Outside group spending is up 1600 percent this election cycle, given the rise of Super PACs. But the U.S. Chamber of Commerce claims it still peddles the most influence in politics, as the radical right-wing industry group plans to spend a record amount of more than $50 million for 2012 this campaign cycle.
U.S. Chamber Political Director Rob Engstrom dubbed the Chamber’s role in elections as an “old-school Super PAC“:
We’re the old school Super PAC. Brand matters and message matters, but messenger matters as much or more in my opinion… at some point relatively soon people are going to turn off if it says “Concerned Citizens for Change.”
“Engstrom maintains that the Chamber’s donor base — largely big business corporations —that fund the political operation are ‘very motivated’ and that having enough funds to get the job done won’t be an issue,” Politico writes.
Engstrom is right that the Chamber doesn’t lack in cash, and it has already committed to spending a record amount of over $50 million in federal races this year. For instance, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has faced almost $2.5 million in ads against him for voting to end Big Oil tax breaks. The Chamber is the largest lobbyist, spending over $132 million in 2010.
Super PACs have been funneling money to often-nasty attack ads, and as an “old school Super PAC,” itself, the Chamber doesn’t mind flaunting how it is trying to drive the election.