Every state, directly or indirectly, prohibits bribery in obtaining government contracts. But few states restrict campaign contributions from businesses seeking government contracts. We need more laws that stop this "pay-to-play" abuse. Government contracts should go to the companies that do the best work for the lowest prices, not the ones that have cozied up to public officials with campaign cash.
Also, enforcement of existing laws is often lacking. It's often unclear who is even responsible for enforcing the law — the state ethics agency, the state elections agency, or the state contracting agent. This also means that penalties for violating the law are often unclear because penalties for violating the elections code are often different from penalties for contracting abuses.
Public Citizen supports well-targeted pay-to-play restrictions to foster fair and open competition in the contracting process and to eliminate corruption — and the appearance of corruption.
- Pay-to-Play Restrictions on Campaign Contributions from Government Contractors (PDF), June 28, 2016
- Take Action: Urge President Obama to Sign an Executive Order Against Secret Political Spending by Government Contractors
- Letter from U.S. House of Representatives Members Urging President Obama to Issue an Executive Order to Against Government Contractor Secret Money (PDF), June 23, 2015
- Letter from U.S. Senate Members Urging President Obama to Issue an Executive Order to Against Government Contractor Secret Money (PDF), June 23, 2015
- Comments to FEC: Ban on Political Contributions by Government Contractors Should Apply to All Entities of the Contractor (PDF), May 29, 2015
- An Executive Order on Contractor Political Spending Disclosure Would Reach 70 Percent of Top Companies (PDF), April 27, 2015
- Report: Barely One-Fourth of the Largest Government Contractors Disclose Contributions to Outside Electioneering Groups (PDF), March 6, 2015
- More Than 50 Organizations Urge President to Require Government Contractors to Disclose Political Spending (PDF), March 2, 2015
- Public Citizen Calls on FEC to Close “Chevron Loophole,” Stop Federal Contractors from Evading Political Contribution Ban (PDF), November 28, 2014
- Complaint Against Chevron for Violating Federal Pay-to-Play Law with Super PAC Contributions, March 19, 2014
- ARCHIVE OF ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AND INFORMATION