Petitions urge disclosure of secret political spending by federal contractors
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, U.S. PIRG joined a broad coalition of organizations to deliver one million petitions to the White House, urging the President to sign an Executive Order cracking down on secret political spending by federal contractors. U.S. PIRG and over 60 other organizations gathered signatures for the 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 one million Americans together with a single message: it’s time for executive action to fight big money in politics.”
Supporters at Wednesday’s event delivered ten bags of petitions, with each bag representing 100,000 signatures.
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. 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.
Wednesday’s petition delivery comes just a month after two major clean election 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.