Companies should ignore calls from "environmental extremists" and other adversaries to resign from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a senior official with the business association implored today.

In a letter to chamber members, the Washington, D.C.-based association's chief operating officer, David Chavern, conceded that some companies may have received e-mails, letters and other communications from third parties as the chamber lobbies Congress and the White House on climate change policy, health care, union voting rights and other contentious issues.

"Please note that these calls against the chamber are part of a broad-based, multi-source campaign against us being carried out by our normal adversaries -- trial lawyers, activist unions, environmental extremists, etc.," Chavern wrote. "It is a 'corporate campaign' in the classic sense, where groups are looking for public leverage to force us to do things against the best interests of the business community."

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