Well, this is becoming a very big deal. Millions of dollars are being spent this election cycle. The question is who is donating the money? It appears that the US (United States) Chamber of Commerce is taking moolah from foreign companies and then spending that money to bash Democratic candidates.
TP has more:
Last week, ThinkProgress published an exclusive story about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s foreign fundraising operation. We noted the Chamber raises money from foreign-owned businesses for its 501(c)(6) entity, the same account that finances its unprecedented $75 million dollar partisan attack ad campaign. While the Chamber is notoriously secretive, the thrust of our story involved 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).
We documented three different ways the Chamber fundraises from foreign corporations: (1) An internal fundraising program called “Business Councils” used to solicit direct, largely foreign contributions to the Chamber, (2) Direct contributions from foreign multinationals like BP, Siemens, and Shell Oil, and (3) From the Chamber’s network of AmCham affiliates, which are foreign chambers of the Chamber composed of American and foreign companies. The Chamber quickly acknowledged that it receives direct, foreign money, but simply replied, “We are not obligated to discuss our internal procedures.” Instead of providing any documentation or proof to demonstrate foreign money is not being used for electioneering purposes, the Chamber launched an aggressive media strategy to first, attack ThinkProgress with petty name-calling and second, to confuse the media by highlighting the Chamber’s relatively minor AmCham fundraising, which the Chamber says (also without documentation) totals “approximately $100,000” from all 115 international AmCham chapters. The Chamber and the media largely ignored ThinkProgress’ revelation about the Chamber’s direct foreign fundraising to its 501(c)(6) used for attack ads.
Yesterday, the Chamber’s chief lobbyist Bruce Josten, who has been spoon-feeding much of the media distortions about our report, went on Fox News (whose parent company donated $1 million to the Chamber recently for its ad campaign) to again try to dilute the issue by dissembling about the Chamber’s fundraising and membership. “We have probably 60 or so foreign multi-national companies in our membership that we have had for decades, many of which have been in the United States for half a century or a century,” said Josten.
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):
Company Location Money/Level 4G Identity Solutions Hyderabad, India $7,500 A2Z Maintenance & Eng. Gurgaon, India $7,500 Amarchand Mangaldas Mumbai, India $15,000 Apollo Hospitals Chennai, India $7,500 Arshiya International Mumbai, India $15,000 Astonfield Management Mumbai, India $7,500 AXA Group Paris, France $7,500 Avantha Group India $7,500 Avasarala Technologies Bangalore, India $7,500 AZB & Partners Mumbai, India $15,000 Azure Power New Delhi, India $7,500 Bharat Forge Pune, India $15,000 Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP Toronto, Canada $7,500 Brookfield Asset Management Toronto, Canada $7,500 Cameco Corporation Saskatoon, Canada $7,500 Credit Suisse Zürich, Switzerland $15,000 Devas Multimedia Bangalore, India $15,000 DSK Legal Bombay, India $7,500 Dua Associates Hyderabad, India $15,000 Educomp Solutions Ltd Delhi, India $7,500 Essar Group Mumbai, India $7,500 Fox Mandal Little India $7,500 GMR Bangalore, India $15,000 Hindalco Group, The Mumbai, India $15,000 Hinduja Group, The London, UK $15,000 Hindustan Construction Company Mumbai, India $15,000 HSBC London, UK $15,000 ICICI Bank Mumbia, India $7,500 Infosys Bangalore, India $15,000 Infotech Enterprises Hyderabad, India $7,500 International SOS Assistance Singapore $7,500 Ireo Management Gurgoan, India $15,000 ITC Group Kolkata, India $15,000 J. Sagar Associates Mumbai, India $15,000 J.B.Boda Insurance Mumbai, India $7,500 J.M. Baxi & Co. Mumbai, India $15,000 Jagran Prakashan Kanpur, India $7,500 Jindal Power New Delhi, India $15,000 Jubilant Organosys Noida, India $7,500 Kimaya Energy New Delhi, India $15,000 Kotak Mahindra Mumbai, India $7,500 KPIT Cummins Pune, India $7,500 KPMG Amstelveen, Netherlands $15,000 Lahmeyer International Frankfurt, Germany $7,500 Larsen & Toubro Mumbai, India $15,000 Leela Hotels Bengaluru, India $7,500 Linklaters LLP London, UK $7,500 Luthra & Luthra New Delhi, India $15,000 Macquarie Capital Sydney, Australia $15,000 Majmudar & Company Mumbai, India $7,500 NIIT Technologies Delhi, India $15,000 Nishith Desai Associates Mumbai, India $15,000 Novartis Basel, Switzerland $15,000 Oberoi Group Dehli,India $7,500 Patni Americas Mumbai, India $15,000 Punj Lloyd Gurgaon, India $15,000 QuEST Global Singapore $7,500 Ranbaxy, Inc. Gurgaon, India $7,500 Reliance Industries Mumbai, India $15,000 Reliance Communications Navi Mumbai, India $7,500 Rolta Mumbai, India $7,500 Sanofi-Aventis Paris, France $7,500 SKP Crossborder Consulting Mumbai, India $7,500 SNC Lavalin Montreal, Canada $7,500 State Bank of India Mumbai, India $15,000 Sun Life Financial Toronto, Canada $7,500 Tata Group Mumbai, India $15,000 Tatva Legal India $15,000 Urenco Investments Slough, UK $7,500 Trilegal India $7,500 Walchandnagar Industries Mumbai, India $7,500 Welspun Mumbai, India $7,500 Wipro Bangalore, India $15,000 TAIB Bank* Dubai $20,000 Aluminum Bahrain B.S.C Kingdom of Bahrain $10,000 Bahrain Financial Harbour Holding Company Kingdom of Bahrain $10,000 Gulf Air Kingdom of Bahrain $10,000 Midal Cables Kingdom of Bahrain $10,000 The Nass Group Kingdom of Bahrain $10,000 Bahrain Maritime & Mercantile International Kingdom of Bahrain $5,000 The Bahrain Petroleum Company Kingdom of Bahrain $5,000 First Leasing Bank Kingdom of Bahrain $5,000 Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company Kingdom of Bahrain $5,000 TOTAL $885,000