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Jan. 23, 2012

Citizens Urge President Obama to Sign Executive Order Requiring Government Contractors to Disclose Political Spending

Public Citizen and MoveOn.org Deliver Petitions With More Than 100,000 Signatures

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Public Citizen and MoveOn.org today submitted to the White House petitions with more than 100,000 signatures urging the president to sign an executive order mandating full transparency of political spending by government contractors.

Public Citizen and MoveOn.org are asking for President Barack Obama to take up the transparency executive order related to the disastrous U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, during Tuesday’s State of the Union address.

“There would be no better time for the White House to stand for full transparency of corporate political spending than during tomorrow’s State of the Union address, as the 2012 election cycle begins in earnest,” said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist with Public Citizen. “The executive order must be signed soon or it will become irrelevant late in the election season.”

Even though Congress approved Republican-sponsored riders to various unrelated bills that prohibit the administration from mandating transparency of political spending by government contractors during the bidding process, nothing in these riders would prohibit such disclosures after the contracts are awarded.

Public Citizen has been collecting signatures in support of the proposed executive ever since last summer, when the organization submitted 22,000 signatures to the White House. Public Citizen’s petition now has more than 31,000 signatures. MoveOn.org launched its petition drive just in the last few days, appealing for citizens to call on Obama to sign the executive order and declare his support to reverse the damage caused by Citizens United. MoveOn.org’s petition currently has more than 69,000 signatures.

“Now that the election season is heating up, Americans are about to see their TVs flooded with attack ads secretly funded by corporations – all thanks to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling,” said Justin Ruben, executive director of MoveOn.org.  “The overwhelming majority of Americans want to get corporate money out of our political system, and have the power put back into the hands of the 99 percent. President Obama should use his executive power to help protect our democracy from the overflow of corporate influence, and take a strong stand against big money in politics in his State of the Union address. The American people need to hear from the president that our elections are not for sale.”

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