Question: Is it true that Democrats receive donations from political action committees affiliated with foreign companies and the Chamber of Commerce and, if so, What’s wrong with this picture?
These recent articles and/or blog posts reveal that hypocritical House and Senate Democrats have received approximately $1.02 million this cycle from foreign affiliated PACs, along with receiving donations from the Chamber of Commerce-You Decide:
Dems have raised more than $1 million this cycle from foreign-affiliated PACs–Posted on The Hill-By Michael O’Brien and Hayleigh Colombo-On October 17, 2010:
These are pertinent excerpts from this article and/or blog post:
“Democratic leaders in the House and Senate alleging GOP groups have funneled foreign money into campaign ads have seen their party raise more than $1 million from political action committees affiliated with foreign companies.
House and Senate Democrats have received about $1.02 million this cycle from such PACs, according to an analysis compiled for The Hill by the Center for Responsive Politics. House and Senate GOP leaders have taken almost $510,000 from PACs on the same list.
The PACS are funded entirely by contributions from U.S. employees of subsidiaries of foreign companies. All of the contributions are made public under Federal Elections Commission rules, and the PACs affiliated with the subsidiaries of foreign corporations are governed by the same rules that American firms’ PACs or other PACs would face.
“This is not foreign money per-se, but these PACs are certainly populated by people who work for foreign companies,” said Dave Levinthal, a spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics.
“Foreign companies and foreign governments can lobby Congress, and that is probably one area where they have a measurable effect on politics,” Levinthal explained. “Foreign-subsidiary political action committees is about as close as you can get.”
Republicans with groups under fire from the White House say the hefty campaign contributions illustrate Democratic hypocrisy.
“Barack Obama criticized the Supreme Court and his adversaries over the bogus charge of foreign money tainting elections — while leaders in his own party had taken more than a million dollars from the foreign cookie jar,” said Jonathan Collegio, a spokesman for American Crossroads, the political group at the center of the controversy.
“The hypocrisy here is just stunning,” he said.
American Crossroads, which is backed in part by former Bush White House officials Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, has come under fire from the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress for allegedly using donations from abroad to fuel their political efforts.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Crossroads GPS, a group affiliated with American Crossroads, have come under similar attack.
Both the Chamber and American Crossroads deny accepting foreign dollars for use in their political efforts. The groups say they abide by all applicable laws, which would require that any foreign money they receive be accounted for separately and firewalled from their political spending.
Democrats have acknowledged they have no evidence the groups are taking money from abroad and using it to fund political attack ads ahead of the midterm elections, but they argue that in the absence of tougher campaign disclosure rules, it’s entirely possible.
They argue the difference between campaign donations from PACs affiliated with foreign firms and contributions to the Crossroads groups and the U.S. Chamber is that the former are subject to tougher disclosure rules.
“The overarching issue here is that we don’t know where these entities are raising money. It could be money from foreign corporation, big oil or companies that want to outsource U.S. jobs,” said Doug Thornell, a spokesman for Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).
Kenneth Gross, a former associate general counsel of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and campaign law expert, said there’s nothing illegal or improper about what the foreign-affiliated PACs do.
“They are supporting U.S. candidates,” he said. “If some U.S. candidate takes a position on a matter that affects a foreign corporation, they have every right to contribute to that candidate.”
“The law doesn’t prohibit that, any more than the law prohibits a foreign corporation from lobbying Congress,” Gross added.
The Center for Responsive Politics list tracks PAC receipts and disbursements through Sept. 13 filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Not surprisingly, since Democrats have large majorities in the House and Senate, Democrats for the year have received more money for these PACs ($6.5 million) than Republicans ($5.6 million).
Pharmaceutical manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline and aerospace contractor BAE Systems are among the PACS with ties to foreign companies that give the most to Democrats.
Republicans also complain that Obama has benefited in previous campaign cycles from Democratic-oriented groups that didn’t disclose their donations, at least until after the election was over. They suggest it’s unclear whether some foreign money could have come in from those donations.
“In 2008, the president benefited from $400 million worth of spending by outside groups on his behalf in the presidential campaign, most of whom did not reveal their donors,” Rove said Tuesday on Fox News. “I guess that was not a threat to democracy then because this kind of activity was being undertaken by Democrat groups.”
Democrats suggest the attacks will keep coming in the next three weeks, in part because they believe they are working.
“I think it is having resonance,” Van Hollen said last week on MSNBC. “I think that people are understanding that there’s this very important nexus between the special interests who are spending these millions of dollars and an agenda that doesn’t serve the interests of the American people.”
Democrats have seized on the prospect of foreign influence in the election to underscore their attacks against Republicans for blocking the Disclose Act, campaign finance legislation meant to counteract the effect of a Supreme Court ruling earlier this year loosening restrictions on corporate and labor spending in elections. The Disclose Act passed the House, but ultimately stalled in the Senate after it won no GOP support.
Correction: KPMG LLP is not a corporation, but a limited liability partnership that is owned solely by its partners with no foreign parent. An earlier version of this story contained incorrect information.”
Chamber Support for Democratic Candidates Not a Concern, White House Says-Posted on FoxNews.com-On October 17, 2010:
These are pertinent excerpts from this article and/or blog post:
“The fundraising practices of the Chamber of Commerce pose a “threat to our democracy,” the White House says—unless that money’s going toward Democrats.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Sunday that he’s not concerned about Democrats who are getting help from the Chamber, though President Obama has put the group in his campaign crosshairs and accused it of secretly influencing U.S. elections.
Gibbs edged off the administration’s offensive during an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Questioned on whether Democratic candidates like West Virginia Senate nominee Joe Manchin should “rebuff” the support they’re getting from the Chamber, Gibbs said he’s not concerned about them.
“Look, the Chamber has certainly a constitutionally protected right to air ads. Nobody is arguing that they can’t be involved in the election,” Gibbs said.
Manchin was endorsed by the Chamber back in September. The organization called him an “invaluable leader” committed to job creation and capable of tackling the country’s economic challenges. The Chamber also reportedly just bought up ads in support of several Blue Dog House Democrats.
Most of its favored candidates, though, are Republicans. And White House officials made clear Sunday that the administration and Democratic Party are still concerned about the Chamber’s meddling in those races, suggesting the group’s foreign donations could trickle into its campaign accounts—in violation of U.S. law.
“You’ve got a group that does take money from foreign countries, from companies in other countries. They are running $75 million worth of ads,” Gibbs said. “You and I don’t know exactly who is contributing to that, because there is a program that keeps all of their donors and involvement in these ads a complete secret. You’re not going to know today. You’re not going to know tomorrow. You’re not going to know after the elections.”
Gibbs claimed that “all the conservative groups,” including those co-founded by former Bush adviser Karl Rove, are spending a total of $399 million on the election and said “it does have the potential to derail our democracy.”
Obama threw down the gauntlet on the issue when he said at a rally this month that the Chamber was taking in “foreign money” while spending “huge sums” on the U.S. elections, a scenario he called a “threat to our democracy.”
That was followed by a Democratic National Committee ad saying “it appears” the Chamber and other groups are “taking secret foreign money to influence our elections.”
The charge was not taken lightly by Chamber officials and GOP strategists who challenged the administration to show evidence. After White House senior adviser David Axelrod suggested last week that it’s up to the Chamber to prove its innocence, Chamber officials took to the media to refute the charges and accuse the administration of fabricating an issue.
But Axelrod suggested again Sunday that the Chamber was not coming clean.
“They say, trust us, trust us … everything is cool. Everything is kosher. Don’t worry about it, but we’re not going to disclose,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “Let me tell you something—people don’t disclose, there’s a reason.”
The White House last week pledged to keep the donation concerns a key part of the president’s campaign message despite the backlash.
But Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, said Sunday that the president is “attempting to chill political speech.”
“He’s hoping that, by making this allegation of illegality, that people will stop contributing,” she said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “And I think that’s shameful and I think it’s wrong, and there’s no evidence that this has gone on.”
Note: These recent articles and/or blog posts relate to and/or support the above articles and/or blog posts-You Decide:
US Democrats Widen Assault on Anonymous Campaign Cash–Posted on NewsMax.com-On April 21, 2011:
Times: Dems ‘Unleash Paroxysm of Spending’ to Beat GOP–Posted on NewsMax.com-On October 29, 2010:
The Democrats’ Foreign Money: ‘The president has some nerve complaining about campaign funds from abroad.’–Posted on National Review-By DEROY MURDOCK-On October 28, 2010:
How Big Labor’s Forced Dues are Influencing the 2010 Election Cycle–Posted on Freedom@Work-By Will Collins-On October 27, 2010:
Some Democrats question strategy of going after Chamber donations–Posted on The Hill-By Sam Youngman and Michael O’Brien-On October 18, 2010:
Morning Bell: Big Government’s Government Union Firewall–Posted on The Heritage Foundation-On October 18, 2010:
Labor increases spending on ads in midterm campaign home stretch–Posted on The Hill-By Kevin Bogardus-On October 17, 2010:
Groups Push Legal Limits in Advertising–Posted on The New York Times-By MICHAEL LUO-On October 17, 2010:
Note: These articles and/or blog posts relate to and/or support my blog posts-You Decide:
Recipient of Foreign Donations Accuses Others of Taking Foreign Donations!
Treason in America: Move Over ‘Hanoi Jane’!
The Midterm Elections and the Communist Manifesto!
Positive Political Change In The Air For 2010!
Washington Times Calls for Obama’s Impeachment!
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