Dec. 16, 2015

Groups Bring One Million Signatures to White House Urging President Obama to Curb Dark Money

Momentum Builds for Executive Order Requiring Federal Contractors to Disclose Political Spending

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Activists today rallied in front of the White House and brought one million signatures to be delivered to President Barack Obama calling on him to curb money in elections by issuing an executive order requiring federal contractors to disclose their political spending.

The activists carried 10 large bags representing the million signatures and dumped the papers on a desk at which a cutout of Obama was placed. A large banner calling on Obama to act created a backdrop. View photos of the event.

Obama has the power to issue an executive order requiring federal contractors to disclose their political spending. This executive order would make a major difference in fighting the flood of dark money into elections since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling in 2010.

Currently, less than a third (PDF) of the 15 largest publicly traded federal contractors fully disclose the details of their contributions to nonprofit groups and trade associations – contributions that could be used for electioneering expenditures. The proposed executive order would ensure that at least 70 percent of the Fortune 100 companies disclose their political spending.

As the sixth anniversary of the Citizens United decision rapidly approaches, the call for an executive order curbing political spending has gained significant momentum. In April, a coalition of groups rallied outside the White House and presented more than 500,000 petition signatures. In November, the coalition delivered more than 851,000 signatures to Obama.

Last week, a petition calling for an executive order to require federal contractors to disclose their political spending – organized by Rootstrikers – reached 100,000 signatures, meaning that Obama will have to respond within 60 days from the petition reaching that mark as to whether or not he will act.

The groups that collected signatures include ActivUs, American Family Voices, Ben & Jerry’s, Brennan Center, California Clean Money Campaign, Campaign for American’s Future, Center for Effective Government, Center for Popular Democracy, Code Pink, Color of Change, Common Cause, Communications Workers of America, Corporate Accountability International, Courage Campaign, CREDO Action, Daily Kos, Demand Progress/, Democracy For America, Democracy Matters,, Demos, Earthworks, Energy Action Coalition, Environmental Action, Ethical Markets Media, EveryVoice, Food & Water Watch, Franciscan Action Network, Free Speech for People, Friends of the Earth, Grassroots NC, Greenpeace, Harrington Investments, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Issue One, Just Foreign Policy, Justice Party, Mainstreet Alliance,,, The Nation, North Carolina Voters for Clean Elections Coalition,, Pay 2 Play, People Demanding Action, People For the American Way, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Progressive Democrats of America, Progressives United, Project On Government Oversight, Public Citizen, Roots Action, Rootstrikers, Sierra Club, StampStampede, The Other 98%, The People's Email Network, USAction and U.S. PIRG.