Despite Longstanding Ban, US Government Contractors Are Making Political Contributions , But How ?
Making political contributions is prohibited for government contractors. It is a longstanding ban that is put in place to prevent any influence-peddling plus any types of corruption in the contracting system.
But unfortunately, the C.L.C. – Campaign Legal Center filed several complaints alleging that the federal contractors violated. Moreover, they do not follow the band yet give money to the super political action committees.
The ban contribution protects against the pay-to-play system, which is a wealthy special interest. It rewards the political contributors with lucrative government contracts. It actually prevents the reality or the appearance of funded contracts for sale.
However, it is not impossible for the contractors to make any kind of illegal contributions to violate the ban; it’s a brief by the Federal Election Commission (F.E.C.) that upholds the law. On the other hand, the commission has shown willingness to enforce the ban in recent years.
Additionally, the C.L.C. has long tracked this concerning trend plus filed a successful complaint over the past few years. Besides, the complaints have penalties from the F.E.C. For example, once, the F.E.C. fined the Alpha Marine Services 17,000 USD since they contributed to the Congressional leadership Fund. Moreover, C.L.C. sent them a legal fine for contributing 100,000 USD.
Similarly, F.E.C. also fined the federal contractor Ring Power Corporation about 9,500 USD since they gave a super P.A.C. supporting Sen. Furthermore, Rick Scott after the C.L.C. also filed a complaint with that commission.
In 2016, to respond to the complaint from C.L.C., the F.E.C. fined the Suffolk Construction Company contractor about 34,000 USD. That’s because they illegally contribute 200,000 USD for the democratic super P.A.C. Priorities the U.S.A. Action. And it supports Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
However, the F.E.C. is also responsible for enforcing the laws of the U.S.A., and it should act to enforce the ban to discourage any kind of future violations.
Here are six federal contractors identified by C.L.C. who made an illegal contribution to super P.A.C.s.
- Kirby-Smith Machinery, Inc. (which is a renowned heavy equipment distribution company) provides 10,000 USD to Restore Oklahoma. In the 5th District congressional race, a new super P.A.C. supported Republican Stephanie Bice. Besides, they were under multiple contracts with the Department of Defense.
- Marathon Petroleum Company gave 500,000 USD each for the conservative super P.A.C.s Congressional Leadership Fund and Senate Leadership Fund. At the same time, they held a nearly 2 million USD contract with the help of the Department of Defense. It is insane!
- Excel Dryer, Inc.(it is a hand dryer producer) and they gave 10,000 USD to American Working Families. It is Democratic super P.A.C. running ads that support Rep. When the company publicly touted Rep Richard Neal in Massachusetts’ 1st District congressional race. Nevertheless, while under contract with the General Services Administration (G.S.A.), Neal supports this contribution.
- A nursing home company named Amedisys, Inc. (delivered a 150 million USD settlement in 2014 for Medicare fraud) gave 25,000 USD to Senate Leadership Fund under several active federal government contracts.
- A Detroit-based diversified energy company named DTE Energy gave 15,000 USD to American Working Families. And the contribution was under the G.S.A., Department of Justice, Department of Defense, including Department of Veterans Affairs.
- One New York-based office supply company named TonerQuest gave 25,000 USD to the Trump-aligned super P.A.C. American First Action, and at that time, they were under contract with the G.S.A.
However, political donations by government contractors have also been discovered. Some are from the GEO Acquisitions II, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of private prison giant GEO Group. Additionally, it has valuable contracts with U.S. Immigration plus Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.).
According to the state of issue 52 U.S.C. § 30119(a)(1), it is unlawful for any person or contractor to contribute money within the United States. Therefore, when a company or contractor gives money to any political party, candidate, or committee for any political purpose, it is totally unlawful.
Furthermore, the Supreme Court also overturned the many longstanding campaign finance restrictions. Thus, before making any contribution, one should be careful and learn things more appropriately.