The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a shadowy trade association that has had its hand in almost every bad thing that’s happened in Washington for decades — from the financial deregulation that led to the Great Recession to Congress’s failure to address climate change. Now the Chamber wants to buy the November election on behalf of anonymous corporate donors, and if it succeeds there will be disastrous consequences for our economy, environment, and the power ordinary citizens have over our lives.

It’s time to tell the corporations that feed our families and connect us to our friends that if they want our business, they need to keep their hands off our democracy.

Tell Google, Pepsi, Microsoft, IBM, and other corporations: Quit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

With plans to spend up to $100 million dollars influencing this election, the U.S. Chamber is one of the greatest threats to democracy in America. And since Citizens United opened the floodgates for corporate spending on elections, we can expect even worse in the future unless we work to shut it down now.

The good news is we have power over this situation. The Chamber’s corporate backers don’t want their brands associated with buying elections, cutting taxes for the rich, violating workers’ rights and destroying the environment. SumOfUs.org members have already taken on some of the world’s largest corporations; together we dealt major blows to two of America’s most powerful right wing “think tanks,” ALEC and the Heartland Institute — and we’re ready to do it again.

The U.S. Chamber’s destructive and short-sighted policies have already begun to alienate relatively responsible companies. Three years ago, Apple quit over the Chamber’s die-hard opposition to any climate legislation and Nike quit the executive committee. After the Chamber took a stand against internet freedom and backed SOPA and PIPA, Yahoo quit, and Google let it be known that it was considering leaving as well.

So put Google, Pepsi, Microsoft, IBM, and other corporations on notice: tell them to save their reputations and get out of the Chamber.

 

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Citation for the Chamber President Tom Donohue quote above:

“In other words, a large part of what the Chamber sells is political cover. For multibillion-dollar insurers, drug makers, and medical device manufacturers who are too smart and image conscious to make public attacks of their own, the Chamber of Commerce is a friend who will do the dirty work. “I want to give them all the deniability they need,” says Donohue.”

Show him the money, Washington Monthly, July/August 2010