Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Republicans want to keep hiding government contractors money

Public Citizen

Here we go again.

Recently, I wrote to you about the crazy “Keeping Politics Out of Federal Contracting Act” (KPOFCA), which would keep secret political spending by federal contractors like Northrop Grumman and Academi (formerly Blackwater) in the dark.

Now Congressional Republicans are fighting transparency on another front. On a party-line vote, the House GOP stuck language in a must-pass appropriations bill that, unless the Senate takes it out, will block significant new transparency requirements for political ads.

Don’t let corporate cronies block political spending transparency.

Urge your senators to remove the House GOP’s dark money language and to oppose KPOFCA (S. 1100).

What are the transparency requirements that corporations are so afraid of?

Well, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently created a new rule that requires TV stations to make the information they collect about political ad spending available on the Internet.

This is information the TV stations are already collecting, and the data is already public. However, right now it’s only accessible by physically going to a TV station and requesting the files.

The new rule is just a modernizing update to how things work in the 21st Century. If the data is truly public, it should be posted online.

The House GOP’s anti-disclosure language in the appropriations bill specifically strips the FCC’s funding to implement the rule.

Tell your senators to support the FCC rule and to oppose secret political spending by federal contractors.

KPOFCA, meanwhile, has already passed out of the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

Backed by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), whose top campaign contributor is General Dynamics (a military contractor that makes fighter jets) and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) whose top contributor is Northrop Grumman (another military contractor), KPOFCA would prevent the government from requiring federal contractors to disclose money they’re spending to influence elections.

According to proponents of the bill, keeping political spending by government contractors secret somehow protects the integrity of the contracting process. If this information is not public, their “logic” goes, then politicians won’t know if a corporation receiving government funds for contracts helped get them elected.

Here’s how things work in the real world: If a federal contractor’s CEO pours millions into electing a candidate the CEO thinks will reward the corporation with government contracts, then the CEO will find a way to make sure that the candidate knows.

All KPOFCA does is keep the public, not politicians, in the dark.

Tell your senators to oppose this bill that would keep secret political spending by federal contractors in the dark and to support the FCC’s transparency update.

thumbnail photo of Rick Claypool
Thanks for all you do,

Rick Claypool
Public Citizen’s Online Action Team

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allgov bids said...

Government Contracting have specified entitlements and tasks that do not suit with those of contractor employees. Is important such as pay, promotion, retirement, firing,hiring,education, training all differ between government and contractor employees and differ between different contractors.

Mr. Natural said...

Before becoming an employee, it would behoove anyone to have a look at the contract between you and whoever is paying you. I know in the state of Washington, for instance, that STATE contractors must pay anyone hired temp or otherwise minimum of the lowest union wage on the job.

As Jim Hightower explains it, is that “the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans possess more net worth today than the bottom 90 percent of us combined. Worse, these privileged few and their political henchmen have structured a new economic ‘normal’ of long-term joblessness, low wages, no benefits or worker rights, miserly public services, and a steadily widening chasm between the rich and the rest of us.” We must restore sanity to this nation.