Poor Halliburton. Poor ExxonMobil, Blackwater, Microsoft, and other huge corporations that get billions of dollars each year in lucrative contracts from our government.
These political powers are presently wailing that they’re being picked on by meanies in the Obama White House who’re proposing to expose one of their most sensitive corporate secrets: the amount of cash they surreptitiously funnel into our elections through such front groups as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Obamacans have drafted an executive order requiring these recipients of our tax dollars to disclose how much money they’re putting into which campaigns. Such honest disclosure can help us taxpayers and voters see for ourselves whether the political efforts of connected corporations might result in them receiving government contracts as payback from grateful recipients of their cash.
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But, oh, the squeals of outrage from CEOs, lobbyists, and front groups! “We will fight it through all available means,” screeched the chief lobbyists for the Chamber, calling the anti-corruption plan an attempt to stifle the free speech of corporations. Uh… no sir. Corporate money could still speak – even shout – but the public has a right to know the noisy speaker’s name. It turns out, though, that the public is really what they fear. The Chamber’s lobbyist cries that if corporate giants actually have to tell us what they’re doing, We the People might launch protests against them. And we can’t allow that in a democracy, can we?
Methinks these whiners protesteth too much. If they’re going to steal our government and loot our treasury, let’s at least unmask them. The watchdog group, Public Citizen, has a petition calling on Obama to issue this long-overdue disclosure order. To sign the petition, go to www.citizen.org/disclosure-petition.
“Lobbyist Fires Warning Shot Over Donation Disclosure Plan,” www.nytimes.com, April 26, 2011.