Issa Rejects Testimony of Open Government Coalition at Hearing on Disclosure of Campaign Contributions

May 12, 2011
Press Release
“Transparency Caucus” Co-Chair and “Good Government” Award Recipient Silences Over 30 Government Watchdog Groups

Washington, DC - After stacking today’s hearing with witnesses who oppose greater disclosure of campaign contributions, Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell E. Issa denied a request by Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings to invite Fred Wertheimer, the President of Democracy 21, to testify on a draft executive order that would require government contractors to provide more information about their political contributions.  

Mr. Wertheimer, a recognized national leader on campaign finance issues, would have testified on behalf of 34 independent open government organizations.  These groups sent a letter to President Obama in "strong support" of the draft executive order.

“It is deeply troubling that Chairman Issa refused to allow testimony from this coalition of independent experts,” said Cummings.  “Denying their testimony is a disservice to Members of Congress and the public, and it tarnishes the integrity of the Committee.  Our Committee should be a model for others to follow.  Especially in a debate about openness and transparency, we should be open and transparent ourselves.”

There is overwhelming agreement among Americans on the need for enhanced disclosure requirements for political contributions.  According to a New York Times/CBS Poll last year, 92 percent of Americans said that it is important for the law to require campaigns and outside spending groups to disclose how much money they have raised, where the money came from and how it was used.

Click here to read what would have been Fred Wertheimer’s testimony.

112th Congress