They claim that foreign donor money only goes to non-ad expenses. Which I'll go ahead and believe. But that doesn't mean that foreign money isn't still funding the ads. Yes, that is a contradiction, that's what happens when you're dealing with greedy people who don't give a damn about law or principle.
Here's how foreign money funds ads:
Let's say base expenses are $100, things such as offices and staff and the things that you need even if you're not doing much. Any money after $100 can go to ads. If $100 are given by Americans, then any money after that can go to ads. Even foreign money. Foreign money fills up the base expenses, meaning that more American money can go to ads. Since money is money, that means that in effect, the foreign money has purchased the ads, even if there is not an explicit money->ad transaction, the mere donation of the money will allow for more ads.
This is of course blatantly illegal.
The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) prohibits any foreign national from contributing, donating or spending funds in connection with any federal, state, or local election in the United States, either directly or indirectly. It is also unlawful to help foreign nationals violate that ban or to solicit, receive or accept contributions or donations from them. Persons who knowingly and willfully engage in these activities may be subject to fines and/or imprisonment.
The following groups and individuals are considered "foreign nationals" and are, therefore, subject to the prohibition:
# Foreign governments;
# Foreign political parties;
# Foreign corporations;
# Foreign associations;
# Foreign partnerships;
These are the ones giving money to the Chamber of Commerce, money which indirectly funds political advertising in the US.
So when can we expect to see the Chamber brought to trial?
Oh right, I forgot, laws don't apply if you're rich enough.