Or as Timothy P. Carney at The Washington Examiner put it: ‘Before we give you that contract, we’ll just need to see how much you’ve spent to re-elect the President’
As part of an application for a government contract, the White House wants to require the company to report all the company’s political activity. The administration presents this as a way to increase transparency. It strikes me as a way to further politicize the process of government contracts.
(Kinda reminds me of the politicized process in which Chrysler dealerships were targeted in the Spring of 2009 when the Obama administration was nationalizing the car industry.)
This executive order appears to be another White House end-run around Congress because it failed to pass The Disclose Act. The Hill
The draft order seems geared toward non-profit groups that spent vast sums campaigning in the last election without disclosing their donors. Contributions to parties and candidates are already covered by Federal Election Commission rules, but donations to non-profit groups are not.
The draft order is similar to the Disclose Act, legislation that would have required donor disclosure that stalled in the Senate after being passed by the House in the last Congress.
How’s this for doublespeak:
A White House official defended the executive order, saying the president wants to encourage transparency and accountability.
“The President is committed to an overhaul of government contracting policies to promote accountability, transparency and competition. Taxpayers deserve to feel confident that federal contracting decisions are based on merit alone and are not influenced by political favoritism,” the official said. “That said, this document is a draft [executive order] that is still moving through the standard review and feedback process. It is not a final document. But the President is committed to bringing more accountability and transparency to a federal contracting system that has long needed reform.”
Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, said the draft order is designed to counter the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision last year, which allows corporations and unions to spend unlimited funds on electioneering activities.
Obama’s executive order would not have any effect on unions of course.
(The Hill) — House Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee raised concerns at a Tuesday hearing that White House staffers hold meetings at a nearby Caribou Coffee to avoid disclosure requirements.
“White House staff apparently purposely schedule meetings at the Caribou Coffee around the corner from the White House so that those meetings won’t show up on the White House logs,” said Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Calif.), chairman of the Oversight subcommittee.
Republicans portrayed the White House as failing to live up to campaign promises on transparency.
These secret meetings at Caribou Coffee have been going on for awhile, as Scotty Starnes reported last June:
What else would you expect from the Hope and Change White House. Obama, as a candidate and as President, spoke out against lobbyists and their close ties to Washington. Obama was going to change this status-quo but it is just another lie from the lips of a typical politician.
The New York Times is reporting that members of the Obama administration are meeting with lobbyists across the street at a Caribou Coffee shop and believe this excludes them from breaking the disclosure law.
There are no Secret Service agents posted next to the barista and no presidential seal on the ceiling, but the Caribou Coffee across the street from the White House has become a favorite meeting spot to conduct Obama administration business.
Here at the Caribou on Pennsylvania Avenue, and a few other nearby coffee shops, White House officials have met hundreds of times over the last 18 months with prominent K Street lobbyists — members of the same industry that President Obama has derided for what he calls its “outsized influence” in the capital.
On the agenda over espressos and lattes, according to more than a dozen lobbyists and political operatives who have taken part in the sessions, have been front-burner issues like Wall Street regulation, health care rules, federal stimulus money, energy policy and climate control — and their impact on the lobbyists’ corporate clients.
But because the discussions are not taking place at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, they are not subject to disclosure on the visitors’ log that the White House releases as part of its pledge to be the “most transparent presidential administration in history.”
All this is being done because Obama doesn’t want the taxpayers to know that lobbyist and special interests groups are forming his policies. You know, like his stimulus and ObamaCare.
(…Or draft orders designed to counter the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.)
It’s just another example of the Obama pattern. Pick a strawman, like lobbyists, and make the taxpayers believe you are against them. Then in secret, work with them to screw the taxpayers.