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Pay-to-Play Politics

Every state, directly or indirectly, prohibits bribery in obtaining government contracts. But few states restrict campaign contributions from businesses seeking government contracts. We need more laws that stop this “pay-to-play” abuse. Government contracts should go to the companies that do the best work for the lowest prices, not the ones that have cozied up to public officials with campaign cash.

Also, enforcement of existing laws is often lacking. It’s often unclear who is even responsible for enforcing the law — the state ethics agency, the state elections agency, or the state contracting agent. This also means that penalties for violating the law are often unclear because penalties for violating the elections code are often different from penalties for contracting abuses.

Public Citizen supports well-targeted pay-to-play restrictions to foster fair and open competition in the contracting process and to eliminate corruption — and the appearance of corruption.

Pay-to-Play Resources