DC Trawler

Obama crafts an executive order to get around the Citizens United ruling

Pres. Obama wanted a campaign finance bill that would take the teeth out of the Citizens United ruling before the 2010 election. Congressional Democrats wrote such a bill, and then watched it slip into a coma. But that wasn’t the end of it. According to a leaked White House memo, Obama plans to create new campaign finance rules via fiat by signing an executive order.

As the Washington Examiner reported yesterday, the EO “would require all companies that sign contracts with the federal government to report on the personal political activities of their officers and directors.”

And by “political activities,” Obama means: “all contributions or expenditures to or on behalf of federal candidates, parties or party committees made by the bidding entity, its directors or officers, or any affiliates within its control; and any contributions made to third party entities with the intention or reasonable expectation that parties would use those contributions to make independent expenditures or electioneering communications.”

All of that information must be disclosed, according to the leaked executive order, so that the government can “ensure that its contracting decisions are merit-based in order to deliver the best value for the taxpayer.” While that may sound like the order is intended to expose¬†sweetheart deals, it’ll also make it that much easier for federal agencies to deny contracts to firms that donated big bucks to Republican candidates.

The pro-DISCLOSE Act Sunlight Foundation, which posted a leaked copy of the order, suggests that “if the White House is going to pursue remedies through an Executive Order, though, the public should be included…[and] some public scrutiny and discussion of any¬†CU EO should precede its issuance.”

Gee, you think?