May 10, 2011

Bipartisan Opposition To President’s Proposed Executive Order

Key Dem Leader Opposes Latest Effort To Limit Speech, Executive Order On Government Contracts Would ‘Politicize The Bidding Process And Undermine Its Integrity’

‘Contractors Should Be Chosen On The Merits Of Their Applications’
“A House Democratic leader opposes a White House proposal to require anyone seeking government business to disclose political contributions. Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland says government contractors should be chosen on the merits of their applications, their bids and their capabilities.” (“No. 2 House Democrat Against Contractor Disclosure,” AP, 5/10/11)

“White House plan to require federal contractors to disclose political contributions could politicize the bidding process and undermine its integrity, the second-ranking House Democrat warned Tuesday. Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said government contracts should be awarded based solely on the reputation of the company and the substance of its bid. The issue of political contributions, he said, has no place in the process.” (“Hoyer Opposes Obama's Political Contribution Disclosure Plan,” The Hill, 5/10/11)

REP. STENY HOYER (D-MD): “The issue of contracting ought to be on the merits of the contractor's application and bid and capabilities… There are some serious questions as to what implications there are if somehow we consider political contributions in the context of awarding contracts. … I'm not in agreement with the administration on that issue.” (“Hoyer Opposes Obama's Political Contribution Disclosure Plan,” The Hill, 5/10/11)
Similar Efforts To Limit Speech Were Rejected By Congress, The FEC And The Supreme Court
“Democrats last year tried to ram through the Disclose Act, designed to muzzle those new corporate rights, while allowing unions to continue spending at will. When the party failed to get the bill through even an overwhelmingly Democratic Senate, the White House stepped up.” (Op-Ed, Kim Strassel, “Obama’s ‘Gangster Politics,’” The Wall Street Journal, 5/5/11)

Congress ‘Rejected’ The DISCLOSE Act Twice
JULY 2010: REJECTED
“Campaign Finance Bill Grinds to Halt in Senate.” “Democrats failed to persuade even one Republican to support it.” (“Campaign Finance Bill Grinds To Halt In Senate,” The New York Times, 7/28/10)

“Bill On Political Ad Disclosures Falls Short In Senate.” (“Bill On Political Ad Disclosures Falls Short In Senate,” The Washington Post, 7/28/10)

SEPTEMBER 2010: REJECTED
“'Disclose Act' Fails To Advance In Senate. (“'Disclose Act' Fails To Advance In Senate,” Los Angeles Times, 9/24/10)

“Campaign Finance Disclosure Rejected.” “Supporters of the so-called DISCLOSE Act failed to overcome a filibuster by Republicans who claimed the bill was an attempt to give Democrats the upper hand in this year's elections.” (“Campaign Finance Disclosure Rejected,” Las Vegas Review-Journal, 8/1/10)

The FEC Refused To Impose DISCLOSE By Regulation
“A year after the Supreme Court made a landmark decision to ease campaign spending restrictions for corporations and interest groups, the Federal Election Commission has not issued regulations spelling out the full implications of the move. … the effort to write new regulations has been halted…” (“FEC Is Stalled On Election Rules,” The Washington Post, 3/29/11)

“Democratic commissioners are demanding that the FEC consider rules that would require interest groups to reveal who is underwriting campaign advertising. … The disclosure provisions proposed by commission Democrats closely resemble those in a bill pushed by congressional Democrats last year, which has prompted complaints from Republicans.” (“FEC Is Stalled On Election Rules,” The Washington Post, 3/29/11)

The U.S. Supreme Court Overturned Unconstitutional Free Speech Restrictions
U.S. SUPREME COURT: “Premised on mistrust of governmental power, the First Amendment stands against attempts to disfavor certain subjects or viewpoints. … the government may commit a constitutional wrong when by law it identifies certain preferred speakers. By taking the right to speak from some and giving it to others, the Government deprives the disadvantaged person or class of the right to use speech to strive to establish worth, standing, and respect for the speaker’s voice. The Government may not by these means deprive the public of the right and privilege to determine for itself what speech and speakers are worthy of consideration. The First Amendment protects speech and speaker, and the ideas that flow from each. … We find no basis for the proposition that, in the context of political speech, the Government may impose restrictions on certain disfavored speakers.” (“Citizens United, Appellant V. Federal Election Commission,” Supreme Court Of The United States, 1/21/10)

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