Chamber Pot

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The New York Times provides some new details into the sources of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s money:

These records show that while the chamber boasts of representing more than three million businesses, and having approximately 300,000 members, nearly half of its $149 million in contributions in 2008 came from just 45 donors. Many of those large donations coincided with lobbying or political campaigns that potentially affected the donors.

Dow Chemical, for example, sent its $1.7 million to the chamber in the past year to cover not only its annual membership dues, but also to support lobbying and legal campaigns. Those included one against legislation requiring stronger measures to protect chemical plants from attack.

That’s hardly shocking–the Chamber makes little secret of its role as a lobbying vehicle for its donors. And by my read the story doesn’t tell us anything about who, exactly, is funding the Chamber’s $75 million midterm election advertising campaign. Although it is pretty clear that it’s not driven overwhelmingly by mom-and-pop Main Street businesses.