Brad had an op-ed in The Columbus Dispatch this Sunday detailing the issues surrounding the President’s draft executive order. Brad argues that the order unnecessarily politicizes the contracting process and does little to stem corruption:
Currently, federal government procurement officials are not made aware of the political contributions or leanings of potential awardees. Contracts are supposed to be awarded based on merit and be competitive to the fullest extent possible. Rather than providing more accountability to the process, the proposed executive order would introduce the possibility that contracting agencies, ultimately controlled by political appointees, might consider politics in determining how to award contracts. And instead of increasing confidence in the process, the data the administration would force companies to provide would create flimsy rationales for losing companies to challenge the bidding process as politically corrupt.
All corporations already are prohibited from contributing directly to federal campaigns. Furthermore, contributions by corporate political action committees (financed by voluntary contributions from employees) already are disclosed, as are contributions from corporate executives. The executive order, however, would require companies with contracts of more than $5,000 to disclose 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.”