The campaign finance reform community has the president’s ear. In exciting news, a “We the People” petition to the president demanding increased transparency in our elections has now garnered more than 100,000 signatures. This means the White House must respond.
The petition, organized by Rootstrikers, calls for the president to issue an executive order that would mandate that federal contractors disclose their political spending. Contractors are already prohibited from contributing directly to candidates, but the executive order in question would cast light onto the money these companies are giving to outside groups that often don’t disclose their donors.
In addition, the petition pushes the president to pressure the IRS, SEC and FCC leaders to implement rules that would increase transparency and reduce the influx of so-called “secret” money in our elections.
The movement around such an executive action has been a long time coming and has brought together a broad group of stakeholders, including members of Congress and reform organizations. As the petition points out, President Obama has often talked about the need to allow all Americans to participate in our democracy, but has yet to tackle the flood of money in politics.
Issue One’s ReFormers Caucus, a bipartisan coalition of more than 100 former governors and members of Congress, is also pushing for increased disclosure and transparency. These men and women have won elections and served in government and know exactly how much the system has tilted away from the average citizen over the past decade. A strong democracy means all citizens know who is spending to influence their votes. This executive order would be a big step toward greater accountability and transparency.