Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

No Foreign Money in US politics! Not proven!

6 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Ukraine

SPIN METER: Foreign money in politics? Not proven


By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press Writer Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press Writer – 28 mins ago

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration and its allies are going all out against the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and GOP-leaning groups, accusing them of using foreign money to help finance political ads. Trouble is, they're providing no evidence.

The mere idea, lack of proof aside, is part of a Democratic message that tries to tie Republicans to foreign interests and to jobs shifted overseas. On Monday, the liberal group MoveOn.org began airing an ad in Illinois against Senate candidate Mark Kirk using his support from the chamber to link him to foreign corporations that, in the ad's words, "threaten American jobs."

And in Pennsylvania, Vice President Joe Biden kept up the attack on the chamber and other groups that are spending millions of dollars in political ads against Democrats without having to reveal their contributors.

"I challenge the Chamber of Commerce to tell us how much of the money they're investing is from foreign sources," Biden said during a fundraiser for Democratic Rep. Chris Carney in Scranton. "I challenge them, if I'm wrong I will stand corrected. But show me, show me."

Republicans suggest it's more about digging up votes than digging up answers, a sign of desperation by Democrats worried that they're about to lose control of the House.

"We are seeing an attempt to demonize specific groups and distract Americans from a failed economic agenda," Bruce Josten, the chamber's top lobbyist, said after Biden's remarks. "With three weeks until Election Day, it's time to return to the discussion that Americans care most about: job creation."

Using foreign money to pay for political activity is illegal, and the Chamber of Commerce says the minimal amount of money it receives from overseas is carefully segregated from political spending. The chamber says its 115 foreign business councils, known as "AmChams," pay a total of about $100,000.

"There is no evidence at all that the chamber has done anything illegally," said Richard L. Hasen, an expert on election law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. But he also noted that the potential for impropriety exists with any organization that accepts funds that would be illegal if spent on politics.

To be sure, money that is segregated for other purposes can free legal funds for political uses.

But the chamber is hardly alone. A number of labor unions and advocacy groups that participate in politics have foreign affiliates and overseas donors. By law, these groups must make sure no foreign funds are used to advocate for or against political candidates. What's more, foreign companies with United States divisions can create political action committees that accept donations from their U.S. employees.

Those foreign-connected PACs have contributed more than $12 million to political candidates this election cycle, with more than half going to Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks political money. PACs must itemize and identify the source of all contributions more than $200.

Nonprofit tax exempt groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are not required to reveal their contributors. Neither are outside groups such as Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, an organization created this year with the help of Republican strategist Karl Rove that has also become a target of Democrats for its extensive spending in Senate campaigns.

The lack of disclosure makes it easier to mount an attack that suggests either illegality or outsize influence by corporations and millionaires.

"The problem is not that the allegation is not a big deal," said Hasen, of Loyola Law School. "The problem is that the allegation is not backed by any facts."

James Bopp, an election lawyer who has argued for fewer restrictions in campaign finance laws, said the administration's attacks show "the irony of a president who promised to bring us to higher standard who now has gone to the lowest possible standard."

Hasen proposes that to ensure that organizations involved in politics do not misuse money, the government could undertake random audits that would serve as a deterrent for improper activity. Hasen says such audits would not be made public unless they discovered evidence of illegal activity.

Bopp argues that even the threat of audits for political activity would chill free speech.

The merits of the Democrats case aside, the claims of foreign influence are part of a broader message that attempts to answer Republican attacks that Democrats are not doing enough to fix the economy and improve employment.

"What you have is an effort to buy a Congress that will serve an agenda of big Wall Street banks, the big insurance companies and other special interests that benefit from the offshoring of American jobs," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the head of the Democratic congressional Campaign committee.

It's unclear whether the tactic will work, and it threatens to place moderate Democrats who have business support in an awkward spot.

At the same time, issues of campaign finance seldom rise to the top of voter interests. And connecting candidates to the chamber and then to the outsourcing of jobs can be a complex message to deliver in 30 seconds. One academic compared it to intricate algebraic number theory.

"It's like trying to explain Fermat's Last Theorem," Rutgers political scientist Ross Baker said. "I don't think people are engaged by it."


Associated Press Writer Julie Hirschfeld Davis contributed to this article.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada

Moved from Off Topic to Politics and Religion as this is a political post. Topic Title also edited to remove slur

“...Isn't it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive--it's such an interesting world. It wouldn't be half so interesting if we knew all about everything, would it? There'd be no scope for imagination then, would there?”

. Lucy Maude Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables


Another Member of the VJ Fluffy Kitty Posse!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Brazil

moveon.org = acorn.online

* ~ * Charles * ~ *

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Obama will lie about anything.

"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies."

Senator Barack Obama
Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt
March 16, 2006


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
- Back to Top -

Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
  • Create New...