851,000 Citizens Urge President to Sign Secret Money Executive Order

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Chris MacKenzie

Petitions urge disclosure of secret political spending by federal contractors


WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, a coalition of 57 organizations delivered more than 851,000 petitions to the White House, urging President Obama to sign an executive order requiring the disclosure of secret political spending by federal contractors. U.S. PIRG gathered signatures for the delivery and helped organize supporters to call the White House in coordination with the petition delivery.

“Right now, when a corporation gets taxpayer money through a contract with the federal government, they don’t have to tell us anything about their political spending,” said Dan Smith, Democracy Campaign Director for U.S. PIRG.  “That’s bad for taxpayers, bad for voters, and bad for our democracy. Americans across the country want our elected officials to take a stand against secret-money politics, and President Obama could do that with the stroke of a pen. Today’s petition delivery brought over 851,000 Americans together with a single message: it’s time for executive action to fight big money in politics.”

President Obama has the authority to issue an executive order requiring companies that do business with the federal government to fully disclose their political contributions.

Under current law, federal contractors receiving taxpayer funds are not required to disclose the details of political contributions to 501(c)(4) groups, 501(c)(6) groups or trade organizations. Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, politicians from both major parties have increasingly relied on these organizations to fund political campaigns using undisclosed contributions.

Tuesday’s petition delivery comes only a week after two major electoral victories in Maine and Seattle, where voters approved ballot initiatives to empower regular citizens and reduce the influence of special interests and mega-donors in elections. U.S. PIRG aided the passage of both ballot initiatives, mobilizing canvassers and organizers in Maine and Seattle to increase voter turnout.

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U.S. PIRG, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, is a consumer group that stands up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society.