Napa, CA— Harrington Investments, Inc. (HII), a pioneering socially responsible investment firm, joined a national coalition of organizations calling on President Obama to sign an Executive Order mandating federal contractors, including Prime Defense Contractors, to publicly disclose political spending.
“The dominant doctrine of personal conduct and motivation in western society today is materialistic self-interest,” Harrington said, “and it has become excessive and socially harmful behavior. At the very least, citizens should know how much money corporations are giving to politicians to gain access to the public trough.”
Harrington said Obama, having addressed the problem of “dark money” in his State of the Union Address, and being noted for his “Make me do it!” stance toward enacting public policy, may sign an Executive Order requiring companies contracting for business with the federal government to disclose political donations and spending.
Kicking off a month long grass-roots campaign to gather at least one million supporters for the Presidential action, members of the coalition delivered a letter to the White House Monday stating while there is no single solution to the problem of Big Money in politics, a Presidential order “is imperative.”
“There are many things we need to do to clean up the world of money in politics, and this step needs to be taken now,” Harrington said. “The President has the power and authority to do this; he’s just waiting to hear from us – those of us that don’t have millions or billions of dollars to throw around in the pay-to-play culture of politics and elections.”
Harrington said the coalition, which includes California partners Common Cause and the California Clean Money Campaign as well Washington and East Coast organizations like the Center for American Progress and Public Citizen, is asking the President to require disclosure by federal contractors of any political expenditures from their corporate treasuries as well as contributions by senior managers and affiliated political action committees (PACs).
“The fact that corporations that receive government contracts can secretly funnel untold sums to help elect the same lawmakers who are responsible for awarding those same government contracts is a scandal,” said Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. Public Citizen is coordinating the drive to push for an executive order.
This effort comes five years after the “Citizen’s United” Supreme Court case which famously opened the doors to the flood of unaccountable political cash, and will culminate on April 2, the second anniversary of the McCutcheon decision which erased overall campaign spending limits and essentially created what is now known as a SuperPAC.
“We can do this,” said Harrington. “The wheels are starting to move. We saw the FCC listen when four million people spoke up about internet rules, and now we have a strong hint that the President will listen to one million of us about money in politics.”
Harrington is asking everyone to sign the Executive Order petition, and make sure democracy is not sold to the highest bidder.
Harrington Investments, Inc. is a 33-year old Registered Investment Advisor, managing over $190 million in assets for individuals and institutions, requiring social and environmental, as well as financial return. The company manages assets utilizing a comprehensive social criteria, engages in shareholder advocacy, and implements a policy of impact investing in for-profit as well as non-profit enterprises.