An executive order is in the works to implement parts of the Disclose Act that failed to pass Congress. Federal contractors must already provide information about donations to politicians, now they would need to provide details about donations to independent groups. Federal employee unions – of course – would be exempt from this requirement.
What do you think? Open thread again … within reason … in the comments section below.
For companies working as contractors for the federal government, it’s a requirement they have been dealing with for years – tell the feds all about donations to politicians so they can ensure the system is free from political favoritism. Yeah right. Anyway…
With the explosion of independent groups that collect donations from individuals in support of everything from gay marriage to searching for President Obama’s birth certificate, the Obama White House wants details about who is donating to those groups and how much they are donating … if they want to do business with the federal government.
That’s the rub. “Oh, you want to do business with the federal government? Well, we’ll just need you to provide the following information…”
Oh, you donated to a TEA party?
Let’s say you run a small business with a few dozen employees who work in the space industry and have a contract with the federal government. At what point does the commander and chief sit down and write a letter to all of the contractors and ask they not only support a single payer health care system, but actively support it by putting up messages of support on their company website?
You’re looking to land that federal contract aren’t you? And by the way, if you don’t choose to put one of our banner ads on your website, we’ll assume you’re fine with old people dying in the street.
Scott Hinderaker at Powerline calls it Gangster Government and points to the original story by Hans A. von Spakovsky over at Pajamas Media. Von Spakovsky provided a draft of the executive order (PDF, 1.4MB) and hits on pay-dirt … the rule applies only to companies bidding for government work, not for federal employee unions who negotiate with the federal government.
[N]ote that these disclosure requirements will only apply to companies that make bids on government contracts. Federal employee unions that negotiate contracts for their members worth many times the value of some government contracts are not affected by this order. Neither are the recipients of hundreds of millions of dollars of federal grants.
Still scratching your head? In an opinion piece this morning, the Wall Street Journal points out the following, with my emphasis in bold.
Federal contracts are supposed to go to the lowest bidder, so it’s hard to see how disclosure of political contributions would help contract decisions. Mandatory disclosure would impose politics on federal procurement choices as never before.
A National Review Online editorial this morning notes…
Upon what constitutional authority might the president issue a directive abridging Americans’ First Amendment rights, recently reconfirmed by the Supreme Court? We wonder, too, and suspect that President Obama is getting a little big for his constitutional britches.