• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • VIDEO: No Transparency on Obama's Political Donations Executive Order

    How’s this for transparency in the White House?

    Last week, the House joint Oversight and Small Business Committee held a hearing on a proposed Obama Executive Order mandating the disclosure of political donations by government contractors. The Committee questioned White House aide Daniel Gordon on the Order. His response? He danced, dodged, bobbed and weaved around the Committee’s questions, as captured in this video, above:

    Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC): Does it strike you at all as being ironic to invoke confidentiality and not answering questions when we’re having a hearing about transparency?”

    Gordon: “It does not, sir. I think there are discussions, even about transparency and developing rules about transparency that we need to be able to have quietly and behind closed doors.”

    This wasn’t the first time the White House has faced questions on the Order, which amounts to an attempt to make an end-run around Congress in order to implement restrictions on political speech. Twenty-seven senators sent a letter to the president questioning the Order in late April.

    The Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky explained in The Washington Examiner the effect — and intent — of the president’s Order.

    It would require any company bidding on a government contract to disclose all political contributions made in the two years before the bid by the company, its affiliates and subsidiaries, and any of its directors or officers …

    It would require government contractors to disclose any contributions they make to third-party organizations “with the intention or reasonable expectation” that the funds will be used to make “independent expenditures or electioneering communications.”

    The order wouldn’t apply to federal employee unions or many nonprofits that receive federal grants and, as von Spakovsky writes:

    What is really going on here is a transparent attempt to introduce political gamesmanship into the government contracting business by the Obama administration. It is a cynical attempt to use the guise of reform to achieve political goals at the cost of the liberty that all Americans have to participate in the political process, and to voice their political opinions, without fear of retribution to themselves and their businesses.

    So while the White House’s intentions are transparent, the decisions surrounding the Order are not. But don’t be surprised. On everything ranging from health care, net neutrality, the New START treaty and closed-door meetings with liberal organizations, the Obama Administration has thumbed its nose at transparency, despite the president’s commitment to make his administration the most open and transparent in history.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    19 Responses to VIDEO: No Transparency on Obama's Political Donations Executive Order

    1. Chasoo says:

      This is the most secretive president, bar none. He is attempting to destroy the republican party. If obama gets his way we will be a two party country only in theory. This man in bent on taking over this country and if he win re election we are doomed.

    2. John Dulleck, San Jo says:

      White isn't really white, you know. When you think about it, it's really quite black. Don't you see?

      What was that gobble-de-gook he espoused, anyway?

    3. Bobbie says:

      Our interests are not being well served, Mr. President. The rule of law is not being conducted by you, Mr. President. You won't live up to the rule of law, so you "change" (convolute/circumvent) it.

      To disclose the fact you stand on transparency yet the actions of you and your administration clearly oppose your words regarding your claimed transparency. You set rules on everyone while you have no intent on following yourself. You're not honest and I will not vote for you.

    4. Brian Marvin, Charle says:

      This is chicago-style politics and the total hypocrisy of obama and his cronies is

      always overlooked by their mainstream media minions!

      If they truly wanted transparency, they would include EVERYONE-unions and non-profits that almost exclusively support democrats. If they do get this thru, watch them scream when unions and tradional democratic supporters are added to the list!

    5. Pingback: Obama Practices Gangster Government— Chicago Style! « American Elephants

    6. George Colgrove, VA says:

      If these disclosures are already required, what Obama is doing is suspicious. Why the extra attension? If he is asking for further disclosure I do support that. We need transparancy especially since we have annual deficits of over a trillion dollars.

      I do feel that every federal contractor should disclose whom they donated money to so that we the people can know what our politicians are up to. $400 billion alone is going to defense contractors, which is a huge sum! Many in the military complain that much of what congress pushes on them is useless and unnecessary. If a campaign donation precipitated this wasteful expenditure, we need to know the politicians responsible and prosecute.

      However, in the same light that contractors should be disclosing their donations, so should unions and community organizations. The same corruption that is born out of corporate greed exists in the non-profits greed as well. They are BOTH after the same thing, the taxpayer's money.

      I do not care if it is the White House or some private sector website. We the people should be privy to the information regarding who donates what to whom.

      We conservatives should not be fearful of this disclosure either – nor should we be fighting it.

    7. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      Whatever the statists tell us they will do better than anyone else, be it transparency, job-creation, education, healthcare, war, border security, domestic oil production, etc., they will do worse than anyone else.

    8. Pat, San Antonio says:

      This is just another example of this administration saying do as I say not as I do. Apparently the rules do not apply tho Obama and friends. If I were trying to get a government contract, I would surely donate to the democrats or the chances of my bid being chosen would be nil. Such openess and transparency in this administration! I can't wait to hear what Obama espouses in his campaign speeches this year.

    9. Bob Williams says:

      Barack Obama is the ultimate antithesis of transparency in office. He is not in any way shape or form restricted by the rule of law, human ethics, or honesty.In my opinion he is constantly in a mode of deception, always saying whatever things he feels will serve him well politically, but actually doing whatever things he can to advance his ultra left wing political agenda. In short, he can seldom if ever be taken at his word. This is not only a very dangerous character flaw for the most powerful person in the free world, but a sad commentary on our electorate who put him in office, and worse still for the future of our great nation. Let us hope and pray we can summon the collective will to rid ourselves of this millstone taking us down.

    10. Elizabeth Farrar says:

      Do not be afraid of the truth. What is good for the goose ( potential Federal contractors) is good for the gander ( the Federal employees' unions, federal grant recipients, etc.)

    11. Lou, Tucson AZ says:

      Elections have consequences people. Do the right thing in 2012.

    12. Bill says:

      Obama says one thing that sounds great but then he does another. The Bible says you will know them by their Fruits! Obama's fruits are deception and higher debt and granting special favors for his allies.

      Therefore I propose that Obama has gone from the Whitehouse to the Outhouse!

    13. Sandy, Richfield, UT says:

      Secret combinations have run amok during this administration and the liberal media has turned a deaf ear and a blind eye.

    14. Pingback: Morning Bell: Teaching Obama a Lesson on Education | The Foundry

    15. Pingback: Transparent mud « Arnegrim’s World

    16. Rich, Washington says:

      Wow! Me thinks the corporates protesteth too much. Funny how the corporates expect sunshine from all but themselves….turns the transparency issue on its head.

      First off, Mike, don't tarnish your credibility…don't cut and paste the video…readers should go back to the original CSPAN video and listen to Gordon in context and completely…Gordon clearly is reluctant to answer because he simply doesn't know the answer. More to the point, Daniel Gordon isn't the problem…the problem is quid-pro-quo and influence peddling. Gordon should have said as much and not accepted a false premise.

      If a vendor, whether a local construction company or a large international company enjoying the backing of a foreign sovereign, is paying to play, the answer is yes, the American people are entitled to know that. And, if our representatives are taking funds from foreign governments through corporates…..and they are….the American people are entitled to know that.

      Not really an earth-shattering notion….indeed, seems fundamentally anti-American to me to permit any entity (including the principals thereof) that lacks suffrage to influence our representatives without disclosure. Not saying they can't influence….just asking them to tell us who they are "bribing," or rather, "influencing." Since when is secrecy a good thing in government? Are we afraid that too much knowledge in the hands of the American people may lead to failed re-elections? Yeah….thought so…and all reasonable Americans applaud it.

      Since 1989, Joe Lieberman has received more than $31,400,000.00, yup that's over 31 million dollars, in campaign donations from corporates, directly and/or indirectly….it's mindnumingly naive (to be charitable) to imagine that he wasn't influenced by that.

    17. Roger S., Mass. says:

      If Mr. Gordon doesn't "feel comfortable addressing the issue of transparency", the announced reason for his appearance, then why is he there? And, if he won't answer, then why isn't he being cited for contempt of Congress? Given BO's campaign rhetoric, why doesn't he answer as his boss presumably would have wanted him to answer, namely candidly? And, if he doesn't (want to), why doesn't BO fire him? Obvious answer: BO wants him to keep mum about a whole bunch of things. Obvious response to that: Start IMPEACHING BHO! For lying to the public!

      We, the public, are becoming tired of this never ending game of charades! You, members of Congress, are not?! How come? Your "pay grade" too high? Well, we CAN fix that!

    18. Ken, Greenville, SC says:

      I am so pleased to read rational comments (George Colgrove, Elizabeth Farrar) on this forum. They are absolutely spot on!

    19. Wes in cincy says:

      We are certainly getting a lesson in Chicago politics.

      This is certainly the lyingest president that ever sat in the chair.

    20. Marion Lester, Box 9 says:

      The Conservative Media is MISLEADING the American Public. Do you research and find out the truth for yourself. The misleading physiological effect of Sound Bites with Power Words are being wrote for Big Business and Political Pac's to saturate the Media that is mislead the American People.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×