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Who Funds The Chamber Of Commerce? Help HuffPost Find Out

First Posted: 03/18/10 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 03:30 PM ET

Chamber Of Commerce

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been vociferous in its opposition to White House initiatives on financial reform, health care reform and climate change legislation.

The pro-business behemoth boasts 3 million members (though that number has been disputed since it includes hundreds of smaller chambers around the country) and shelled out $34.7 million on lobbying expenditures in the third quarter of 2009.

Despite the widely-reported exodus of a few companies (Exelon, Nike, Apple) over its climate change stance, Chamber president Tom Donohue remains defiant, telling the Wall Street Journal:

"One thing I can tell you: They can go out and chase me and chase the Chamber and put stuff in the newspaper. It only... drives more and more support... You think we are going to blink because a couple of people are out shooting at us? Tell 'em to put their damn helmets on."

Which brings up the question: Who is funding the Chamber?

Huffington Post wants to find out more about the Chamber's members -- help us learn more about who is funding the Chamber by telling us what you know. Though their funding comes from membership dues, those are based on size so larger companies end up contributing most of the Chamber's revenue. These amounts are not made public and HuffPost is wondering whether any companies have adjusted their level of support recently? Send us your tips at tips@huffingtonpost.com.

The group has always refused to disclose its donors or even its taxable spending on political races, once even secretly buying its own newspaper in Madison County, Illinois to help spread its propaganda.

The Chamber's board of directors is represented by industry giants such as IBM, AT&T, Massey Energy, Deloitte LLP, 3M, Caterpillar, Accenture, Pfizer Inc. and The Charles Schwab Corporation.

So far, the only information it is required to disclose are donors to their political action committee, which includes executives at railroad giant Norfolk Southern, steel-casting company Baycast and State Farm Insurance.

According to the US Chamber Institute for Legal Reform's 2007 990 tax form, Donohue earned $3.1 million and the institute spent $35.3 million on program services.

UPDATE: On Tuesday, Dylan Ratigan delved deeper into the question of who funds the Chamber of Commerce on MSNBC. Watch the segment below and check out the end where he asks viewers to send any information to tips@huffingtonpost.com.

If you have additional information regarding where the Chamber of Commerce receives its funding, email tips@huffingtonpost.com.

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Filed by Marcus Baram  |