Pro-outsourcing Chamber taking foreign corporate money and running $900,000 in political ads in Illinois to elect politicians who’ll listen to them

Washington, D.C.—A new report by the nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog Campaign Money Watch found that more than 272,000 Illinois jobs were shipped overseas due to outsourcing and trade policies supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber’s foreign corporate fundraising has come under intense attack as the special interest group is spending a record $75 million to influence this year’s elections, including $900,000 across the state of Illinois.

“The Chamber is raising foreign corporate money and supporting policies that lead to the outsourcing of Illinois jobs overseas,” said David Donnelly, director of Campaign Money Watch. “The candidates who are benefiting from political spending by the pro-outsourcing Chamber must address the controversy surrounding their foreign funding.

“We know that the Chamber doesn’t stand with everyday Americans,” continued Donnelly. “The question is, will these candidates stand with Illinoisans?”

The Chamber’s policy agenda includes preserving tax breaks for companies that outsource jobs.  According to the research compiled by Campaign Money Watch from the Federal Election Commission and the nonpartisan group Public Citizen:

  • In Illinois District 10, where the Chamber has spent $100,000 to bolster candidate Robert Dold, 9,718 jobs have been shipped overseas since 1994.
  • Illinois District 11 candidate Adam Kinzinger has benefitted from $300,000 in spending by the Chamber. Since 1994, 5,701 jobs in that district have been outsourced.
  • Statewide, more than 272,000 Illinois jobs have been outsourced since 1994. Senate candidate Rep. Mark Kirk has benefitted from $498,500 in Chamber spending.

All three candidates have also signed a campaign pledge put out by Americans for Tax Reform, which places them on record opposing ending the tax breaks for companies when they outsource jobs overseas.

“The U.S. Chamber receives hundreds of thousands of dollars from foreign corporations and one of its legislative priorities is to let companies continue to receive tax breaks when they send jobs overseas,” said David Donnelly, director of Campaign Money Watch. “The people of Illinois deserve to know whether, if elected, these candidates will represent them or those special interests who have financed their elections.”

Campaign Money Watch sent letters to the three candidates urging them to stand up to the Chamber last week. The letters can be viewed at .  None of the three have replied yet.

All three candidates being attacked by the Chamber—Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D), Dan Seals (D), and Alexi Giannoulis—are supporters of the Fair Elections Now Act. Rep. Halvorson is a co-sponsor in the U.S. House and Seals and Giannoulis have signed a pledge showing their support. The Fair Elections Now Act has the broad, bipartisan and cross-caucus support of 165 House members. On September 23, the legislation passed out of the Committee on House Administration.

Learn more about the Chamber’s influence in elections, and the foreign money it receives, at

The data from Public Citizen is available at