Fed up with unsubstantiated accusations claiming the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is funneling foreign money into political campaigns, Glenn Beck is encouraging his listeners to shower the Chamber with "record-breaking" support. By mid-morning he had achieved his goal.
"I would like to have this [be] the largest day of fundraising for the Chamber of Commerce ever," Beck said. While calling for action on air Thursday morning, Beck walked his readers through the donation process and pledged a $10,000 gift to the organization:
"Let's break all records. Let's show these people that we actually believe in something different than what Barack Obama and Joe Biden are saying," Beck said, after explaining that the Chamber is "fighting" for small businesses and being demonized by the administration.
"They are us," he said of the Chamber. "Put your money where you mouth is."
Beck put a link up on his website where listeners can donate directly to the Chamber. That link can be seen here.*
According to Executive Vice President of the Chamber Bruce Josten, Beck achieved his goal. Within an hour Beck and his listeners had broken the single-day donation record:
The Chamber responded to the accusations on its website. "This allegation is ... false and baseless, not to mention tiresome and desperate," said one of the organization's blog posts.
The post went on to explain:
The U.S. Chamber hosts several business councils, whose purpose is to promote bilateral trade and investment between the two countries. They are run as independent organizations and most members of business councils are not also members of the U.S. Chamber.
For those business councils affiliated with us, their monies are considered "restricted funds" and are held for use by those business councils. These councils have been around for decades. They have never engaged in political activity--and they never will.
Recently, Vice President Joe Biden challenged the Chamber to provide the public with a figure explaining how much foreign money it receives and donates to political causes. In another blog post, the Chamber gave an answer: "Zero. As in, 'Not a single cent.'"
(Editor's note: this is a breaking story. Updates may be added throughout the day.)
*Due to overwhelming response, the Chamber requested the donation links be updated to allow listeners to contribute using the following link: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Nation. The links in the story reflect the update.