Aegon denies financing 'anti-Obama' campaign
GLOBAL - The US Chamber of Commerce is using donations from large corporations - including Netherlands-based insurance company Aegon - to finance a campaign supporting opponents of president Barack Obama's administration, according to a report published last week in the New York Times.
By law, the Chamber of Commerce National Foundation is not required to reveal the identity of its donors.
Aegon acknowledged it donated $3m (€2.2m) to the chamber's National Foundation through its Aegon Transamerica Foundation between 2004 and 2006.
However, it pointed out that these donations predated the election of Obama as president and that there were therefore "no grounds to conclude Aegon supports an anti-Obama campaign".
The insurer added that its foundation did not in any way support political candidates or political parties.
However, according to the New York Times, the chamber has used the corporate donations to support anti-Obama candidates during the mid-term election period, as 93% of chamber-produced adverts that ran nationwide during the election period either supported Republicans or criticised their opponents.
Dick Schiethart, spokesman at Aegon, said his company had ceased donating to the chamber several years ago.
"Since 2006, the Aegon Transamerica Foundation has not donated any money to the Chamber of Commerce National Foundation," he said. "This is well before Obama was elected."