February 16, 2012

Pro-Bank Bailout Lobby Group Airs Ad Thanking Congressman Fred Upton

Turn on the television in southwest Michigan this week, and you might see an ad from the Michigan Chamber of Commerce praising Congressman Fred Upton (R), who now locked in a contentious primary election with former State Representative Jack Hoogendyk (R). The narrator thanks Upton for “creating jobs” with lower taxes and less regulations. View it below:

Though the ad is branded with as coming from the “Michigan Chamber of Commerce,” in reality it is part of a national $10 million ad blitz coordinated by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the sprawling big business lobbying group that counts AIG, Prudential Financial, and other large Wall Street interests as major donors.

Why is the U.S. Chamber hiding behind the brand of the Michigan Chamber?

Unlike state and local Chambers of Commerce, the national affiliate is a lobbying force that works to channel taxpayer money to big corporations, regardless of the impact on jobs, the deficit, or small business.

The U.S. Chamber Chamber lobbied for the financial loopholes that led to the financial and current housing crisis, and played a key role in pressuring lawmakers to vote for the bank bailouts in the fall of 2008. Worse, the U.S. Chamber successfully lobbied to kill a bill to curb TARP bailout recipients from receiving lavish bonuses after the crash. In other words, the Chamber used money from bailed out firms to lobby Congress so Wall Street executives could reward themselves with even more taxpayer cash.

And they are thanking Upton, a lawmaker who voted for the bailouts and pushed for countless pro-corporate U.S. Chamber policies, for his loyal support.