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Star Tribune: Franken to FEC: Investigate foreign cash charges against Chamber of Commerce

Sen. Al Franken is calling for the Federal Election Commission to investigate allegations from a liberal group that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — the pro-business association that’s said it will spend $75 million on the midterm elections — used money from foreign corporations for its political ads.

The Chamber denies the allegations.

Sen. Al Franken is calling for the Federal Election Commission to investigate allegations from a liberal group that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — the pro-business association that’s said it will spend $75 million on the midterm elections — used money from foreign corporations for its political ads.

The Chamber denies the allegations.

The charges were made Tuesday by Think Progress, a blog run by the progressive Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Essentially, Think Progress claims the Chamber’s foreign chapters, which collect dues from foreign corporations, send that money directly to the Chamber’s main headquarters in Washington, which in turn uses the foreign funds for its political spending.

Franken’s letter says that the Chamber’s mixing of funds under current FEC rules “is not per se illegal.” But he wrote that the company had to demonstrate that its foreign funds were not used for political purposes, and pushed the FEC to launch an investigation.

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