White House Fights Back Against Big Business


The White House is reconsidering an earlier proposed executive order that would require federal contracts to disclose electoral spending by top officers and the corporation itself despite heavy push back from the business lobby.

The move represents a renewed interest by the Obama administration in remedying the impact of the Citizens United decision and is designed to force transparency between entities that receive government contracts and the money those entities spend on elections.

If it happens, the order would likely be the only move on campaign finance reform to come from Washington this year. Republicans successfully filibustered the Disclose Act which would also require corporate disclosure of campaign expenditures last year. If issued, the order would come as the election season transitions from primaries to the general election and would provide taxpayers their first real look into who is behind the independent groups spending unprecedented millions on political attack ads.

The order would be especially significant because almost all major corporations receive government contracts of some sort. In 2010 spending on federal contracts reached about $541 billion, which is about 4 percent of the gross domestic product, according to the Congressional Research Service, or about 15 percent of the federal budget. The top 100 contracts include some of America’s largest corporations including telecommunications firms, private military contractors and support services, computer companies and weapons manufacturers.

The best part of this proposed order is the transparency it forces. If the law is intent on allowing corporations to spend freely in elections, then at a minimum they should have to account to taxpayers for every dollar collected and every cent spent.


Related Stories:

RNC Files Brief In Support of Unlimited Corporate Campaign Spending

GOP Blocks Transparency In Campaign Contributions

Photo from Tracy O via flickr.


SeattleAnn S.
Ann S.4 years ago

Let's not be ignorant people. Look at the last election (it was just in 2008): Obama gets most of his money from the grassroots movement, i.e., the people. The Repugs get the vast majority of their money from wealthy corporations because they run the vast majority of the crooked ones - DUH. The middle/lower working class support Obama and the 1% buy their votes through repetitive ad brainwashing - DUH. Of course, it's incredibly stupid to say or think that any one candidate or party would get 0% funding from corporations, but you need to understand ratios comparisons a little better if you're going to make statements like Barbara B and John H.

Hope S.
Hope Sellers4 years ago

If you think that Obama has been bought by big business corporations and Wall Street then explain to me why they and the Super Pacs are funding the Republican party to defeat Obama. Could it be that it is because of the Financial Reform regulations and other regulations enacted to protect our citizens and environment?

Robert H.
Robert Hamm4 years ago

Well, if thats the case Barbara B then he TOO will be shown to be a recipient of said money wont he?

Jane Barton
Jane Barton4 years ago

Define "fight". Would that include kissing?

Barbara V.
Barbara V.4 years ago

Don't know about you, but I reckon I'll take this with a grain of salt.

Mark S.
Mark S.4 years ago

Kinda like an criminal fighting crime, huh?

Barbara B.
Barbara Benway4 years ago

What a joke! Is this the same White House that has currently raised 468 million dollars to keep the Presidency? Does he think that we don't know that money came from Wall Street and big business. Good Grief, I hate being treated like I'm stupid - often the first mistake of an elitist.

Christopher Fowler

This measure, while not enough to fully disrupt the un-Constitutional CU decision is, in light of that decision, long overdue.

But too little, too late is not enough. CU needs to be uprooted by a Constitutional amendment banning corporations from spending any money on elections.

Theresa G.
T G4 years ago

The not so "White House" IS big business! All smoke & mirrors. None of this is going to stand in the new earth anyway; just stuff to keep you busy in the meantime.

John Mansky
John Mansky4 years ago

Thank you for the article...