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Parties Battle Over Election Money

President Obama Thursday echoed charges by Minnesota Democrat Senator Al Franken that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is violating election law and using money from foreign corporations to fund political activities.

Speaking in Maryland today, the President said, "This is a threat to our democracy. The American people deserve to know who's trying to sway their elections."

The Chamber -- which received a one million dollar donation from News Corp, the parent company of Fox News Channel -- is fighting back against the allegations. Tita Freeman, vice president of communications and strategy dismissed the claims saying, "No foreign money is used to fund political activities. All allegations to the contrary are totally and completely false."

But Franken has asked the Federal Election Commission to look into the matter.

Conservatives say this is the latest salvo by Democrats who have, for years, poured union manpower and money into elections.

"Now all of the sudden it conveniently becomes an issue of concern that groups on the right are doing a lot better than groups on the left. And I think a lot of it really is selective outrage," says Steven Law, who heads Crossroads GPS, a non-profit group founded in part by Republican strategist Karl Rove.

Crossroads GPS also is in the crosshairs of Democrats.

Democratic Senator Max Baucus (Mont.) is calling for the IRS to look into such non-profit groups that are involved in political activity, but not required to disclose donors.

In a letter, Baucus urges the tax agency "to examine whether they are operated for the organization's intended tax exempt purpose."

Republican Senators Orrin Hatch (Utah) and Jon Kyl (Ariz.) also sent a letter to the IRS warning that "political influence" should not determine which groups are investigated. 

Molly Henneberg joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in 2002 and currently serves as a correspondent based in the Washington bureau.

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