Friday, May 14, 2010

Jack Kingston’s Military Industry Money Trail

Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA), sits on the Defense Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. In that position, Kingston has much more power than most members of Congress to make decisions about which military projects move forward, providing profits to military contractors.

It’s impossible to say what sort of contact Kingston has had with each particular lobbyist working for corporations doing business with the Department of Defense. However, we can take a look at the financial donations Kingston has accepted from lobbyists who have military contractors as clients. So far in the current election cycle, Representative Kingston is on the record as taking the following donations from such lobbyists:

Jean Denton works as a lobbyist with Innovative Federal Strategies, with clients such as L-3 Communications, the Tactical Survey Group, and Science Applications International Corporation.

Robert Hurt, once was employed as an aide to Senator Sam Nunn, but now works as a lobbyist with Hurt, Norton and Associates. Hurt’s defense industry clients last year included Avineon, Daniel Defense, Aurora Flight Sciences, and Meggitt PLC.

On his FEC form, lobbyist Paul Cambon lists his employer as the Livingston Group, but in 2009 he also lobbied through Jones Walker for Raytheon.

Paul Looney of the Washington Capitol Group lobbies for American Blimp, which sounds soft, round and harmless, but makes blimps for the US military.

William Edington used to work in the Treasury Department as a congressional relations specialist. He now is a lobbyist with the firm Edington, Peel and Associates, representing Alien Technology, Xio Strategies, Lockheed Martin, Sierra Monolothics and Meggitt Training Systems.

David Schwarz was an aide to Senator Strom Thurmond and to Congressman Kingston himself, but is presently employed as a lobbyist by McKenna, Long & Aldridge, where he lobbies on behalf of Radiance Technologies.

Edward Shaw is a lobbyist employed exclusively by military contractor General Dynamics.

Thomas Veltri once worked for the Air Force on “Congressional Affairs”. He is now a lobbyist with the Federal Business Group and the PMA Group, representing contractors such as General Dynamics, L-3 Communications, Rockwell Collins and EM Solutions.

Should voters accept these kind of lobbyist contributions, from an area in which Congressman Kingston is supposed to be exercising oversight, as part of the ordinary way of conducting business in Washington D.C.? You be the judge!

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