The Washington Post

U.S. Chamber of Commerce begins multi-million dollar ad campaign in congressional races

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched a multi-million dollar ad blitz in House and Senate races across the country on Thursday.

Thomas Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (Joshua Roberts/BLOOMBERG)

The launch marks the earliest start ever to the Chamber’s biennial ad campaigns in congressional races. The ads back Republicans in 11 House races and eight Senate contests. The group is supporting one Democrat: Rep. Jim Matheson of Utah.

“We’re engaging earlier and more aggressively than ever to educate constituents about which leaders recognize the role free enterprise plays in leading our economic recovery,” Chamber President Thomas Donohue said in a statement. “It comes down to a simple question: is big government or free enterprise the solution to our country’s economic problems?”

The Chamber is the largest lobbying power in Washington, representing the common interests of a broad array of businesses with millions in spending each quarter. The trade group is also one of the biggest spenders on U.S. elections, doling out over $50 million in the 2010 midterms.

The Chamber is officially neutral in the presidential race, but many of the ads mention President Obama and his policies in a negative way. The advertisements mostly touch on the same themes: job creation, the president’s signature health-care law, government regulation and spending.

“Obamacare will kill jobs,” the narrator in one ad says. “So why did Claire McCaskill cast a deciding vote for Obamacare in Washington, D.C.?”

McCaskill (D) is running for a second term as a senator from Missouri.


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