US Chamber of Commerce Faces Scrutiny Over Donation Linked to Meijer Endorsement


Complications continue to mount for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) as a significant donation from former Never Trump Rep. Peter Meijer’s (R-MI) father to the tax-exempt entity during his son’s 2022 primary race — following shortly after the entity’s endorsement of the former congressman — faces scrutiny.

Just days after the USCC announced its support for Meijer in his primary contest against Trump-backed candidate John Gibbs on July 11, 2022, Meijer’s father, Hank Meijer, wired $800,000 to the entity on July 15, according to reports. Meijer was notably one of just ten Republicans who voted to impeach Trump.

The donation was followed by a $381,000 ad buy by the USCC on July 21, depicting Meijer favorably.

But because the ad — titled “Thank you, Rep. Peter Meijer” — does not explicitly advocate for his election or defeat, the pro-business lobbying giant did not have to legally disclose the donation from Hank Meijer, the co-chair and CEO of the Meijer chain of superstores. It also did not have to disclose any other potential contributions behind the $1.8 million it told the FEC it spent on “electioneering communications” that cycle.

The “Purpose of Disbursement” for the $381,000 payment on a Federal Election Commission (FEC) form states, “Media Advertisement — Energy and Taxes — Mentioning Rep. Peter Meijer.” While the advertisement does not directly call for voting for or against Meijer, it aims to offer a positive perception of him.


“Fourth generation West Michigander, steadfast conservative leader,” a narrator states at the top of the clip. Images of Meijer accompany the narration. “In Congress, Peter always puts West Michigan first.”

The ad ends by instructing voters to “call Peter Meijer” and “ask him to keep up the fight for West Michigan.”

“The biggest question … would be what agreements, if any, are in place behind the scenes with this,” Massoglia told the Hill. “Is this explicitly giving money for an endorsement or their support? Or was this a big coincidence that the timing was so close?”

While the spokespeople for the USCC “insisted the donation complied with all applicable laws,” they did not answer the outlet’s “specific questions about the timing of or discussion around the donation, the terms of the contribution, and how that money was used,” per Giorno.

This is just the latest headache for the USCC.

Between 2018 and 2022, the Soros-funded Tides Foundation’s public filings show it provided the Chamber of Commerce with $12 million. Reports highlight that the lobbying giant has moved significantly left in recent years, despite claiming to advocate for American businesses.

Following the Hill‘s report on Tuesday, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) criticized the Chamber of Commerce in a post on X, labeling it as “a front service for woke corporations” and noting that it had “accepted millions from a George Soros organization.”

Nick Gilbertson
Nick Gilbertson
Journalist who focuses on national politics in the United States.

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