President Obama: In the nearly 6 years since Citizens United, super PACs and undisclosed money have come to dominate elections.
You have tools at your disposal to fight this influx of secret money into politics.
But you have done nothing.
You must act now or be remembered as the president whose inaction aided the rise of secret money politics.
We demand that before your State of the Union address, you issue an executive order requiring federal contractors to disclose their political spending within 24 hours of it happening, taking effect before July 4, 2016.
We also demand that you immediately call on the leaders you appointed to the SEC, IRS, and FCC to use their authority to unmask secret political donors, and fill all 5 FEC openings with nominees who will enforce the law.
Response to Petition
Thank you for taking the time to sign this We the People petition on secret money in politics.
President Obama addressed this issue in his final State of the Union address:
“We have to reduce the influence of money in our politics, so that a handful of families and hidden interests can’t bankroll our elections -- and if our existing approach to campaign finance can’t pass muster in the courts, we need to work together to find a real solution.”
In the 2014 elections, 0.01 percent of households gave nearly 33 percent of the money raised by political parties and campaigns. And just last year, 158 wealthy families contributed nearly half the funding for the 2016 presidential race.
As the President said in the State of the Union, the state of our politics is broken. The President supported a bill with bipartisan support -- the DISCLOSE Act, requiring more transparency in political spending -- but it was blocked by Republicans in Congress in both 2010 and 2012.
From pushing for reform that modernizes our current voting system to highlighting the negative impacts of gerrymandered districts, the President is exploring every step he can take during his last year in office to make sure everyone's voice can be heard, not just the voices of those with money and power.
But, as he has said:
"If we want a better politics, it’s not enough just to change a congressman or change a senator or even change a president. We have to change the system to reflect our better selves."
“…I can’t do these things on my own. Changes in our political process -- in not just who gets elected but how they get elected -- that will only happen when the American people demand it. It will depend on you. That’s what’s meant by a government of, by, and for the people.…Our collective futures depend on your willingness to uphold your duties as a citizen. To vote. To speak out.”
So thank you for sharing your views on this platform. We encourage you to continue to raise your voices and we will update you on the related actions President Obama is taking on this issue.
-- The We the People Team