Can DNC Backup Foreign Funds Claim?

With less than three weeks until the midterm elections, the Democratic National Committee's new ad "Stealing Democracy" is stirring up some last-minute controversy for Republicans.

On Monday's Washington Unplugged, CBS News' John Dickerson asked the Democratic National Committee's national press secretary Hari Sevugan if the DNC has any proof of outside groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce taking foreign funds.

"We know that the Chamber takes foreign money, we know that they are opposed to candidates who want to end tax loopholes that allow for outsourcing, and we know that they are doing this in secret," Sevugan responded. "All these facts are undisputed."

Sevugan also told Dickerson these charges could be settled by disclosing the sources of these disputed donations and added, "The American people deserve to know who is funding these campaigns. Who are these candidates fighting for?"

So, why not end the controversy and reveal those who are funding the campaigns? Republican strategist Cheri Jacobus told Dickerson Democrats can't have it both ways.

"You can't have a President of the United States who raised and spent an unprecedented amount of money, with all of that secret money coming in from donors that nobody knows anything about and to this day knows anything about," she said.

Sevugan countered, "The Obama campaign followed federal regulations, and everyone over $200 disclosed their contributions. So, we know who's giving. We don't know who's giving to these shadowy groups and these shadowy groups have an agenda."

Dickerson asked Sevugan why the DNC and national Democrats are focusing on this issue with only three weeks left until the midterms, when most Americans want answers on the economy.

"This is central to the economy," Sevugan said. "This is who these candidates are going to fight for...Who's cutting those checks to these candidates matters."

Jacobus disagreed. "The potent issue with jobs right now is that we have a 10 percent unemployment problem," she said. "That is something the American people are alarmed about. The U.S. Chamber supports American businesses and American businesses are the ones that create jobs in this country, not the government. The American people know that. That's why Republicans are doing better in the polls."

To Jacobus, it's a desperate move from a party unhinged. "It looks like one of those things you do when you're very desperate and when you don't want the media to have an opportunity to call you on it," she said.

Watch Monday's Washington Unplugged also featuring a roundtable on West Virginia's senate race with CBS News chief political consultant Marc Ambinder and Charleston Gazette reporter Alison Knezevich.

"Washington Unplugged," CBSNews.com's exclusive daily politics webshow, appears live on CBSNews.com each weekday at 2:00 p.m. ET. Click here to check out previous episodes.


Lauren Seifert
Lauren Seifert is an associate producer for CBSNews.com. You can read more of her posts here. For more Washington Unplugged, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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