Government Contractors Rely on FEC Ruling to Evade Federal Law Against Pay-to-Play

by - November 18, 2014

In response to a complaint filed last year by Public Citizen against Chevron – a major government contractor – the FEC ruled that a separately incorporated member of a corporate family may dip into corporate coffers to make campaign contributions if it holds no government contracts, while another separately incorporated subsidiary or affiliate solicits and receives lucrative government contracts. Chevron and a handful of other government contractors relied on this ruling to make campaign contributions in the 2014 elections to the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC closely aligned with U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) dedicated to electing Republican candidates to Congress. The petition (PDF) Public Citizen filed today calls on the FEC to recognize the damage done to the pay-to-play law by the agency’s flawed decision on the Chevron complaint and issue a new rule to close the loophole the decision created. “The FEC ruling effectively gutted the federal ban against federal contractors attempting to curry favor among lawmakers by giving money to candidates, parties and PACs,” said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “Any large company easily can create artificial distinctions between its various divisions so that one entity makes the endearing contributions while another pulls in the government largess.”

Source: Public Citizen Press Room

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