Given many Americans’ disappointment with big businesses such as Wall Street banks and oil companies, a watchdog group has called on Congress to stop meeting with all lobbyists employed by the United States Chamber of Commerce.
According to StopTheChamber.com, an organization dedicated to corporate accountability, these lobbyists are trying to influence both legislation and congressional elections.
It cited the chamber’s statement issued last month in which the latter strongly opposes the recently introduced DISCLOSE Act because the act would restrict the ability of corporations to secretly fund election ads.
Spokesman and attorney for StopTheChamber.com, Kevin Zeese, said that the chamber plans to spend at least $50 million to help elect candidates in November who support business interests.
"This constitutes a gross abuse of our democratic system, and we have called for a wide ranging criminal investigation into the chamber’s money laundering activities to expose the extent of its secret funding and determine whether its payouts constitute bribery," he added.
A recent CBS News report cited lobbying records as showing that in the two years leading up to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, British Petroleum hired 12 lobbying firms and paid them $32 million to press its agenda in Congress, at the White House and at some 14 Federal agencies.