I’m a day late to this, but I wanted to be sure to draw attention to an important article by Tom Hamburger and Brady Dennis that ran too far inside Tuesday’s Washington Post: looking at the gathering movement to rein in campaign contributions by corporations by coaxing them to disclose more of their political spending.
TO: GENE SPERLING FROM: BILL GALSTON SUBJ: INFRASTRUCTURE DATE: FEBRUARY 3, 2011 It feels like a lifetime ago that you and I shared a windowless broomcloset in the West Wing. I assume your digs are more spacious and better illuminated now.
I’ll admit it: I was worried when the president named Bill Daley as his second chief of staff. True, Daley was a loyal Democrat long before he was a bank executive. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that the White House was giving in to months of mau-mauing from the business community. That was distressing not just because the idea of Obama as anti-business is wrong, but also because Obama had a lot more leverage over the business community than he seemed to realize. Not quite three weeks later and I feel confident this is not the case.
Two weeks after a mid-term election in which the U.S. Chamber of Commerce helped thwart Barack Obama and the Democrats, the group’s CEO, Tom Donohue, gave a speech that read like a doubling down of sorts. “We cannot allow this nation to move from a government of the people to a government of the regulators,”he said.
In recent months, we've seen a host of companies protest the Chamber of Commerce's stance on global warming by either speaking out or resigning: Apple, Nike, GE, Johnson & Johnson, three electric utilities... The Chamber, in turn, has pointed out that the vast majority of its three million members haven't defected. Fair enough, but that raises a question: How did the Chamber's climate policy get decided in the first place? Was it a transparent, open process, and Apple and Nike are just sore losers? Nope.