The Supreme Court 's recent decision in the Citizens United (CU) case -- which allows corporations to spend freely to influence elections -- is already having an effect. Donations are surging into the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as corporations start outspending political parties on lobbying and advertising. In 2009, the Chamber raked in $144.5 million, compared to the RNC's $71.6 million and the DNC's $97.9 million, and for the first time, the lobbying and grassroots advertising budgets of the Chamber have exceeded those of the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). In 2009, the Chamber financed a number of ad campaigns that largely worked. It scared the Senate away from considering cap-and-trade legislation and, with financial help from insurance companies, ran cutting ads opposing health care reform that arguably helped undermine support for that bill. Now it is spending in key states and districts to defeat financial reform legislation. The Chamber, a powerful advocate for big business, is organized as a 501-c-6, and does not have to disclose its donors. Benjamin Ginsburg, a Republican campaign finance lawyer and partner in the Patton Boggs law firm who supports the CU decision, went so far as to say that he believes the political parties are "threatened by extinction."
- About Us
- Press Room