Democrats have thoroughly pounced on the Chamber of Commerce in the past few weeks after ThinkProgress reported that the traditionally-GOP-supportive Chamber takes in membership dues from multinational corporations, but it appears Democrats have taken "foreign" money associated with foreign companies too.
The Hill's Mike O'Brien and Hayleigh Colombo report that Democrats have raised over $1 million from political action committees affiliated with foreign companies:
House and Senate Democrats have received approximately $1.02 million this cycle from such PACs, according to an analysis compiled for The Hill by the Center for Responsive Politics. House and Senate GOP leaders have taken almost $510,000 from PACs on the same list.
The PACS are funded entirely by contributions from U.S. employees of subsidiaries of foreign companies. All of the contributions are made public under Federal Elections Commission rules, and the PACs affiliated with the subsidiaries of foreign corporations are governed by the same rules that American firms' PACs or other PACs would face.
"This is not foreign money per-se, but these PACs are certainly populated by people who work for foreign companies," said Dave Levinthal, a spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics.
Foreign nationals are barred from making political contributions in the U.S. under federal election law--hence the notation that these PACs round up donations from American citizens only.
$1.02 million, spread out over the entirety of the Democratic legislative caucuses, is not a whole lot of money. It takes tens of millions of dollars to win a Senate campaign and, in many cases, a million or two to win a competitive House race. The significance here is not so much the impact of the money, but the stain it allegedly leaves and the "hypocrisy" Republicans have pointed to in calling attention to this story today.