President Barack Obama is reportedly about to sign an executive order that would vastly expand the power of his administration to coerce and intimidate the private sector into submission while restricting the ability of his opponents to engage in political activities.
The order would require any company bidding for a government contract, its political action committee – and its senior officers—to provide in a convenient single report a list of all of their contributions to political parties and candidates for the past two years. These disclosures currently are required, but made in various reports to different government agencies. In addition, for the first time ever, companies and individuals would be required to report donations to “third party entities” including membership dues and charitable donations made to organizations that may engage in political speech in addition to their other activities.
“This information could easily be used to form a Nixonian enemies list on steroids,” explains Sean Parnell, president of the Center for Competitive Politics.
Similar disclosure requirements were in a bill that last year’s Democratic Senate was unwilling to pass. By signing the order, President Obama would override the democratic process and rule, instead, by decree.
The administration justifies the disclosures in the name of transparency. But, in this case, transparency can easily morph into tyranny. I do not use this word lightly, but in the appropriate definition as an “oppressive power exerted by government.”