Petaluma, Calif. – On February 26, 2008, in the midst of his campaign to become the Democratic nominee for President of the United States, Senator Barack Obama (D - IL) issued the statement, “It is time to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants.”
Senator Obama's statement was in response to 15 federal investigations that have been released since 2003, which have found the Bush Administration has diverted hundreds of billions of dollars in federal small business contracts to some of the largest corporations in the United States and Europe.
Federal investigators found hundreds of large businesses have received billions of dollars in government small business contracts. Large firms that received federal small business contracts included: Rolls Royce, Office Depot, Dell, Xerox, Hewlett-Packard, Raytheon, Oracle, Archer Daniels Midland, John Deere, General Dynamics, Titan Industries, L-3 Communications, Northrop Grumman and British Aerospace Engineering (BAE).
Now that Senator Obama has clinched the Democratic nomination, and is the most likely presidential candidate to win the election in November, he has backed away from his pledge to America's 27 million small businesses to stop the blatant and ongoing abuses in federal small business contracting programs. The Obama campaign went so far as to modify his original complete quote on the issue and to remove his original statement, “It is time to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants.”
Despite the fact that over 99 percent of voters would obviously agree that Fortune 500 firms should not be able to receive federal small business contracts, Senator Obama has refused to mention the issue in public speeches and has declined to include any mention of the issue on his website or in his small business plan.
American Small Business League (ASBL) President Lloyd Chapman has encouraged the Obama Campaign to include the issue in its small business plan during a series of conference calls and e-mails. Thus far, they have consistently declined.
“I cannot imagine why Senator Obama has now decided to flip-flop on his pledge to end these blatant abuses against middle class firms. We are in a severe recession and American businesses need political leaders they can count on,” Chapman said. “I think Senator Obama's handling of this issue could be a real glimpse of his true character. We'll see if he can deliver on his promise of ‘change we can believe in’ or if he is just another overly ambitious politician that is willing to say or do anything to get elected.”
American Small Business League