Sunday, July 8, 2012

Groups Shield Political Gifts of Businesses

American Electric Power, one of the country’s largest utilities, gave $1 million last November to the Founding Fund, a new tax-exempt group that intends to raise most of its money from corporations and push for limited government.

The giant insurer Aetna directed more than $3 million last year to the American Action Network, a Republican-leaning nonprofit organization that has spent millions of dollars attacking lawmakers who voted for President Obama’s health care bill — even as Aetna’s president publicly voiced support for the legislation. 
Other corporations, including Prudential Financial, Dow Chemical and the drugmaker Merck, have poured millions of dollars more into the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a tax-exempt trade group that has pledged to spend at least $50 million on political advertising this election cycle. 

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