Friday, March 19, 2010

U.S. Chamber of Commerce 2 Lobby Against Financial Reform

Here's what the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been up to in the past couple weeks:

Flying 250 CEOs to DC to lobby against workers' rights and the Employee Free Choice Act.1
Spending $7 million to defeat President Obama's healthcare reform bill – with plans to spend millions more.2
Preparing a $3 million ad blitz to lobby against financial reform – funded by, you guessed it: bailed out banks.3
But this is just a warm-up. According to The Washington Post, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is "gearing up to play a major role in this year's midterm elections on a scale to rival the nation's two main political parties," spending at least $50 million on races around the country.

To get an idea of just how bad this could get, you've got to read the whole article below.

Please forward the frightening and eye-opening article below to everyone you know who cares about democracy – and ask them to sign our "Not My Chamber" pledge at

Here at American Rights at Work, we've been working tirelessly to stop the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's anti-progress agenda. 24,436 people have already signed the Not My Chamber pledge and we need to make sure more people know about the U.S. Chamber's activities. Please forward the article below!


Manny, Liz, Elizabeth, Doug, and the American Rights at Work team


Forward this article and ask your friends to sign the "Not My Chamber" pledge:

U.S. Chamber of Commerce sets sights on Democrats ahead of midterm elections

By Dan Eggen
Washington Post
Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, already one of Washington's largest lobbying groups, is gearing up to play a major role in this year's midterm elections on a scale that rivals the nation's two main political parties.

Modeled in part on Barack Obama's 2008 campaign juggernaut, the group has built a grass-roots operation known as Friends of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It has a member list of 6 million names, aimed at lobbying on legislation and swaying voters to back preferred candidates, primarily Republicans, in battleground areas, officials said.

The group will target vulnerable Democrats in up to two dozen states with ads, get-out-the-vote operations and other grass-roots efforts. The chamber plans to spend at least $50 million on political races and related activities this year, a 40 percent increase from 2008.

The strategy follows the chamber's record lobbying effort at the end of 2009, when it spent nearly $800,000 a day rallying opposition to Democratic proposals in Congress. All told, the organization spent more money on lobbying and political activities last year than either the Democratic National Committee or the Republican National Committee, which serve as the main fundraising and grass-roots operations for the parties.


One early example of its influence came in January, when the chamber spent $1 million on ads to help Republican Scott Brown win a hotly contested special election for the U.S. Senate in Democratic-leaning Massachusetts. The group praised Brown as a candidate who "empowers business, not politicians" and hailed his Jan. 19 victory.

Brown was initially scheduled to be sworn in Feb. 11, but the group joined GOP leaders in pushing the date a week earlier. The change allowed Brown to take office just in time to cast a decisive vote against Craig Becker, a pro-union nominee to the National Labor Relations Board whom the chamber strongly opposed.

The group's heightened presence in the elections "is a real wake-up call for those of us on the other side," said Mike Gehrke, spokesman for Change to Win, a coalition of five major labor unions. "They're going to be bigger, they're going to be more aggressive and they're going to use tactics that progressives and Democrats have not seen a group like the chamber use before."


Many Democrats note that local Chamber affiliates often have disputes with the parent organization, and they point out that Apple, Nike and several major utilities have quit the group or its board over its position on climate legislation.

The chamber has accepted as much as $20 million from insurance companies for ads opposed to Obama's health-care reform proposals and is leading an effort to spend up to $10 million on opposition spots this month.

Note from American Rights at Work: To help fight back against the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and stand up for working people, take action at

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