Murky Waters

Mitt’s PAC Takes Money From Federal Contractors

Federal contractors are banned from making political contributions—and have been for 36 years. But that hasn’t stopped the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future from accepting donations from at least five businesses under government contract, including an aerospace company based in Florida with a Defense Department contract and a Boston construction company working with the Navy to build a base. While other super PACs explicitly state on their websites that contributions from federal contractors are forbidden, Restore Our Future is taking advantage of a loophole created by Citizens United, which says political contributions cannot be forbidden or permitted based on who they come from. The Federal Election Commission has not yet determined the validity of the federal-contractor ban since Citizens United, leaving the call basically up to the judgment of the companies and the campaign. At least one company that gave money to Romney’s PAC now plans to ask for its donation back after being made aware of the ban, but another isn’t at all worried about the legality of its contribution.