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Sep 13, 2012

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Third-Stone

While it can be claimed the a contribution to a PAC is not to the candidate, it is plainly for the purpose of getting the man elected. There are many ways of spending money on congressmen. If I remember right it was Tom Delay who was given a junket to a pacific island and provided with whores, courtesy of an industry group. One was caught living on a boat in Washington which belonged to some government contractor. To me it is all giving money to buy votes, whichever subterfuge is used. The PAC is most certainly an arm of the corporation that funds it. That is the point of a PAC, so large amounts of money can go around what little is left of the regulations.

Dfens

Crap assurances from another of the military industrial complex's propaganda mouthpieces. Not only do the rob you, then they spend your money blowing sunshine up your ass. Now there's a system we'd never want to change.

Crintopolis

The companies do not "control" contributions to PACs any more than unions or universities control the comparable political contribution mechanisms. I can assure you the funds are not corporate--that would be a felony. What you all ought to be more concerned about is the gajillions contributed from company coffers and rich families cosmetically construction 501c3 orgs to candidates--both democrats and rethuglicans. You don't get it. You all seem out of date, and if you forget about the legalities and formalities that make PACs truly separate from corporate treasuries, why bother to honor the distinctions you draw so finely in other POGO broadsides. Stop acting like a bunch of Republicans.

Dfens

Defense contractor "employee" Political Action Committees are simply another tool by which these companies can bribe elected officials to do their corporate bidding. That's why I don't belong to one. The only people I know who do are company suck ups looking for yet another hand out due to their willingness to comply, which has completely replaced technical capability as a promotion criterion in the defense industry as it exists today. Why should it surprise anyone that a fascist procurement system where the government picks the winners and losers from among private companies should not exibit all of the attributes of fascism including the fanatical support of the chosen.

Mitten State Monitor

Crintopolis -- not really seeing a lot of evidence for your claim that PACs are not controlled by corporations. Who's behind these entities if it's not the corporations? Disinterested bystanders?

Crintopolis

Mon. Hilzenrath--your rejoinder was rather disappointing because you think, or so it seems, that you have proved that PACs are corporately controlled. But they are not, and you can bet "compliance" enforcers of the company and onsite govt auditors can easily document that.

What you are really upset with is the fact that: the employees of the company indeed, want to support, in this case, the Republican candidates. That may even be true among the stockholders.

No denying the facts you presented, but the real damage being done would be if Lockmart were exercising its rights under the Citizens United decision and contributing gazillions to candidates. Many big companies will not disclose these contributions or where they are targeted. They would be of far larger magnitude than individual PAC totals. So, you have your POGO eye off the ball here.

Interestingly, if you take the trouble to look at the personal contributions of government contractor employees in many large companies Other Than the Big Hardware firms, such as SAIC, you often find a 60-40 split (sometimes Democrats predominate) between the parties.
Also true all over the Fortune 500. Check a few at random.

Most of all, try to remember that our population and voters are pretty closely split 50/50. Even the President refers to this 50/50 condition of the population. This is why national races are close and, more importantly, why Congress cannot get a damn thing done or done smartly.

For your part, Pogo--try not to mangle and maul like Huffington Post and get back to more important things--with some analytical rigor, please.

David Hilzenrath

Crintopolis,

Thank you for your comment, which prompts us to share some additional context.

We have difficulty seeing much if any daylight between the contributions and the company. Here’s why:

According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, 24 members of the House Armed Services subcommittee received a total of $152,500 from the Lockheed Martin Employees’ Political Action Committee. In other words, 99.51 percent of the $153,250 we identified in our report came from the PAC rather than from individual Lockheed employees.

The Lockheed Martin Corporation’s web site includes a page about the PAC, which begins:

“The Corporation maintains a political action committee.”

The corporate website goes on to say that the PAC’s decisions are made by its board of directors. It lists 11 members of the board, all of whom are executives of the corporation.

The chairman of the board, Greg Dahlberg, is described as the company’s senior vice president for Washington operations.

The treasurer of the PAC is identified as Larry Duncan, Lockheed’s vice president for “Federal and State Government Relations & PAC Affairs, Washington Operations.” An online bio of Duncan says he manages the PAC and “serves as a senior liaison to Federal and State government officials on national defense programs and business issues of importance to the corporation.”

More to the point, when we asked a Lockheed Martin Corporation spokesman for comment on the political contributions, the corporation provided a statement citing its business interests:

“With 82% of our company’s sales derived from U.S. government customers, we naturally have interactions with virtually every standing committee in the United States Congress who has oversight authority over the budgets and policies of all Federal agencies and by extension the products and services that Lockheed Martin provides to them.”

Lockheed told us that it was trying to get politicians’ attention.

“In this environment," the corporation said, "there are many voices being raised, particularly in an election year, and we believe it is critical to have our voice heard on issues that are important to our future.”

Evelyn McMullen

HOORAY for Rep. Todd Platts Rep from PA for being a forthright and honest individual. I am sorry to see my Rep's name on that list.

Crintopolis

Why would POGO go out of its way to use misleading headlines -- and also mangle the "facts" a la Huff Post and other incompetent "news media."

Individual and PAC contributions are not controlled by corporations. They might influence them, but you make them sound like directed, corporate campaign contributions from company coffers. You should know better than to sound like incompetent news media.

Yet you do in this piece. POGO creates another windmill to tilt at--as if there were not a lot of fully legitimate targets that don't need a smelly bracketing to justify your ire.

Try some education--and honesty.

Krypton

No one who knows anything about the G-Force/Oxygen situation believes any of what the AF is saying, in particular that they have cured the problem. Supposedly this was done by replacing a defective plastic part inserted in a rubber hose. This replacement had to be done despite the fact that the device has been in use for 10-20 years on other planes- and is not really necessary. The telling fact is that they limited the max altitude at which the plane is allowed to fly, but that kind of limitation can be overridden by "Combat Emergency". No explanation has surfaced to explain why the same "anoxia" problems the aircrews were having are also appearing among the ground crews (who don't wear stylish g-vests or fly over 20K). I can't believe they had the chutzpah to send the F-22 detachment to Japan, especially with the Japanese raising Cain over the transfer of two squadrons of Ospreys. I also wonder how much pressure USAF is applying to its own uniformed troops to "accept" this loser. And now here comes the House, just in case any form of political manipulation might have been overlooked. Sometimes I wish Obama would abandon this lassez-faire attitude toward internal departments and go kick some braided Air Force butt.

Scott Kuechenmeister

"Liberty For Sale"

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