An Executive Order Requiring Government Contractors to Disclose Political Spending Would Reach 70 Percent of Top Companies

April 27, 2015

An Executive Order Requiring Government Contractors to Disclose Political Spending Would Reach 70 Percent of Top Companies

70 Percent of Fortune 100 Companies Received More Than $100,000 in Federal Contracts Last Year

WASHINGTON, D.C. – If President Barack Obama were to issue an executive order requiring government contractors to disclose their political spending, it would reach at least 70 percent of the Fortune 100 companies, Public Citizen finds (PDF).

Public Citizen reviewed government contracts that were held by the 100 largest companies in the United States – as ranked by Fortune Magazine for 2014 – and found that 70 of the Fortune 100 companies had federal contracts totaling $100,000 or more from April 2014 to April 2015. The companies represent a wide variety of industries, from defense to technology, energy to finance, entertainment to chemicals.

They include companies such as Exxon Mobil, General Motors, AT&T, Bank of America, Boeing, Amazon.com, Google, Verizon Communications, Chevron and many more. View the entire list (PDF).

“Because the federal government buys everything from toothbrushes to nuclear missiles, it is no surprise that most large companies are significant government contractors,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, which is one of the groups leading the push for Obama to issue an executive order requiring disclosure of political spending by contractors. “What we don’t know, thanks to the use of dark money, is exactly what these companies are spending on the political process, including for the potential purpose of influencing government contracting decisions.”

Americans nationwide are demanding that Obama issue an executive order requiring corporations with government contracts to disclose their political spending. On April 2, activists held 60 events in 30 states calling for an executive order on contractor disclosure. That same day, a diverse coalition of public interest organizations rallied in front of the White House with more than 550,000 petition signatures in favor of an executive order. On April 16, more than 6,000 people flooded the White House phone lines urging Obama to take action.

“Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, an unprecedented amount of dark money is flooding into our election system. This dark money spending is particularly insidious when it comes from government contractors, because they are helping those who stand to help them win more contracts,” said Weissman. “President Obama can and should issue an executive order to help fix this corrupt pay-to-play system.”

Find more information about an executive order on disclosure for contractors.

View Public Citizen’s petition calling for an executive order.

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