Monday, October 26, 2009

Chamber Says White House Criticism Backfiring

Uh uh. Apple left the Chamber. That says a lot. Companies are leaving the chamber because the chamber is lobbying against energy legislation.
The chamber is sort of like Dick Cheney when it comes to ancient, outdated thinking. Chambers are outdated. But like Fox, which says its viewership is up due to White House criticism, the chamber says its fundraising is up.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue says a campaign by the White House and its allies to undermine his $200-million-a-year association has largely failed — and actually has helped raise even more money for its pro-business efforts.

In a 75-minute interview with POLITICO, Donohue dismissed recent defections by Apple and at least four other companies, which quit over the Chamber’s opposition to Democratic climate change legislation — as essentially meaningless. “Members come and go all the damn time,” he said.

That’s true. But rarely — if ever — have companies jumped ship in such a public way.
Donohue insists the association will exceed its fundraising for last year by more than $10 million. And the timing of the White House attack could further pad the Chamber’s war chest.

Here’s why: The Chamber recently launched a campaign to raise $100 million for its Campaign for Free Enterprise. And a chief reason was to hit up rich individuals who are concerned about the direction Obama and the Democratic Congress are taking the economy and markets.

Many of these are new donors, the super-rich, who will fund ads and advocacy that largely help Republicans. And this will allow the Chamber to potentially raise even more money, an obsession of Donohue’s that rubs some the wrong way but keeps him atop the association at the age of 72.
Read more at Politico

Read interview excerpts with Donohue here.