CLC Complaint Alleges Six Government Contractors Made Over $1,080,000 in Illegal Contributions
Washington, DC – Today, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed new complaints with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging that six government contractors violated the ban on active federal contractors making political contributions.
Marathon Petroleum, Amedisys, Kirby Smith Machinery, Excel Dryer, Inc., DTE Energy Company, and TonerQuest, all have active government contracts and according to recent campaign finance reports, together donated over $1,080,000 to several super PACs while holding active federal contracts.
The FEC is responsible for enforcing the laws that govern the U.S. campaign finance system for campaigns for president and Congress.
“The ban on federal contractors making political contributions protects against the appearance or reality that taxpayer-funded contracts are for sale, and big super PAC contributions run a substantial risk of buying influence,” said Brendan Fischer, federal reform director at CLC. “Federal contractors should be on notice that they are barred from donating to super PACs. Given the FEC’s general reputation for dysfunction, perhaps these federal contractors thought they could give to super PACs and get away with it, but the FEC has a record of enforcing the contractor contribution ban.”
Marathon Petroleum donated $500,000 each to Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC and Senate Leadership Fund super PAC. This Ohio-based company has a Department of Defense contract worth up to $1.9M.
Amedisys, has several federal contracts and grants, including a two-year indefinite delivery vehicle contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Louisiana-based company donated $25,000 to the Senate Leadership Fund super PAC.
TonerQuest donated $25,000 to President Trump’s America First Action. This New York-based company has two ten-year federal contracts with General Services Administration (GSA).
DTE Energy Company, a Michigan based company, donated $15,000 to American Working Families super PAC. It is the recipient of a ten-year contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs and a contract with the Department of Defense.
Excel Dryer, Inc. also donated $10,000 to American Working Families, a super PAC that was active in the Massachusetts first congressional Democratic primary race of Richard Neal. This company was the recipient of a 15-year contract with General Services Administration (GSA).
Kirby Smith Machinery, which has numerous federal contracts and grants including a contract with the Department of Defense, donated $10,000 to Restore Oklahoma, a super PAC supporting Stephanie Bice in the Oklahoma 5th congressional race.
The FEC has a record of enforcing the contractor contribution ban. Earlier this year, the FEC fined the federal contractor Alpha Marine Services $17,000 for contributing to the super PAC Congressional Leadership Fund, following a CLC complaint.
Last year, also in response to a CLC complaint, the FEC fined federal contractor Ring Power Corp. $9,500 for giving to a super PAC supporting Sen. Rick Scott. In 2017, after CLC filed a complaint, the FEC fined federal contractor Suffolk Construction Company $34,000 for giving to a super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton’s campaign. In each of these cases, the FEC fined the federal contractor even though the contributions were refunded following CLC’s complaints.