Obama to issue executive order implementing portions of the DISCLOSE Act

Hans A. von Spakovsky, writing in PJ Media, has obtained a draft order that would make portions of the DISCLOSE Act ("Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections") law by executive order.

The act was proposed in Congress last year, but failed to get a majority in either house. It would drastically curtail contributions from corporations to federal campaigns while establishing additional disclosure requirements.

Von Spakovsky quotes his source, "They lost in the Supreme Court, they lost in Congress, they lost at the FEC, so now the president is just going to do it by edict."

The draft Executive Order says it is intended to "increase transparency and accountability," an interesting claim given the fact that federal contractors are already completely barred by 2 U.S.C. § 441c from making:

Any contribution of money or other things of value, or to promise expressly or impliedly to make any such contribution to any political party, committee, or candidate for public office or to any person for any political purpose or use.

Yet this proposed Executive Order would require government contractors to disclose:

(a) All contributions or expenditures to or on behalf of federal candidates, parties or party committees made by the bidding entity, its directors or officers, or any affiliates or subsidiaries within its control.

(b) Any contributions made to third party entities with the intention or reasonable expectation that parties would use those contributions to make independent expenditures or electioneering communications.

The problem is that this will require companies to delve into the personal political activities of their officers and directors - and require them to report political contributions those employees have made, not out of corporate funds (which is illegal), but out of their personal funds.

And note 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.

EPA rules on emissions, implementing the DREAM Act, this order on the DISCLOSE Act, - all of these executive orders failed to pass muster in Congress.

How else can you describe what Obama is doing except ruling by executive fiat?

We fought a revolution to rid ourselves of kings. Now Barack I wants to bring back that style of governance.

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