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Obama Administration to Require Contractor Campaign Disclosures

Obama Administration to Require Contractor Campaign Disclosures

In the wake of the Citizens United decision and the growing chorus of concern among everyone except Republicans of the scope of corporate donations to politicians, the Obama administration announced it wants to require federal contractors to publicly disclose donations to political campaigns.

The announcement was met with intense and immediate challenge from Republicans who prefer the keep the public in the dark about just who funds their campaigns and their policy initiatives.

Knowing that he would not get the support of Congress, President Obama announced that he was seeking to force such disclosures via executive order.  According to White House press secretary Jay Carney, the President “believes very strongly that taxpayers deserve to know whether or not the contractors that their money is going to…how they are spending their  money and how they are spending in terms of political campaigns.”

The executive order is still in the drafting stage, so at this time the details are sparse.  But that has not stopped Republicans from attacking the move, calling it an attempt by the administration to muzzle critics.

Not surprisingly, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell was more concerned with the burden such disclosures would place on corporations, rather than whether or not taxpayers deserved transparency in the electoral process.

Political leaders, regardless of party affiliation, should back these transparency measures.  Our democratic process depends on the kind of political accountability disclosure laws promote.  Given the billions already wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan, and an ever-creeping military mission thanks to those wars, the American public should be able to hold all leaders to task for promoting policies that put the good of corporate interests ahead of the good of the taxpayer.


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photo courtesy of Tracy O via Flickr

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9:06AM PDT on May 7, 2011

I would like to see disclosure of campaign contributions by government contractors, but I'd also like to see disclosure of the contracts them selves. Since the government is spending tax dollars, tax payers ought to be able to see the contracts, and hold the government, as well as the contractos accountable for the work done, and the cost of the work done!
And "going over budget" should not be acceptable! When a contractor gets the project, then the project should be completed for the amount bid, unless otherwise approved by congress!
What about penalties for non-completion, or for non-completion on time?
Who project manages these projects anyway???

6:33PM PDT on May 5, 2011

Obama has always had the cajones, they've just been being squeezed by the right. Now that middle class Americans are growing some cajones, maybe they'll get out and vote, outing the Republicans and tea-bags and putting the Democrats back in the majority. Obama is going to be the middle class dream president in 2012. I guarantee it.

10:47AM PDT on May 4, 2011

For once I'm writin' without reading what everyone else said first.



Thank God Obama has finally grown a pair!

9:02PM PDT on May 1, 2011

Lowest Bidder? yeah, That has always worked out well - not! What about the choice of the highest quality work for a fair contract price?

5:36PM PDT on Apr 29, 2011

This is a great plan. Precisely the kind of government transparency that can make a concrete difference in the world. And how much "burden" could this possibly place on corporations? Good grief!

1:02PM PDT on Apr 29, 2011

Yeah, and about time. It's only a matter of time before the new rule of law that corporations are a 'person' will be overturned as well. Next, we need to have a real 'Federal Bank' run by the government instead of the phony but very powerful Federal Reserve. Bring back sanity to America and strenghten the middle class instead of the very scary 'corporate power'.

8:38AM PDT on Apr 29, 2011

Go Obama!!!!!

11:38PM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

Don't worry Republicans, they didn't say you can't take illegal contributions anymore, they just want public record of where you got them and from who. You always think the worst.

10:11PM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

interesting post.

7:21PM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

Instead of low bids, the Democrats here want institutionalized political favoritism. Reminds of of how during the Clinton administration the Community Reinvestment Act demanded that banks make subprime loans, and Attorney General Janet Reno threatened to prosecute banks that did not comply.
Having a lemon forced upon them, the banks made lemonade by bundling bad loans with good ones. Eventually all hell broke loose. Courtesy of well-meaning but impractical liberals.

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