Watchdog: Contractor Donations Show Need for Executive Order

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Washington, D.C.—A new Los Angeles Times report on government contractors giving money to a group supporting Governor Mitt Romney’s presidential run highlights the need for immediate action by President Barack Obama and his administration to enforce the law and increase transparency of these types of donations.

Romney’s “super PAC,” Restore Our Future, according to the newspaper, is taking large unregulated contributions from corporations that receive government contracts, in apparent violation of the law. The FEC should enforce the ban on contractor giving and the president should immediately sign his executive order requiring disclosure of political spending by government contractors.

“This could be just the tip of the iceberg. If these contractors are giving money through super PACs and that is publicly disclosed, how much are large corporations giving behind the scenes to political organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce?” said David Donnelly, executive director of Public Campaign Action Fund. “This is the perfect example of why the President should sign the executive order to expose how government contractors and their CEOs might be using shadowy organizations to attempt to influence elections.”

According to the story in the Los Angeles Times, “At least five companies with government contracts gave a combined $890,000 to Restore Our Future, the pro-Romney super PAC, a review of federal contracting records and campaign finance data shows. Other super PACs, including Republican-allied American Crossroads, and Priorities USA Action, which backs President Obama, have language on their websites warning that federal contractors are not allowed to make donations.”

In 2011, the Obama administration was considering an executive order that “would have required all entities submitting a bid for a federal contract to disclose all contributions made by the entity and its top officers to candidates, political parties, political committees, nonprofits and trade groups making independent expenditures.”


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