A couple of reactions to this disingenuous op-Ed.
In her op-ed article attacking the Executive Order, Senator Collins states:David Vance of the Campaign Legal Center adds:If more transparency is truly the goal, why don't these requirements apply to organizations receiving federal grants? Campaign contributions to candidates and political committees already are required to be reported to the Federal Election Commission and, with a click of a mouse, can be viewed on FEC.gov.This is an interesting comment coming from Senator Collins, since she abandoned her past support for transparency last year and refused to provide the deciding 60th vote for the DISCLOSE Act. If the DISCLOSE Act had been enacted last year, we would today have full campaign finance disclosure for all groups, including organizations receiving government grants.
If Senator Collins thought that this government grants information was important information to have, her vote alone for the DISCLOSE Act last year would have made the difference in enacting the law and ensuring that the American people had this campaign finance information and all of the campaign finance information currently being hidden from the American people.
Furthermore, the statement by Senator Collins that campaign contributions can be viewed with "a click of a mouse" masks the fact that more than $135 million in secret donations to section 501 (c) tax-exempt groups were spent by those groups to influence the 2010 congressional races...
As for the claim made by Senator Collins that the Executive Order would politicize the contracting process, Senator Collins has this backwards. It is widely recognized that pay-to-play prohibitions and disclosure requirements protect the integrity of the contracting process. Absent disclosure, the donors and the recipients know who gave and who received the benefit of campaign funds. The only people who don’t know this information are the American people.
To say that this type of disclosure would politicize the process is laughable. Everyone knows the process is already hopelessly politicized and it's one of the reasons Americans think so little of the "inside the Beltway" culture. The status quo equation with contracting and campaign finance has everybody in the know except citizens and changing that will only help to depoliticize the process.