“For the first time in recent history, the lobbying, grassroots and advertising budget of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has surpassed the spending of the national committees of BOTH the Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee,” begins The Corporations Already Outspend The Parties, the Atlantic, 2/1/10. And, of course, that is before the decision in Citizens United.
The article goes on to note, “Republican lawyer Ben Ginsberg went so far as to say that the parties would be ‘threatened by extinction.’ And Ginsberg supports the CU decision!”
According to The Center for Responsive Politics, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its national subsidiaries spent $144.5 million in 2009, far more than the RNC and more than double the expenditures by the DNC. None of the contributions that made up this $144.5 million were subject to disclosure. ChambThe article discusses expenditures around defeating health care and expenditures of about $1 million each in Virginia and Massachusetts