moneyThe U.S. Chamber of Commerce won't bow to Democrats' requests to reveal donors behind its $75 million midterm-election push. But based on information gleaned from corporate filings and "obscure places," the New York Times offers what it calls a "glimpse" into the money that funds some of the chamber's enormous lobbying and political advocacy efforts.
While the chamber has billed its membership as a mix of major corporations and tens of thousands of small businesses around the country, the Times finds nearly half of the $140 million the group has raised in 2008 came from just 45 companies. That includes one still-unknown entity that contributed $15 million, according to the chamber's tax returns, and 21 unidentified companies that contributed $1 million apiece.
Among the donors the Times could identify: Dow Chemical, which contributed $1.7 million to the chamber, and Prudential Financial, which kicked in $2 million in 2009 to support the chamber's lobbying efforts against Wall Street reform. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs, Chevron Texaco and the insurance giant Aegon collectively contributed $8 million to a chamber-related foundation that has been critical of financial regulation. More recently, News Corp., parent company of Fox News, contributed $1 million to the chamber's efforts.Read More »from Corporate donors fund chamber’s 2010 political push