Dark Money...

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent the White House an "open letter" laying out a proposed roadmap to economic recovery, coinciding with the organization's "Jobs Summit" underway in Washington. The Chamber plans to spend more than $50 million electing Republicans to Congress in 2010 and here are the highlights of their recovery plan. Cut taxes on the wealthy and business, cut or reduce social security, privatize roads, drill offshore, and log national forests. Although the Chamber loves to point out that more than 96 percent of its member companies are small businesses with fewer than 100 employees, in 2008 about a third of its total revenues came from just 19 companies, according to a Washington Monthly profile of its CEO Thomas Donahue. As journalist Michael Winship notes, "approximately 8 out of every 10 dollars the Chamber gives in political donations go to GOP candidates," and one of the main jobs the Chamber plays is to destroy legislation big business doesn't like without those companies having their fingerprints all over the hit job. As Chamber CEO Donahue told Washington Monthly, "I gie them all the deniability they need." Now that the Supreme Court has ruled in its Citizens United case that the Chamber is a human with full Constitutional rights including the free speech right to both influence laws and even lie in political advertising, they are quickly becoming the biggest of the big players on Capitol Hill, eclipsing even the "dark money" fund that Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie are putting together for the similar purpose of destroying Democratic politicians with carpet-bombing TV advertising campaigns.

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