Voters Should Know Which Federal Contractors Are Trying to Influence Elections

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March 2, 2015

Statement of Scott Amey, General Counsel, Project On Government Oversight

Federal contracting should be based on a level playing field, but it is riddled with cozy relationships, backroom deals, and pay-to-play arrangements. That’s why the Project On Government Oversight is joining other concerned groups in urging President Obama to require full disclosure of campaign spending and contributions by businesses that receive federal contracts.

Executive action is the only hope to prevent powerful, well-funded entities from steering our elections and in return being rewarded with lucrative contracts.

Since the Supreme Court’s tragically misguided ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, corporate interests have enjoyed as much influence in the democratic process as their money can buy.

An executive action requiring transparency in political contributions made by government contractors  is a realistic and meaningful step toward reducing undue corporate influence on democratic elections. Though the problem of Big Money in politics cannot be remedied through any one action, this is an area where the President has the power to make a difference.

It is common sense that the same corporate interests with the greatest ability to influence electoral outcomes should be required to disclose their electoral donations. Requiring contractors to disclose their political donations will protect American’s right to know who is behind election messages and to hold companies and elected officials accountable for their positions and supporters.

Read the letter to President Obama

Read POGO’s blog about the issue

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO’s investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.

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