Thursday, September 16, 2004

The U. S. Chamber of Commerce Hit List

Recently, it's come to light that the U. S. Chamber of Commerce secretly spent $1.5 million on attack ads against Deborah Senn, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Attorney General of Washington, shortly before the primary election. Apparently, as Insurance Commissioner, Senn was too aggressive in defending the rights of consumers.

The U. S. Chamber of Commerce would prefer a more "sensitive" defense of the rights of consumers.

Pacific Views notes that this is merely one front in a larger war on consumers. A few battles are known, such as those launched against John Edwards (through the November Fund) and Tom Daschle, but many, like the one against Senn, go unnoticed. Through their Institute for Legal Reform, the U. S. Chamber of Commerce has targeted 25 Supreme Court and attorney general races this year.

Question is, how many other good candidates are under attack by the U. S. Chamber of Commerce? Who else is on their hit list? What do they expect from their favored candidates? How "sensitive" a defense of consumer rights do they expect?

I don't have the answers to these questions. But the Institute for Legal Reform does:

U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform
1615 H Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20062-2000
Phone: 202-463-5724
Fax: 202-463-5302
E-Mail: ILR@uschamber.com

I suggest calling, faxing, and emailing the following:

Dear Sir:
I recently learned of your efforts to educate Washington voters on the candidates for Attorney General, and of your efforts to similarly educate voters on candidates in other Supreme Court and attorney general races.
I am writing to ask for a list of those 25 other races, the amount you plan to spend on each, and what education you plan to provide to the voters in these contests.
Sincerely,
[Name]

If they are not forthcoming, persist; email again, often, until they do. If they are still not forthcoming, I suggest contacting the Chamber of Commerce, one of their Regional Offices, or one of their local affiliates.

They've defended there actions against Senn as "free speech." I'm sure they won't mind the rest of us execising ours against them.