Chamber Chief Pledges to Wage “Most Aggressive” Election Fight Ever

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In strident speech in Washington this morning, US Chamber of Commerce president Tom Donohue renewed his assault on the Obama agenda and pledged to fight the President’s allies in the 2010 elections. The Chamber will wage “the largest, most aggressive” campaign in it’s 100-year history, he said, to “highlight lawmakers and candidates who support a pro-jobs agenda, and hold accountable those who don’t.”

Lashing out out at Democrats’ leading initiatives, Donohue called health care legislation pending in Congress “a prescription for fiscal insolvency and eventual government takeover of American health care.” And he said the Waxman-Markey climate bill “would tie economic activity in knots and eliminate jobs from one end of the country to another.”

As I reported in Mother Jones‘ January/February issue, the Chamber of Commerce’s image as the voice of  American businesss is increasingly at odds with it’s right-wing political agenda and undemocratic leadership structure. Greenwire recently reported that a third of the Chamber’s massive budget–it spends upwards of $300,000 per day on lobbying–comes from a mere 19 supporters (it has long refused to name its backers or members).  “People have criticized us for helping industries or individual companies,” Donohue told the Wall Street Journal last year. “What the hell do you think we do? That’s our business!”

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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