Last year the federal government awarded $447.6 billion in federal contracts. But because of rules like Citizens United, we don't know how much of the money taxpayers gave to the private sector is being used to rig our elections or lobby our elected officials. Click here to demand that President Obama sign an executive order requiring federal contractors to disclose their political spending.
Here's an example of how this system of legal bribery works: In 2004, former President George W. Bush awarded the Koch Brothers approximately $85 million in federal contracts.2 And while we know that the Koch's are notorious for funding climate denying think tanks and politicians, we have no idea exactly how much money they used to back their preferred candidates for president or members of Congress who support weaker rules on oil drilling or refuse to address climate change.
Then there's Monsanto, which received over $44,000,000 in contracts over the last few years3 and spent over $4 million lobbying politicians in one year.4 And I can't leave out the mother load of federal contractors: Lockheed Martin that hauled in a whopping $11 billion in 2014 alone5 and spent $14 million to ensure lawmakers voted favorably for them.6 All of this money is used to ensure that politicians continue to deny climate disruption, vote to dig up and burn more fossil fuels and worse.
Buying politicians is bad enough, but buying them with our money is just plain wrong. We have a right to know if our money is being used to line the pockets of lawmakers. Until we get a constitutional amendment that bans big money in politics, we need a mechanism that at least shows us how companies that take taxpayer money are spending cash to influence politics and elections. President Obama can do that with a stroke of his pen, click here to make sure he does just that.
Thanks for sounding off,
Anthony for Environmental Action
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