President Barack Obama is close to enforcing an executive order known as the “dark money” executive order, according to the New York Times. The order would prohibit government contractors from keeping their political contributions secret.
In 2010, The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Citizens United. The ruling made it possible for companies and labor unions to give unlimited amounts of money to political campaigns. The dark money executive order would make these campaign contributions public.
The executive order would impact federal contractors currently doing business with the federal government. Proponents of the long awaited executive order claim that disclosing information on the political interests of large companies would prevent them from influencing elections. Opponents claim that restrictions on a company’s political spending would conflict with their right to free speech.
According to The New York Times, President Obama plans to use his executive powers on the issue before his departure from office next year. As reported by The Washington Post funds that would be required to be disclosed are money spent on political campaigns and money forwarded to political campaigns through trade associations.
The Washington Post also reported that the White House’s first choice for action on the undisclosed amounts of campaign contributions from major companies should come from Congress. Congress has not acted on the issue. Amid concerns over this inaction from citizens and activist groups the dark money executive order is being considered.
In addition to the Citizens United Ruling giving power to companies to donate unlimited amounts of money…super PACs were also given the green light to raise unlimited amounts of funds.
In addition to the Citizens United Ruling giving power to companies to donate unlimited amounts of money to political campaigns without revealing themselves as donors, super PACs were also given the green light to raise unlimited amounts of funds. The difference though, according to the International Business Times, is that super PACs must disclose their donors and may not be directly involved with their target campaigns.