Whose foreign money, Mr. President?

October 19, 2010

Last week, the President called out the US Chamber of Commerce for allegedly using foreign donations to buy add time for Republican candidates and to attack anti-business Democrats. At the time, I noted with contempt our Head of State’s blatant hypocrisy.

Writing at the Washington Post, Marc Thiessen points out, rather than opening a line of attack against the Republicans, the President may instead have open a political Pandora’s Box, full of woe for him and his allies:

The U.S. Chamber says it receives about $100,000 from its affiliates abroad (out of an operating budget of about $200 million), none of it used for political campaigns. Compare that to one of the largest labor unions in America, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which is spending lavishly to elect Democrats. The SEIU claims 100,000 members in Canada. According to SEIU’s 2008 constitution, dues include $7.65 per month per member that must be sent to the SEIU International in the United States. This means that the SEIU takes in nearly $9.2 million per year from foreign nationals — almost 100 times the amount the Chamber receives from its affiliates abroad.

Is any foreign money being used to fund the SEIU’s anti-Republican campaign efforts? According to the Wall Street Journal, “The Service Employees International Union, one of the nation’s fastest-growing labor unions, acknowledges that it can’t be certain that foreign nationals haven’t contributed to its $44 million political budget to support pro-labor Democrats.” The SEIU is not the only union that takes in money from foreign members. According to the Canadian Department of Human Resources and Skills Development, the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers has 280,000 Canadian members; the United Food and Commercial Workers has more than 245,000; the Teamsters has more than 108,000; the Laborers’ International Union of North America has more than 68,000; and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has more than 57,000. How much do these foreign union members send to the United States? If the constitutions of their unions are anything like SEIU’s, it could be tens of millions of dollars. Is any of that money being used to help elect Democrats this November?

Read the rest for an… “interesting” discussion of how a good deal of the SEIU’s political funds may also come from illegal aliens.

Democrats have been screaming for an investigation of the Chamber of Commerce and its dirty, dirty FOREIGN!!* money (for which they have absolutely no evidence), so I bet they’ll be happy as can be when the House Republicans** next year initiate investigations into the sources of their union allies’ cash.

And SEIU and the others will be wishing the President had kept his big mouth shut.

*Amusing, isn’t it? The enlightened party playing the Xenophobia Card.

**I suppose there’s a miniscule chance of the Democrats retaining the House, but, honestly, betting on boxcars at the craps table would be a safer bet.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Barack Obama: so hypocritical, it’s almost grotesque

October 10, 2010

Recently, President Obama joined in a campaign by the Democrats and other left-wingers  to vilify the US Chamber of Commerce by accusing it of using foreign money to fund its political operations:

Referring to a study by the liberal group ThinkProgress that – correctly – notes that the US Chamber of Commerce has some funding sources abroad, including foreign corporations and American Chambers of Commerce around the world (or “AmChams”), the President said, “just this week, we learned that one of the largest groups paying for these ads regularly takes in money from foreign corporations.”

The president then took this step, saying, “groups that receive foreign money are spending huge sums to influence American elections, and they won’t tell you where the money for their ads come from.”

Chamber officials say that money coming from foreign donors cannot be used for political activity under the 1907 Tillman Act, and that the charge is false.

Forget whether the charge is correct or not. Ignore the fact that this is a desperate, xenophobic smear job by a party facing a massacre at the polls.

It’s the hypocrisy that’s jaw-dropping, given that Obama’s own presidential campaign winked at foreign money. Michael Barone explains:

Glenn Reynolds nails this one: the Obama Democrats’ campaign riff against foreign donations to Democrats is bogus—and according to the New York Times, no less. This looks like a matter of projection, since it’s well documented that the 2008 Obama campaign did not put in place address verification software that would have routinely prevented most foreign donations. In effect they were encouraging donations by foreign nationals. Here’s the Washington Post on this back in October 2008: Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is allowing donors to use largely untraceable prepaid credit cards that could potentially be used to evade limits on how much an individual is legally allowed to give or to mask a contributor’s identity, campaign officials confirmed. Faced with a huge influx of donations over the Internet, the campaign has also chosen not to use basic security measures to prevent potentially illegal or anonymous contributions from flowing into its accounts, aides acknowledged.”

Go read the rest of the article and follow the other links back to reports from 2008 on the Obama campaign and odd donations. Here’s another. Obama and the Democrats engaged in rampant cheating regarding foreign donations, and now they have the gall to falsely accuse the Chamber of Commerce of doing what they themselves did?

Just another day of Life Under Alinsky Rules:

“Pick a target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it”

And, we should add, “Lie about it and hope the rubes fall for it.”

RELATED: Of course, in 2008 the Obama campaign was just following the precedent established by Clinton and Gore.

UPDATE: And here’s the cherry on top: The President’s chief political adviser, David Axelrod, says he doesn’t have to produce proof – it’s up to the Chamber of Commerce to prove their innocence. Wow. Just shameless.

UPDATE II, 10/11/10: Ed Morrissey calls Obama’s baseless accusations “McCarthyism” and a form of tyranny. He’s right.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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