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Right Turn
Posted at 03:52 PM ET, 04/20/2011

Transparency as a political weapon

Continetti is guest-blogging for The Post.

The Huffington Post confirms Hans A. von Spakovsky’s scoop: The Obama administration is drafting an executive order that would require the directors, officers and affiliates of companies receiving government contracts to disclose all contributions to political parties, candidates and independent expenditure groups. As Von Spakovsky says: “The problem is that this will require companies to delve into the personal political activities of their officers and directors — and require them to report political contributions those employees have made, not out of corporate funds (which is illegal), but out of their personal funds.”

You can read the draft order here. Sen. Mitch McConnell said in a news release: “No White House should be able to review your political party affiliation before deciding if you’re worthy of a government contract.” Another useful resource is the Center for Competitive Politics.

Originally, this policy was part of the Disclose Act, the White House-backed campaign finance legislation that died in the Senate last year. Von Spakovsky points out one obvious loophole: As written, the regulation applies only to companies contracting with the government, not unions. Nor would it affect billionaire investors (George Soros) and heirs (Rob McKay), whose donations tend to go to progressive causes. I wonder why? (That’s a rhetorical question!)

By Matthew Continetti  |  03:52 PM ET, 04/20/2011

 
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