-By Lee Fang
April 11, 2012- President Obama could take action right now to help clean up our election system. Last month, we published a list of different steps Obama could take immediately, including issuing executive orders and using the S.E.C. to require publicly traded companies to disclose political spending for investors. But as The Hill’s Mike Lillis reports, the administration appears to be abandoning the idea of issuing an executive order mandating that government contractors disclose their campaign spending:
A year ago, the White House composed a draft executive order that would have forced potential government contractors to reveal their political spending as a condition of submitting bids. But roughly 12 months later, no final order has been issued, and supporters and critics alike say they’ve seen no signs such a change is forthcoming.
Government contractors, including big military companies and for-profit enterprises that depend on taxpayer funds, are known for using large sums of money to buy influence.
Obama’s capitulation can be seen as a product of intense lobbying from K Street interests. Lobbying front groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents major government contractors like CSC and United Technologies, led the effort to block the disclosure executive order. A top Chamber lobbyist even compared the disclosure idea to war, saying that his organization would fight the rule just as allied forces fought Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in Libya.