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Special Interests and Defense Contractor Lobby: Same thing, or different?

One of the unifying parts of America are military arms manufacturers, the guys who turn shock and awe into SHOCK AND AWE.

It’s scientific, academic, economic, and a huge money maker. Call it the glue that holds us together.

Or call it the most powerful lobby to the most powerful nation in the history of the world.

It sort of goes hand in hand, don’t you think?

The American military needs American made weapons from American companies.

Seems like an easy sell for an experienced D.C. lobbyist.


Of the total 655 lobbyists employed by the contractors, 423 of them specifically lobbied on defense, in some cases along with other issues, according to the lobbying reports.

General Dynamics paid for 74 lobbyists, more than any other contractor, for example, and 70 of these lobbied on defense, part of its $2.7 million lobbying tab. Lockheed Martin Corp., the world’s largest defense contractor, spent $3.5 million and enlisted 64 lobbyists to press government officials, including 56 who lobbied on defense as well as other issues.

Do we vote on the jets and rockets and artillery and tanks? The people we elect do, which is the representational part of representational government.

The defense contractor lobbyists talk to the elected guys and make the pitch for approving the next generation rocket, missile, cannon, laser in a committee vote.

Everybody gets a little boost in the campaign as things advance, all fair and square.

As the weapon systems get closer to approval, the lobbying effort increases, the checks get bigger.

It’s not all weapons money that flows toward Congress. Checks come in from the other players.

And who’s cashing them?

From the

“It’s a rare thing for members of Congress to go against the money these days,” said Mansur Gidfar, spokesman for the anti-corruption group Represent.Us. “They know exactly which special interests they need to keep happy if they want to fund their reelection campaigns or secure a future job as a lobbyist.

“How can we expect politicians who routinely receive campaign money, lucrative job offers, and lavish gifts from special interests to make impartial decisions that directly affect those same special interests?” Gidfar said. “As long as this kind of transparently corrupt behavior remains legal, we won’t have a government that truly represents the people.”

Connecting the dots between top lobbying firms and their special interests keeps the game rolling.

It’s one way to find the candidate you want elected.

Take names and vote accordingly. Not every retired Lt. General screaming about war is auditioning for a lobbyist job. Not every former NYC mayor screaming about war works for the defense contractor lobby.

Check to make sure.

About David Gillaspie
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