Nov 18, 2009

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Drops $1.6 M in a Week

Politico is reporting that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent $1.6 million dollars last week running ads against members of Congress who voted for health care reform. Of the $24 million spent this year by foes of health care reform, the Chamber of Commerce accounts for about half of that.

To put this in perspective, the amount of money spent by this single organization is about the same as the amount spent by supporters of health care reform. That is all of organized labor put together, a huge coalition of grassroots organizations like Health Care for America Now, think tank brands like the Center for American Progress Action Fund, women's groups, civil rights groups, etc.

This single group--which is so out of touch with its members that those members are leaving in droves, doesn't believe in climate change and which the White House is ignoring to talk directly to the businesses who make up Chamber membership--that same group is footing the bill in the fight against meaningful reform.

Earlier this month the Chamber downplayed the risk of forcing people to work through their H1N1 infection, and last week an email came out about how they are paying out the nose for economists to put their names on bad research that hurts the push for real reform.

The Chamber is out of touch with their members, the workers who contribute to the success of American companies, the needs of small business, and the needs of the millions of people in this country who lack health coverage. Maybe instead of focusing its efforts on defeating health care reform and fighting climate change legislation, the Chamber should be asking what it can contribute to bringing us out of this recession. It's time for them to do some real organizational soul-searching.

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