Watchdog Group Calls on Criminal Investigation and IRS Audit of U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Over Allegations of Foreign Money Solicitations

Oct 06, 2010, 08:17 ET from

Hundreds Of Thousands Collected By Chamber To Influence Elections

WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --, a group of watchdog organizations dedicated to corporate accountability, today renewed its calls for a criminal investigation and complete audit of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in light of yesterday's stunning revelation that the Chamber has been actively soliciting money from foreign companies to influence American elections.  In a report released yesterday, the non partisan Center for American Progress Action Fund found that the Chamber has been blatantly violating campaign finance laws not only by accepting money from foreign companies but also soliciting that money and then using it to try to influence U.S. Elections.

For the past year, has been urging the FBI and Department of Justice to investigate various activities of the Chamber that violate federal law.  And with this new revelation, has joined these calls with a letter to the DOJ demanding an "immediate criminal investigation into the use by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce of contributions by foreign nationals to pay for advertising advocating the election or defeat of candidates for federal office."  MoveOn has set up a petition for citizens to sign supporting the investigation.

"The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has shown once again that it believes that it is above the law and not accountable to anyone," said StopTheChamber spokesperson Kevin Zeese. "Now it is soliciting money from foreign companies, many of which are tied to foreign governments, and using that foreign money to corruptly influence the United States electoral process. This is so blatantly illegal and offensive that the Department of Justice has got to step in and immediately shut down this criminal enterprise once and for all.  Our laws prohibit foreign money going into our elections because we do not want our elected officials being beholden to foreign companies. Clearly, the Chamber, which supports outsourcing American jobs to foreign countries, is so morally corrupt that it is now actively seeking foreign money to elect officials that will support such outsourcing.  But, this is illegal, and we call on the DOJ to use all available tools to it to stop the Chamber in its tracks."