Having launched his $1 billion election campaign a mere two weeks ago, Barack Obama appears to be moving quickly to try to further tilt the political landscape to favor his union cronies through an Executive Order that implements certain portions of the failed DISCLOSE Act.
As first reported by Pajamas Media, the White House is circulating a draft Executive Order (in full below) to agencies for comment. As drafted, the Executive Order would only affect government contractors—not unions—and would require the contractor, as well as its directors or officers, to disclose any contribution or expenditures.
(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.
Clearly, the administration’s effort is aimed only at employers and, in the case of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, whatever associations they may belong to—while letting union bosses like Richard Trumka and the rest of his union co-horts spend hundreds of millions on further contaminating the electoral process.
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.
In addition, as drafted, the Executive Order is to go into effect as soon as it is signed but is retroactive in requiring federal contractors to disclose all political contributions and expenditures within two years prior to the submission of their offer.
White House officials did not immediately return a request for comment though a Democratic Hill aide confirmed that an executive order along these lines had been drafted.
Another plugged in Democratic aide said administration officials had been exploring a wide range of executive actions to pursue in light of lawmakers’ failure to push legislation. The toughest component of the talks, the aide said, was figuring out what would withstand legal challenges.
“I have had discussion with administration lawyers who will have to defend any administration action and or statute,” the aide said. “They want to be careful about being on a sound legal footing.”
How far along the order is remains a mystery, as does the willingness of the administration to take on the donations fight. Conservative commentators pounced on news of the draft order as evidence that the White House was doing an end-run around Congress to aide the Democratic Party’s political ambitions.
So, by using regulatory fiat to do what cannot be done through America’s elected representatives, Obama plans on using his pen to order Americans to report their political activities?