Sunlight: White House Should Release Executive Order Online Before Issuing It


We found out yesterday that the White House is considering issuing an Executive Order in response to last year’s Citizens United decision.

Presidential action would be an appropriate response to the huge gaps in public disclosure revealed by the Citizens United decision, and the Senate’s subsequent blockage of the DISCLOSE Act response.

If the White House is going to pursue remedies through an Executive Order, though, the public should be included in that process as well. Campaign finance disclosure should be designed to serve the public, so some public scrutiny and discussion of any CU EO should precede its issuance. (Yesterday’s release is insufficient.)

Sunlight is calling for at least 72 hours for the public to examine and review any EO in response to CU.

It’s likely that the opposition to this EO will paint it as motivated by partisanship and not transparency, and posting the draft online would demonstrate some good faith in preparing an executive response.

Sunlight certainly has specific issues we’d like to see addressed in the response, as we’re sure others do as well. (Timely disclosure of contribution and expenditures comes immediately to mind) But for right now we’d like for everyone to have a chance to evaluate an official proposal before it is released.

Executive Order: Disclosure of Political Spending by Government Contractors