When the Obama administration raised concerns about secret campaign cash and its influence on U.S. elections, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was near or at the top of the Whitehouse’s list of potential offenders. Particularly concerning was the Chamber’s apparent mixing of foreign contributions in their general account which the 501(c)(6) trade organization uses for political ads and lobbying.
Some conservatives welcomed the “attack.” Kentucky GOP Senate candidate Rand Paul mused:
I see the Chamber as a group that fosters economic development in every community. … In fact, we would encourage you to keep attacking the Chamber because the Chamber is probably more popular than any politician running for office. So please, your side, if you like this — keep on attacking the Chamber. It makes no sense whatsoever. And I think it’s a really, really poor political tactic and untrue.
See what he did there? Wait, wait, here’s a better one from Glenn Beck (h/t MMFA):
Glenn Beck, responding to the White House’s request that anonymous donors to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s campaign efforts be disclosed, has gone all in in his defense of the group. On his radio show and online, Beck solicited contributions for the Chamber, declaring them “our parents, our grandparents — they are us.”
On his radio show, Beck said “I would like to make this the biggest fundraising day in the Chamber’s history” and told his employees to promote the Chamber on GlennBeck.com and his news site, TheBlaze.com, and “get somebody on the phone” from the group. Beck asked his callers to donate “if you are as sick as I am of this lot” (referring to President Obama), and said that the Obama administration “hates” the Chamber as much “as I hate Woodrow Wilson.”
This business with Woodrow Wilson, by the way, is bunk. As for Beck’s plea on behalf of the Chamber, his followers were happy to oblige.
The reason statements like Rand Paul’s and Beck’s aren’t met with the derision they deserve is because most people don’t know what the U.S. Chamber of Commerce really is. Too often, the U.S. Chamber is conflated with local Chambers of Commerce, which is what Paul is talking about when he says, “I see the Chamber as a group that fosters economic development in every community…”
But that is not what the U.S. Chamber does. Despite statements to the contrary, Rand Paul knows this, Glenn Beck knows this, and if you are interested in knowing the difference between the two, then watch ‘The Loaded Chamber, pt. 1′, embedded below. You will also find supporting links at GRITtv.org.
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