Open Government

A BAGFUL OF CASH: How the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Orchestrated a Corporate Takeover of Government

July 16, 2013
Carl Gibson
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The US Chamber of Commerce-- a 101 year-old organization formed as corporations’ first union—is the chief agent behind Congress’ kowtowing to corporate interests, the Supreme Court’s favorability to corporations in its rulings, and presidents of both parties’ insistence on accommodating the wishes of multinational corporations at the expense of working-class people all over the world. This report outlines how the Chamber first formed, their blueprint for ultimate success as revealed in the confidential Powell Memo, how that blueprint has been realized in the 40 years since its writing, and the devastating effects of that agenda on small business.

Document: 

NYTIMES: Current Supreme Court Most Corporate-Friendly Since World War II

May 7, 2013
Adam Liptak
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NOT long after 10 a.m. on March 27, a restless audience waited for the Supreme Court to hear arguments in the second of two historic cases involving same-sex marriage. First, however, Justice Antonin Scalia attended to another matter.

MSNBC: How the Chamber of Commerce conquered the Supreme Court

May 6, 2013
Zachary Roth
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In 1971, Lewis Powell, a well-connected corporate lawyer, wrote a confidential memo to an official at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “The American economic system is under broad attack,” Powell warned, by everyone from “New Leftists and other revolutionaries” to academics, the media, and politicians. It was time for the right, and the Chamber itself, to fight back. And among the tactics the Chamber should employ, Powell wrote, was an aggressive push to shift the federal courts in a pro-business direction.

USCHAMBER.COM: Chamber Applauds SCOTUS Ruling Limiting Class-Action Lawsuits

March 19, 2013
US Chamber of Commerce PR
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**This is a press release from the US Chamber's website, commending the SCOTUS for pushing class-action lawsuit plaintiffs out of state courts and forcing them into corporate-friendly federal courts. The SCOTUS has ruled 100% in the US Chamber's favor since the start of Obama's presidency.

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PUBLIC CITIZEN: US Chamber Accused of Failing to Report Millions in Campaign Spending

March 18, 2013
Angela Bradbery, Barbara Holzer, Rachel Lewis, Jake Parent
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its affiliated Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) failed to report millions in taxable spending from 2000 to 2004 intended to influence state-level attorney general and supreme court races and federal races around the country, according to a Public Citizen complaint filed today with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Public Citizen also asked the IRS to investigate whether the U.S. Chamber and ILR, which are two separate legal entities, combined funds in a shared bank account to hide accurate reporting of investment or interest income for tax avoidance.

FOLEY HOAG LLP: U.S. Chamber Sues SEC Over Payment Disclosure Rule to Foreign Governments

March 15, 2013
Paul Bork, Dean Hanley, Brandon White, Matthew Baltay
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(Originally published on October 18, 2012)

On October 10, 2012, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and three industry groups filed suit against the Securities and Exchange Commission in federal court in Washington, D.C., seeking to overturn the recently-promulgated SEC rule implementing the Dodd-Frank Act provision requiring disclosure of payments to foreign governments relating to oil, gas and mining projects.

OPENSECRETS: US Chamber ranks #1 in lobbyist spending, #8 in electoral spending

March 5, 2013
opensecrets.org

CONTRIBUTIONS

$3,167,924
ranks 86 of 20,968

LOBBYING

$136,300,000 (2012)
$66,370,000 (2011)
ranks 1 of 4,352 in 2012

OUTSIDE SPENDING

THINKPROGRESS: US Chamber Coordinated With Military Contractors to Hack, Spy On Critics

March 5, 2013
Lee Fang

(originally posted on April 11, 2011)

 

In February, ThinkProgress broke a story revealing that attorneys for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had communicated with a set of military contractors — HBGary Federal, Palantir, and Berico Technologies — to develop tactics for sabotaging and spying on the Chamber’s progressive critics. The Chamber attorneys and the security firms discussed targeting ChamberWatch, the SEIU, MoveOn, ThinkProgress, and other groups. The proposals details efforts to steal private

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