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Chambers Of Commerce

October 13, 2010
When the Supreme Court struck down limits on election spending by corporations and unions this year, it left undisturbed a federal law prohibiting foreigners ? individuals or businesses ? from spending on American election campaigns. Now Democrats, led by President Obama, have been insinuating that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce violated the law by depositing dues from its foreign chapters into a fund that is also used for political advertising. The law is an important one, and the Federal Election Commission should certainly investigate any evidence that funding for the chamber's campaign activities comes from corporations outside the country.
October 12, 2010 | By Tom Hamburger and Kim Geiger, Tribune Washington Bureau
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.
October 8, 2010 | By Matea Gold and Kim Geiger, Tribune Washington Bureau
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has been a powerful ally for Republican candidates in this year's midterm campaigns, quietly moved across the aisle this week and bought ads touting nearly a dozen Democratic House members. The "voter education" spots are running on behalf of 10 members of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition, many of them in the South, including Georgia's Jim Marshall, Virginia's Glenn Nye, Maryland's Frank Kratovil, Mississippi's Travis W. Childers and Alabama's Bobby Bright.
October 7, 2010 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
For the second time in a month, a California Chamber of Commerce political action committee funded in part by major insurance companies is bankrolling TV ads to help Republican Mike Villines in his race against Democrat Dave Jones for state insurance commissioner. In campaign finance disclosure documents, the deep-pocketed chamber reported that it was spending $280,234 to fund "media production" for television advertisements that oppose Jones. The same report showed that the chamber's political action committee, called JobsPAC, received six contributions from insurance company interests totaling $387,000.
October 7, 2010 | By Kim Geiger, Tribune Washington Bureau
Democrats and their allies, moving to counter millions of dollars flowing to Republican campaigns from groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have accused the international business organization of using foreign money to influence American elections. The effort to paint conservative political groups as fronts for multinational corporations and foreign billionaires gathered steam this week after an affiliate of the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress charged that the chamber was using funds from foreign corporations to finance its political operations in Washington.
September 20, 2010 | By Michael A. Memoli, Tribune Washington Bureau
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Monday endorsed Gov. Joe Manchin in the special election for the U.S. Senate in West Virginia, a rare nod for a Democratic candidate by the business lobbying group. "We're endorsing Joe because he understands the economic challenges our country is facing and has a record of supporting policies that allow businesses to create jobs," Lisa Rickard, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber, said in a statement. "He is an invaluable leader who has a common-sense approach to job creation and getting America back on the road to recovery.
September 16, 2010 | By Marc Lifsher and Alana Semuels, Los Angeles Times
Manuel Zuniga said his former employer owes him $49,000 in past wages — for the more than three years in which he was paid $3.50 an hour to wash and detail cars in Florence. Married and with six children, Zuniga said he knows "many workers who suffer under the same conditions. " And recent data indicate there are thousands in California who, like Zuniga, are paid less than the state minimum wage — $8 an hour — or who don't get paid at all. Many of them say they are stuck with employers who know that in this economy, there are others willing to take their place.
September 9, 2010 | By Tom Hamburger, Tribune Washington Bureau
The nation's largest business organization launched a multimillion-dollar advertising attack in California on Wednesday night on U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, part of a nationwide effort targeting vulnerable Democrats. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce began running ads in San Diego, Bakersfield, Fresno and Sacramento, where Boxer's Republican rival Carly Fiorina has shown strength. The first round of ads castigates Boxer's record on jobs and the environment. The Chamber would not say exactly how much it plans to spend on the race.
September 5, 2010 | By Anthony York, Los Angeles Times
The president of the University of California and the chancellor of the California community college system have quit the California Chamber of Commerce board of directors after the group voted to endorse Republican Meg Whitman for governor. The endorsement is the latest example of the state's largest business organization increasing its political profile. Jack Scott, a former Democratic state senator from Pasadena who was appointed as community college chancellor by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, announced his resignation Friday in a letter to chamber President Allan Zaremberg after the endorsement vote.
September 2, 2010 | By Jason Song, Los Angeles Times
A group of business and civic leaders is urging the Los Angeles school district and teachers union to quickly develop a new evaluation system that incorporates student test score data and gives families more access to information about instructors. "This system should be transparent and the results of the teacher evaluations should be made available to parents," said a letter signed by former U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher, as well as the presidents of both the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce and United Way of Greater L.A., and 18 other people.
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