White House Clarifies Obama Attacks on Chamber of Commerce as Source Foreign Campaign Funds

Posted on October 11, 2010

Here’s the received word on the true nature of the attacks by the President on the Chamber of Commerce and Republican campaigns who use Chamber  monies:

“The president was not suggesting any illegality,” Bob Bauer, the White House counsel, said. Instead, he said Mr. Obama’s reference to the chamber was meant to draw attention to the inadequacies of campaign disclosure laws in allowing groups to spend large amounts of money on politics without disclosing their donors.

White House officials called on the chamber to go beyond current disclosure laws and establish that no foreign money has been used in its political campaigns. “They can put this to rest,” said Joshua Earnest, a White House spokesman. “They have the keys to the file cabinet.”  [CNN]

It is just too easy to go to more direct funding by international corporate entities such as BP, Smith-Kline and others to the Obama campaign in 2008. [

As for the Chamber, it has responded:

Chamber officials say that money coming from foreign donors cannot be used for political activity under the 1907 Tillman Act, and that the charge is false.

Tita Freeman, vice president of communications at the Chamber, said “this coordinated effort is a desperate attempt to silence those who support free enterprise and a diversion from their lack of progress on job creation.”

The Chamber is planning on spending more than $75 million to help Republican candidates they perceives as business friendly. [ABCNews]

After stirring up all of this tempest,

White House officials acknowledged Friday that they had no specific evidence to indicate that the chamber had used money from foreign entities to finance political attack ads. [ABCNews]

It’s time to bring this matter to a close and get on with the pressing issues of this campaign season.  And there is also the fact that some big oil companies are going out of their way to document just  how much money their workers donated and to which candidate. [ABCNews]

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