Two simple facts remain irrefutable when it comes to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s election spending. First, the Chamber accepts foreign money, which by its own admission goes into a general 501(c)(6) account. Second, the Chamber is buying massive amounts of political advertising from that account — just this week, the Chamber spent an unprecedented $10 million on advertising in competitive House and Senate districts.
The Chamber has yet to reveal who, exactly, is funding these attack ads, though they claim we should trust them that foreign money is not being used. While that remains an open question, the Chamber’s political agenda is not: it has long advocated for policies that outsource American jobs to foreign countries. The Chamber’s CEO, Tom Donohue, frequently defends outsourcing: for example, in 2004, he said “there are legitimate values in outsourcing — not only jobs, but work.” Recently, the Chamber came out against a Senate bill that would have discouraged outsourcing.
Today, a new report by the nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog Campaign Money Watch found that more than 1.4 million jobs were outsourced since 1994 in the nine states in which the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is spending significant money. The group also found that more than 184,000 jobs were lost to outsourcing in the 22 congressional districts in which the Chamber has spent $4.8 million on political ads in the same time period.
From the report, here’s what the Chamber spent last week in Senate races, and how many jobs were lost to outsourcing there since 1994:
More data is available at Campaign Money Watch. “The Chamber is raising foreign corporate money and supporting policies that lead to the outsourcing of American jobs overseas,” said David Donnelly, the group’s director. “The 31 Senate and House candidates who are benefiting from political spending by the pro-outsourcing Chamber should address the controversy surrounding their foreign funding.”