Fox's Goler Pushes False Claim That Unions Are Exempt From Draft Executive Order

Fox News White House Correspondent Wendell Goler promoted the false claim that unions are exempt from a draft executive order that would require federal contractors to disclose more information about their political contributions. In fact, the order would apply to unions that have federal contracts, such as the AFL-CIO.

Goler Promoted Issa Falsehood That Draft Order “Exempts Unions”

Fox Correspondent Uncritically Reported That Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) “Says The Draft Order Doesn't Apply To Unions.” From the May 12 edition of Fox News' Special Report:

GOLER: Meanwhile, [Office of Management and Budget official Dan] Gordon says federal vendors are already subject to some disclosure requirements.

GORDON: Information about lobbying, for example. It is not taken into account in the selection of contractors but it's required due to be submitted and it is publicly available.

GOLER: But Issa says the draft order doesn't apply to unions.

ISSA: It exempts unions which do have a limited amount of contracts and a great many grants to the federal government.


GOLER: Administration officials repeatedly point out the draft order isn't final. And because it's not final, Gordon refuses to say if he supports it as it stands. [Fox News, Special Report, 5/12/11]

But The Order Would Apply To Unions Who Seek Federal Contracts

Order Applies To “All Entities Submitting Offers For Federal Contracts,” Includes No Union Exemption. From the draft executive order:

[I]n order to increase transparency and accountability to ensure an efficient and economical procurement process, every contracting department and agency shall require all entities submitting offers for federal contracts to disclose certain political contributions and expenditures that they have made within the two years prior to submission of their offer. [Draft executive order, “Disclosure of political spending by government contractors,” 4/12/11, emphasis added]

Los Angeles Times: Order “Would Affect Some Unions With Federal Contracts.” From the Los Angeles Times:

More than 138,000 companies are prime federal contractors and could fall under the measure, according to government data. That includes Fortune 500 companies such as Apple, Southwest Airlines, Coca-Cola and FedEx. It would also affect some unions that have federal contracts to provide services, such as worker training. [Los Angeles Times, 5/8/11]

Sunlight Foundation: AFL-CIO Has Received Federal Contracts And Would Be Subject To The Order In The Future. From an April 22 blog post from the Sunlight Foundation:

[T]he nation's largest federation of labor unions, the AFL-CIO, ... received small contracts from the Department of Labor as recently as last year. lists two purchase orders from 2010 for contracts with the AFL-CIO Working for America Institute. The contracts were with the Department of Labor and Department of Transportation. The draft order does not distinguish between types of contracts, thus any future contract with the AFL-CIO would trigger the same disclosure requirements applied to corporations with contracts. [, 4/22/11]