Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The "Third" Party: The US Chamber of Commerce?

Via OpenSecrets:
With the campaign finance world still trying to sort out the aftermath of Citizens United v. FEC, Marc Ambinder over at The Atlantic makes an interesting observation about the potential for corporate spending to surpass that of political parties. Using Center for Responsive Politics data, he points out that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent more on lobbying and grassroots efforts in 2009 -- a record $144.5 million -- than the amount of money spent by the Democratic National Committee or the Republican National Committee. The Chamber's expenditures are almost as much as the DNC and RNC combined. Their spending in 2009 is roughly in the neighborhood of what the congressional and senatorial campaign committees spent during the 2008 election cycle. Even more shocking: the Chamber spent over half of last year's $144.5 million in the last three months of the year -- spending about $79.2 million in the fourth quarter, according to CRP analysis. This push in spending coincided with high-profile legislative battles over health care, climate change and financial regulatory reform, which the Chamber opposes. Many expect associations like the Chamber to increase their expenditures on campaign activities and advertising post-Citizens United.

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