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