There has been sharp concern voiced over provisions a new executive order which proposes all government contractors should disclose their political contributions. If enacted, the order would require officers and directors and subsidiaries and affiliates of a company bidding for government contracts to submit a report detailing any contributions made directly to candidates or third party independent expenditure groups using the funds for electioneering activities.
These new provisions have been likened to “pay-to-play” laws on the state level, though the Executive Order, unlike state laws, would not limit the number of contributions. Included would be a two year look-back, with donations for two years prior to the bid also subject to disclosure, which would be required if $5,000 or more was spent on political activities.
Critics say that the order would foster partisanship in contracting practices, damper First Amendment rights to participate in the political process, and add a tremendous burden on contractors.
It is important to note that the Executive Order would not require disclosure of contributions made by the spouses or children of the directors or officers whose own contributions would trigger reporting, nor would it include senior executives or other staff to report giving