Jan. 12, 2016
Statement of Lisa Gilbert, Director, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division
The sweeping statements from the president in his final State of the Union on creating a better political system for our nation with more trust in our democracy and less dark money skewing the goals of government demonstrates the ongoing importance of this issue to his administration.
At the president’s first address, he denounced the U.S. Supreme Court for the overreaching Citizens United decision, which has led us to our current dark money-filled reality. Now, following his last State of the Union address, it is time for him to take strong action on the matter. By doing so, he can end his two terms where he began his first — and go beyond critiquing the outsized influence of money in elections by taking strong action to correct it.
There is still time for him to have a substantial impact. And it is meaningful that he chose to focus on this issue as a forward-looking priority. By issuing an executive order requiring federal contractors to disclose their political spending, he can demonstrate that reform in this area is possible, while also having a tremendous effect on the secret spending problem, capturing 70 percent of the corporate dark money being channeled into our democracy.
The problem is systemic, the solutions are popular, and the time to do this is now. The people are calling for his action.