Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chamber of Commerce Funneling Contributions of Foreign Corporations to Defeat Democrats

I noted recently that there's considerable cross-over between the Knights of Columbus, an organization helping to fund the political right's battle against gay human beings and their rights in the U.S., and the Chamber of Commerce, which in recent years, has become virtually an arm of the Republican party as it lobbies relentlessly against Democratic officials and the policies they promote.  On one Catholic blog at which I frequently interact, one of the most frequent commentators is someone who is both an active member of the Knights of Columbus and the president of his community's Chamber of Commerce.

And not surprisingly, though he claims to have Catholic "love" for those who are gay (well, he prefers to call us homosexuals), he stoutly defends the choice of the Minnesota Catholic bishops to send a video to every Catholic household in the state before the fall elections, a project in which the Knights of Columbus have been their legs.  The Knights produced the video and are helping to distribute it.

Astonishingly, this Knight-cum-Chamber member is now seeking to argue that there is no intent to harm the "homosexual" community in the bishops' choice to send out their anti-gay marriage video.  Harm is evidently to be defined according to the intent of the person throwing a rock, who blinds someone else with that rock.

If he didn't intend to harm another person with his rock, no matter how thoughtlessly he lobbed it, then there's no reason to talk about harm.  Or to listen to the perspective of the person who just lost an eye.

I bring all of this up right now because I continue to wonder about that anonymous donor or donors who has funded the politically motivated anti-gay marriage video distributed by the Minnesota Catholic bishops and the Knights of Columbus.  And that question grows more acute for me today, as I read Lee Fang's report at Think Progress that the Chamber of Commerce is now soliciting anti-Democratic funds overseas, and is funneling foreign corporate donations into the American political process.

Is funneling anti-Democratic corporate donations into the American political process as a 501(c)6 organization that does not have to disclose the identity of its donors.  Even as it functions as a virtual arm of the Republican party, sometimes taking taxpayer money (it does so in my community) to pursue its overtly political goals.

This parallels what the Catholic bishops are doing in Minnesota right now, as they permit an unnamed donor or donors to use them as political tools in their state.  It's rotten, corrupt behavior, and it is rapidly corroding our democratic institutions--even (or especially) when some groups engaging in this behavior claim to be acting in God's name.

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