Last week, ThinkProgress made news (and tempers flare) when it reported that the US Chamber of Commerce is actively seeking foreign investment in a general account that it also uses to fund partisan political attack ads. Some Democratic lawmakers and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) have called for a federal investigation into the alleged use of foreign money to conduct electioneering in the United States, which, if true, is illegal. The allegations prompted Vice President Joe Biden to say, “I challenge the Chamber of Commerce to tell us how much of the money they’re investing from foreign sources.” To that the chamber replied, “Zero. Not a single cent.” The chamber has denied it spends any of its foreign investments on elections, but many believe it’s difficult to trace and could be a convoluted mess to sort out. The chamber plans to spend $75 million on the midterm election (double what they spent last year). Should the chamber be required to turn over its books and keep money in separate accounts, or is this a case of over blown political hysteria?
Michael Crowley, senior correspondent, TIME Magazine
Faz Shakir, editor and chief of Think Progress.org
Allison Hayward, VP of Policy, Center for Competitive Politics
Jonathan Collegio, communications director, American Crossroads