WASHINGTON -The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a leading tort reform proponent, is among the most trusted and powerful interest groups in Washington, a poll indicates.
The Harris Interactive survey found that of 16 large groups in Washington, 70 percent of respondents nationwide said they are familiar with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Of those who said they are familiar with the Chamber, 72 percent said they trusted the group.
The Chamber, led by President and CEO Thomas Donohue, was ranked as the fifth most powerful group. The Chamber is the world's largest business federation.
Under Donohue's leadership, the Chamber opened its Institute for Legal Reform in 1998 to help curb frivolous lawsuits and counterbalance the influence of trial lawyers.
"Washington is going through historic changes but one thing remains the same, the strength and importance of America's business community," Donohue said. "We are committed to maintaining this strength by working with the new leaders in Washington-both in the White House and on Capitol Hill. We are making sure they know that it is business that drives the economy, provides the bulk of health care in this country, and much of the taxes that fund our government."
Among other groups with similar favorable rankings are: The American Red Cross, AARP, and Consumer Reports.
The poll found that the most trusted groups in Washington were Consumer Reports, with 92 percent support; The American Red Cross, with 88 percent support; and AARP and The Nature Conservancy, both with 82 percent.
On the flip side some of the least trusted groups trying to influence policy in the nation's Capitol are the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations and the National Rifle Association.
The online poll of 2,126 adults was conducted between Nov. 10 and Nov. 17. Respondents were asked about 16 large organizations in Washington, including the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the National Education Association and the National Association of Homebuilders.
The Madison County Record is owned by the Institute for Legal Reform, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.