Watchdog ramps up ad campaign pressuring companies to leave Chamber of Commerce

A left-leaning watchdog group is ramping up its campaign to pressure corporations to leave the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over the business group’s opposition to Democratic voting rights legislation.

Accountable.US will air ads targeting Microsoft, Salesforce and Target over their membership with the Chamber starting this week. The six-figure ad campaign will hit the airwaves in Washington, D.C., and in the states where those companies are headquartered.

The group’s ads will tell viewers that the companies have publicly stated they support voting rights but continue to be members of the Chamber, which has lobbied against Democrats’ election overhaul bill to expand voting rights, among other measures. 

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“Companies can’t have it both ways: They can’t tell their shareholders, employees and customers they support voting rights while funding a group leading the charge to undermine that right, particularly in communities of color,” Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US, said in a statement. “They must either drop the U.S. Chamber or go against their corporate values and public commitments to protect voting rights for all Americans.” 

The ads will air on TV, YouTube and social media platforms targeting employees of the corporations. It’s a continuation of the group’s “Drop the Chamber” campaign that kicked off with a series of ads last month.

Accountable.US argues that the Democrats’ For the People Act is needed as Republicans back more restrictive voting laws in Texas, Florida and Georgia. The bill has passed the House but is unlikely to pass the Senate amid opposition from Republicans and Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinBriahna Joy Gray: Push toward major social spending amid pandemic was 'short-lived' Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Emissions heading toward pre-pandemic levels Biden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week MORE (D-W.Va.).  

The Chamber told lawmakers to vote against Democrats’ election overhaul bill over its provisions to more strongly regulate political advocacy groups. The trade group said Democrats’ bill would “limit fundamental First Amendment rights” in a statement last month.

The Chamber has called Accountable.US a “barely disguised political front group” and noted that the American Civil Liberties Union has also voiced free speech concerns about the For the People Act.

Accountable.US isn’t the only group pressuring companies over their membership with the Chamber. Last week, 28 environmental groups urged corporations to leave the trade group unless it ends its support for the fossil fuel industry.