John Steiner: US Chamber of Commerce – Kill It?

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John Steiner

Click here to sign your name:
“Google, stand up for democracy and your users—quit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce!”

Dear MoveOn member,

Right now we have a huge opportunity to deal what’s being called a “serious blow to one of Washington’s most powerful lobbies.”1

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is an army of lobbyists for hire by mega-corporations like banks and those in the fossil fuel industry. In 2009, it spent more corporate money on lobbying than the next five biggest spenders combined.2 And 93% of its campaign spending goes to support Republicans and attack Democrats.3

Google is a paying member of the Chamber, which means that part of the money they make from Google users—ordinary people like us using Gmail, Google search, and other Google products—goes into the Chamber’s pockets to fight for Wall Street and Big Oil. But the Washington Post and Politico recently reported that at Google headquarters, employees are intensely debating whether Google should quit the Chamber in the next few weeks.4

Google quitting would be a huge blow to the Chamber’s credibility. That’s why we’re partnering with SumOfUs, a new movement to give consumers a voice in corporate decisions, to make the case to Google that they should leave the Chamber. As Google users, we can help those Google employees make their case.

Sign the petition now from Google users to Google employees to ask them to stand up for us and our democracy by quitting the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Google’s unofficial motto is “Don’t Be Evil.” And they want to do what’s right for their users. But by staying in the Chamber, they’re legitimizing an institution that’s hurting their users all around the world every day. That’s why we’re partnering with the new organization SumOfUs to encourage Google to leave the Chamber.

There are dozens of reasons for Google employees—and Google users—to want Google out of the Chamber. Google’s business model relies on a free and open Internet; right now the Chamber is pushing Congress to pass an Internet censorship bill that would empower big corporations to shut off ordinary citizens’ websites without even a hearing.5 Google invests millions in renewable energy; the Chamber has called for a “Scopes monkey trial” to assault the science of climate change.6 Google leads the world in workplace policies supporting LGBT employees; the Chamber fights against basic anti-discrimination laws. 7

The Chamber’s power rests on its credibility as a voice for business. When Apple quit the Chamber in 2009 for ideological reasons, it made headlines all over the world.8 If Google quits, it will be huge news and will undermine the Chamber’s influence in Washington.

Google users are the 99%. The Chamber is the 1%. Join the call now for Google to be a champion for its users all over the world by quitting the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

Thanks for all you do.

–Daniel, Julia, Elena, Peter, and the rest of the team

Sources:

1. “Google mulls divorcing Chamber of Commerce,” Politico, November 4, 2011

2. “New Lobbying Reports Show Big Business Keeps Spending to Influence Politics,” Center for Responsive Politics, January 21, 2010

3. “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Leading the Charge in Electing a Republican Congress,” U.S. Chamber Watch (PDF), November 2010

4. “Google mulls divorcing Chamber of Commerce,” Politico, November 4, 2011

5. “Sopa condemned by web giants as ‘internet blacklist bill,'” The Guardian, November 16, 2011

6. “Way Behind the Curve,” The New York Times, September 29, 2009

7. “The U.S. Chamber: Not a Friend to LGBT Businesses,” U.S. ChamberWatch, April 25, 2011

8. “Apple Leaves U.S. Chamber Over Its Climate Position,” Washington Post, October 6, 2009

Phi Beta Iota:  The US Chamber of Commerce is a full partner with the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, Goldman Sachs, and other elements of the “rule by secrecy” monopoly on power.  It does not make decisions on the basis of real-world intelligence, but rather on the basis of ideological and financial interests that are inherently corrupt.  As with all forms of institutionalized corruption, it is long overdue for a public slam-down.