March 11, 2016
Obama Must Take Action to Curb Dark Money
Coalition Calls for President Obama to Issue Executive Order Requiring Federal Contractors to Report Political Spending
WASHINGTON, D.C. – It is urgent that President Barack Obama require federal contractors to disclose their political spending, Public Citizen and 44 other organizations said in a letter (PDF) to the president today. The diverse coalition of organizations ranged from democracy groups to labor unions to environmental groups.
The coalition’s call to action comes on the same day Obama gives a speech on creating a more transparent politics at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.
“The staggering sums raised and spent are empowering a very narrow class of super-rich donors, with a self-interested agenda. They have undue power to affect who runs for office, who wins elections, and what winning candidates do,” the letter says.
Seventy percent of Fortune 100 companies have federal contracts. If these businesses are required to report political spending, the public can see if their government contracts are given based upon merit or political favors.
Since April 2015, Public Citizen, as a part of a coalition, has collected petition signatures calling on Obama to curb money in politics by issuing an executive order requiring federal contractors to disclose the details of their political spending. As of December 2015, one million signatures had been gathered and delivered to the White House.
The letter sent today not only calls for an executive order requiring federal contractors to disclose their political spending, but also calls on Obama to preserve democracy by filling the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy and improving our system of elections.
“As the current Congressional obstruction to filling the Supreme Court vacancy demonstrates, a bought Congress is a broken Congress, and we need real fixes coming from the highest level to make the case to the American people that democracy is still worth participating in,” the letter states.