A coalition of more than 100 liberal activist groups has posted a $200,000 bounty for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Tom Donohue, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce.
“[Under] the leadership of Tom Donohue, [the chamber] has gone from a well respected trade organization to an extremist political organization dedicated to corrupting American democracy by elevating the profits of big corporations over the well being of the citizens they serve,” declared a Velvet Revolution press release. “The most recent example of this corrupt behavior is the Chamber’s announcement that it is spending more than $100 million to defeat initiatives to protect the environment and provide affordable health care to everyone.”
Responding to the charges, a chamber spokesperson suggested to Fox News that it is Velvet Revolution that deserves to be investigated.
“The media should be following the money trail behind this scurrilous group instead of giving credence to its outrageous tactics,” Eric Wohlschlegel said, according to Fox. He added that the chamber is weighing its “legal options.”
Velvet Revolution, on the other hand, claims the group has “committing fraud” and “violating campaign finance laws” though the use of astroturfing and anonymous dollars to attack politicians who do not follow the chamber’s agenda.
In a letter [PDF link] to Attorney General Eric Holder, attorney Kevin Zeese references tax records examined by Public Citizen that allegedly show the chamber spent millions to influence races for state supreme courts and attorneys general. Public Citizen asked the Internal Revenue Service in 2006 to investigate whether the chamber uses a group called the Institute for Legal Reform to dodge taxes and divert money into electioneering.
“The Chamber is playing an elaborate shell game to conceal its gambit to stack the courts with hand-picked pro-corporate judges,” said Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook in a media advisory. “The IRS should promptly investigate its dubious tax reports and address any abuses that it finds.”
In addition to their bounty on the chamber’s CEO, Velvet Revolution is encouraging its supporters to send letters to Congress calling for an investigation.
Photo sample credit: LIFE.