Last week, activists gathered in front of the White House with the backdrop of a large inflatable flashlight, to deliver over half a million petitions calling on President Obama to shine a light on dark money.
By issuing an executive order, the president could require government contractors -- some of America’s largest companies -- to disclose their political spending. The event marked the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in McCutcheon v. FEC, which for the first time struck down a federal contribution limit, allowing more wealthy donors to flood our elections.
“The Supreme Court got it dead wrong when it allowed corporations to spend unlimited money on elections. But while that is allowed, companies -- especially those that get taxpayer dollars -- shouldn’t be able to hide their political spending,” said U.S. PIRG Democracy Campaign Director Dan Smith. “With the stroke of a pen, President Obama can lift the blinders by saying that companies awarded government contracts must disclose their political spending.”
More than 50 rallies were held in 25 states around the anniversary of the McCutcheon decision, and in March, U.S. PIRG joined 50 organizations to urge President Obama to shine a light on dark money.
“Unlimited big money from special interests and wealthy donors -- especially when hidden from the public -- drowns out the voices of average citizens and leads to a loss of faith in democracy. There are many reforms needed to reclaim our democracy, including amplifying the voices of ordinary Americans by matching small contributions with public funds, but this would be a great start. In his State of the Union address, President Obama called for ‘a better politics’ without dark money. Now it’s time for him to back up those words and take action,” said Dan.