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Chamber of Commerce Funding Said to Be Probed by New York State

The New York Attorney General’s Office is investigating whether a nonprofit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce illegally funded political activity, according to a person familiar with the matter.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman subpoenaed the National Chamber Foundation seeking information about $18 million that the organization reported it loaned to the Chamber of Commerce, according to the person. At issue in the investigation is whether the nonprofit was essentially making political contributions through the Chamber of Commerce, said the person, who declined to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak publicly about the investigation.

The probe also involves the Starr Foundation, which had made $19 million in grants to the National Chamber Foundation between 2003 and 2005, according to the person. In the same period, the National Chamber Foundation reported in filings with the attorney general’s office that it had loaned $18.1 million to the Chamber of Commerce, the person said.

The National Chamber Foundation is the public policy think tank affiliate of the Chamber of Commerce, according to its website. Calls for comment made to the National Chamber Foundation, the Chamber of Commerce and the Starr Foundation weren’t immediately returned. Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, the former Chief Executive Officer of American International Group Inc., is the chairman of the Starr Foundation.

New York’s investigation was earlier reported by the New York Times.


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