Get Government Contractors' Dark Money Out of Our Elections
“Dark money” political spending by groups that conceal all of their funding sources from the public has exploded since 2010’s Citizens United decision, reaching more than $600 million. Shadowy groups and individuals anonymously spend vast sums to influence elections, and we don’t know where the money comes from or what the donors hope to get in return for their contributions.
Government contractors are generally among the biggest political spenders, and they stand to gain more than most from donations to elected officials. Each year, the federal government awards hundreds of billions of dollars in private sector contracts – much of it to just a handful of companies. The companies that receive those contracts donate tens of millions in disclosed contributions, but there’s nothing to prevent the same companies from giving untold millions in dark money.
Taxpayers deserve to know if a political donation has influenced who receives a government contract.
President Obama has spoken out against this wave of dark money, but has yet to act. The president can take a critical step to address the dark money problem by issuing an Executive Order requiring government contractors to disclose all of their campaign contributions.
This disclosure wouldn’t bring all dark money to light, but it would ensure that hundreds of billions in taxpayer dollars go to companies best equipped to do the job, not those that make the biggest political donations.
It’s time for more than words from President Obama. This may be his last opportunity before the 2016 election to combat the increasing power of big donations in our political system.
Please sign our petition urging President Obama to issue an Executive Order requiring federal contractors to disclose their political donations to the public.
Like many Americans, I see the growing power of special interest money in our elections as one of the biggest threats to our country today. In particular, “dark money” groups have spent more than $600 million to secretly influence elections since 2010.
We don’t know where that money is coming from, or what the donors hope to get in return — but we do know that average Americans who can’t afford jumbo contributions have a hard time competing with these interests for the ears of their elected representatives.
You’ve spoken out about this problem before. But you could act, tomorrow, to strike a blow against secret special interests and for average voters. To protect my voice and reduce the risk of corruption, I urge you to issue an Executive Order requiring major companies that are awarded federal contracts disclose all of their political spending.
Every year, the federal government awards hundreds of billions in taxpayer dollars through private sector contracts to a handful of companies. Those companies donate tens of millions in disclosed contributions to politicians — along with an unknown amount of dark money.
This Executive Order wouldn’t solve the dark money problem. But with it, you would ensure that hundreds of billions in taxpayer dollars go to companies best equipped to do the job, not those that make the biggest political donations.
As president, this may be your best remaining chance to reduce the power of secret special interests over our political process. The 2016 election is already under way. Please act now to bring this dark money to light.
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