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Executive Order Would Force Contract-Seeking Companies To Reveal Donations

May 4, 2011 by  

Executive order would force contract-seeking companies to reveal donationsWhite House officials have confirmed that an executive order is being drafted that would force certain companies to disclose their political contributions.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the order would require organizations applying for a Federal government contract to disclose their political donations totaling more than $5,000. The measure would implement part of last year's Disclose Act, which was favored by Democrats but failed to pass Congress.

A draft of the executive order says the policy aims to ensure that the Federal contracting system is free from "political activity or political favoritism," according to the media outlet. However, the draft does not include Federal employee labor unions, which are traditional allies of the Democratic Party.

The order is in response to last year's Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, which determined that corporate political donations should not be limited because of protections granted by the 1st Amendment.

Officials from the State of Montana are challenging the ruling, saying that the 1st Amendment applies to individuals and not corporations. Free Speech for People, an advocacy organization, has formed a coalition to join the State's fight to overturn the Supreme Court decision.

The ruling "is contrary not only to our republican principles of government, but also to American principles of free and fair commerce among free people and the States," according to a brief filed by the coalition.

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