President Obama wanted legislation that would force any company that does business with the federal government to disclose political contributions by its officers and directors–not just those where disclosure is required by law, but contributions to advocacy groups where disclosure is not required. He couldn’t get that legislation passed, in part because it is obviously unconstitutional, but the effort speaks volumes about the Obama administration’s desire to suppress free speech and bully its opponents into submission.
Having failed in Congress, the Obama administration announced its intention to promulgate the same rule by executive order. So far, the administration hasn’t actually issued such an order; it seems to be testing the waters. Obama may want to reconsider, based on Minority Whip Steny Hoyer’s opposition to his thuggish tactics. The Wall Street Journal reports:
President Obama’s plan to force federal contractors to disclose political contributions was dealt a surprise blow yesterday when Steny Hoyer, the second-ranking Democrat in the U.S. House, said that he opposed the idea.
“I am not in agreement with the administration on that issue,” Mr. Hoyer told reporters. “It’s not a requirement now. I don’t think it ought to be a requirement.” …
“The issue of contracting ought to be on the merits of the contractor’s application and bid and capabilities,” Mr. Hoyer said at his weekly press briefing. “There are some serious questions as to what implications there are if somehow we consider political contributions in the context of awarding contracts.”
Well put. The Obama administration seeks to introduce politics into every nook and cranny of government activity. It is fortunate that there are at least a few Democrats who understand how damaging Obama’s vindictiveness can be.