Wednesday, May 11, 2011
The Daily Tax Report, among other sources, reports that a draft executive order from President Obama would require federal contractors to disclose their campaign contributions as a precondition to receiving a federal contract. The draft order, as currently written, requires "any entity bidding for a government contract to disclose political contributions to federal candidates or parties made within the past two years that, in aggregate, exceed $5,000," including "contributions made by the entity’s directors and officers as well as its affiliates and subsidiaries." The order would also compel disclosure of contributions to third parties, including §501(c)(6) trade associations and §501(c)(4) social welfare organizations, if the potential contractor reasonably expects that the donated funds will be used in support of or opposition to federal candidates, or for election-related communications (e.g., political advertising). The disclosed information would be retrievable via a searchable and downloadable government database. A condition to receipt of a federal contract will require its recipient to certify that they have disclosed the requisite information.
If the order is issued, it will be the first time that public disclosure of third-party contributions would occur.