Watchdogs Defend Contractor Contribution Ban in Court Filing


Today, the Campaign Legal Center, joined by Democracy 21, submitted a brief opposing an effort in Wagner v. FEC to overturn the ban on political contributions by federal contractors to federal candidates, parties and other political committees. The 70-year-old restriction on campaign contributions from persons and entities contracting with the federal government was enacted in 1940 to address corruption in federal contracting in the wake of scandals—most notably the “Democratic campaign book” scandal.

“Plaintiffs ignore the threat of pay-to-play corruption that would soar in the absence of this commonsense restriction, as well as the scandals on the state level that have prompted legislatures across the country to enact similar contractor contribution bans,” said Tara Malloy, Campaign Legal Center Senior Counsel. “Plaintiffs inappropriately ask the court to take on a legislative role and tinker with the law, suggesting changes that wouldn’t even remedy what plaintiffs view as problems. The court was right to reject plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction and should rule against them again in this instance.”

Wagner v. FEC is pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, which rejected plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction in April.

To read the brief submitted today by the Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21, click here.