David Alexrod: Chamber Of Commerce Guilty Until Proven Innocent
James Joyner has already covered the Obama Administration’s bizarre attacks on the Chamber of Commerce, but there was one part of the story that really stood out to me, and it occurred yesterday when one of the President’s Senior Advisers appeared on Face The Nation:
A weekend report by the New York Times undercut the White House’s recent attacks on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
, which charged the chamber with influencing American elections with gobs of foreign money. “There is little evidence that what the chamber does in collecting overseas dues is improper or even unusual, according to both liberal and conservative election-law lawyers,” the Times reported.
By Sunday, the president was backing off the charge, and David Axelrod was asked about it by a skeptical Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation.”
“They do spend heavily on politics,” Schieffer said of the chamber. “But this part about foreign money. That appears to be peanuts, Mr. Axelrod. I mean, do you have any evidence that it’s anything other than peanuts?”
Axelrod was defiant, suggesting the chamber is lying and the New York Times report was inaccurate.
“Well, do you have any evidence that it’s not, Bob? The fact is that the chamber has asserted that, but they won’t release any information about where their campaign money is coming from, and that’s the core of the problem, here,” Axelrod said.
Here’s the full video:
So here you have a Senior White House official saying that the Chamber of Commerce has the burden of proving that it hasn’t committed a crime — and, yes, using foreign money to influence an election is a crime. Quite honestly, it’s outrageous, it’s arrogant, and it’s yet another example of how the “hope” and “change” of 2008 was pretty much just window dressing.