Dianne Feinstein Receives Three Times More Cash From Intelligence Contractors Than Patrick Leahy

from the funny-how-that-works dept

While there are many bills that have been introduced in Congress in response to the revelations about the NSA (thank you, Ed Snowden), there really are only two that matter right now in terms of actually having a chance of moving forward. One is good, one is terrible. There is the USA FREEDOM Act, introduced in the Senate by Senator Patrick Leahy, which actually tries to rein in many of the abuses. It's not perfect, but it's a very good bill. Then there's the fake reform bill, introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein, officially dubbed the FISA Improvements Act, but which is really designed to legalize the NSA's abuses and open the door to making it even worse.

It's no secret that Feinstein is the abused spouse of the NSA, always defending her man, no matter how many times it lies and cheats on her, so I doubt it's much of a surprise to find that those who stand to benefit from a strong NSA have been contributing boatloads to Senator Feinstein.

The good folks over at MapLight, thought it might be interesting to see how Feinstein's contributions from intelligence contractors compared to those received by USA FREEDOM Act sponsor Pat Leahy. The answer will not surprise you. Feinstein received three times as much money as Leahy since 2007 (basically a single Senatorial term).
Dept. of Defense Intelligence Services Contractors Contributions to Senator *Feinstein Contributions to Senator Leahy
General Dynamics $43,750 $13,300
Northrop Grumman $29,800 $6,000
Lockheed Martin $10,000 $11,000
Honeywell International $10,000 $5,000
**L-3 Communications $6,500 ---
AECOM $7,000 ---
$107,050 $35,300

*Not included in the chart is a $250 contribution to Senator Feinstein from Johns Hopkins University, #19 on the USASpending list 

**Totals for L-3 Communications Corporations, L-3 National Securities Solutions Inc. and L-3 Communications Holding Inc. were combined for this analysis.

Now, you could easily make the argument that these companies support the politicians most who already support them (i.e., the cause and effect are reversed). But, as Larry Lessig has pointed out time and time again, these kinds of situations are a form of soft corruption that clearly raise significant questions in the mind of the public about why politicians are supporting what they support. Is it because it's good policy -- or is it because of the money. This level of soft corruption has real consequences beyond just policy -- it destroys the trust and credibility of the government.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2013 @ 9:15am

    FISA Improvements Act should be renamed to something that would resonate with everyone like "FISA see ya suckers! act 2013".

     

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  2.  
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    beech, Nov 13th, 2013 @ 9:16am

    That's why I say in order to hold public office it should be mandatory to take a vow of poverty. "I solemly swear to never take any kind of money or gain any income or recieve anything of value from anyone besides my government salary/pension."

    Instead of getting people who are only interested in furthering their own bank accounts you would only get people who are legitimately interested in serving their country and their constituents.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2013 @ 9:18am

    'always defending her man, no matter how many times it lies and cheats on her'

    seems to me they are a match made in (spying) heaven! she is as much a liar and cheat as the NSA, so go well together. i just hope the people realise it when it comes to election time

     

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  4.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Nov 13th, 2013 @ 9:22am

    What?

    it destroys the trust and credibility of the government
    The government has trust and credibility??? I didn't get the memo!

     

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  5.  
    icon
    Carl "Bear" Bussjaeger (profile), Nov 13th, 2013 @ 9:23am

    Purchasing Decisions

    "Now, you could easily make the argument that these companies support the politicians most who already support them"

    I usually don't buy products I already own. I'm reminded of the definition of an "honest politician", i.e.- one who stays bought. Which merely confirms what we've long known about Feinswine.

     

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  6.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Nov 13th, 2013 @ 9:24am

    Re:

    That's why I say in order to hold public office it should be mandatory to take a vow of poverty.
    What, you mean like the oath of office to defend the Constitution? Hmmm, I think I spot a small flaw in your cunning plan...

     

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  7.  
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    Vidiot (profile), Nov 13th, 2013 @ 9:35am

    Re:

    What a concept... swaggering, biased, not entirely honest... and impoverished. Could be amusing.
    Sackcloth and asses.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2013 @ 9:42am

    Remember, these are only the "on the books" contributions. $100,000 seems way too low for Senator Spystein to be fighting so hard.

    There has to be more "off the books" money floating around somewhere. I heard a popular "off the books" contribution, is giving someone in a Senator's family a no-show job with a defense contractor.

    That person never has to show up for work, yet they still receive a 6 figure salary from General Dynamics, for example.

    In fact, I remember hearing about JP Morgan hiring a Chinese politician's son and doing the exact same thing. That allowed JP Morgan to gain a favorable position in Chinese business deals.

    http://money.cnn.com/2013/11/01/news/companies/jpmorgan-china-probe/

    Once someone gives themselves to corruption. The corruption just keep snowballing inside them, until that person becomes a twisted, evil shell of their former self.

    That's what we're seeing with Senator Spystein and Misrep. Rogers. They're attempting to destroy a 200+ year old law that has been the corner stone of US democracy and freedom, since the founding of America.

    That law they're attempting to destroy, is called the Constitution of the United States of America.

     

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  9.  
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    SolkeshNaranek (profile), Nov 13th, 2013 @ 9:42am

    from the funny-how-that-works dept

    Instead of "from the funny-how-that-works dept" that should have read "revelations that surprise absolutely no one".

     

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  10.  
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    kitsune361, Nov 13th, 2013 @ 9:45am

    Wow, so cheap.

    So, 100k over 6 years buys a Senator? That's less than 20k a year. She'd make more in speaking fees if she just wrote a vanity book on politics.

    Geeze, lady, you're selling yourself short.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Nov 13th, 2013 @ 9:49am

    "destroys the trust and credibility" -- Who was fool enough to grant it in first place?

    Mike and I differ greatly: out here, we NEVER trusted gov't, nor ever will. Mike basically believes gov't can do good: I just want the evil of gov't to be directed against known evil people, mainly against The Rich so they don't try to take over the world. Again.

    Writing tips: "Than Patrick Leahy" is equivocal as could mean Feinstein got contributions from both contractors and Leahy: you probably mean "than Leady did"; and "of" in your "of the government" is not equivalent to "in".

    But this gives rise to a new tagline:

    What is this? A political blog?

    05:49:34[g-402-7]

     

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  12.  
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    trucreep (profile), Nov 13th, 2013 @ 9:55am

    What's most important here is that she is the CHAIR of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the body of oversight that is supposed to be the "adversarial" group to the IC.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2013 @ 10:01am

    Re:

    I think any public official in or out of office for at least 7 years and during .. who takes monies from any corp whether directly or in directly to further the advancement/position of said corps should be deemed a traitor for selling and using of US insider intelligence ..espionage .. just my thoughts ..

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2013 @ 10:05am

    Re: Re:

    sorry forgot something in my rantings ...if a cop takes money from a drug dealers to look the other way they are considered a dirty cop ..i don't see much difference here

     

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  15.  
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    Me, Nov 13th, 2013 @ 10:18am

    Follow the money.

    In a better world, Sen. Feinstein would be sitting in jail right now with Alexander and Clapper for, quite literally, selling us out.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2013 @ 11:17am

    Re: "destroys the trust and credibility" -- Who was fool enough to grant it in first place?

    Your writing tip is 100% wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    Wally (profile), Nov 13th, 2013 @ 11:30am

    I must say that General Dynamics (Designed the F-16 Fughting Falcon), Northrup Grumman, and Lockheed Martin are the least of our worries on that list...but seeing 3Com on that list troubles me to the bone considering how 3Com Corporation is a digital electronics manufacturer best known for its computer network infrastructure products.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2013 @ 11:38am

    Re:

    Good luck trying to make those people family and friends also take that vow, you see whatever you can't do it yourself you find a proxy to do it for you.

     

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  19.  
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    Wally (profile), Nov 13th, 2013 @ 11:38am

    Seeing Honeywell Energies Corporation (a coal mining/power company) on both their lists is not surprising considering how heavy handed they both were towards the nuclear power industry.

     

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  20.  
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    Carl "Bear" Bussjaeger (profile), Nov 13th, 2013 @ 11:40am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "if a cop takes money from a drug dealers to look the other way they are..."

    ...conducting a long term investigation which may or may not result in charges after extensive and careful consideration.*

    ---
    * con·sid·er·a·tion [kuhn-sid-uh-rey-shuhn] 5.a recompense or payment, as for work done
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/consideration

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2013 @ 11:41am

    Re: Wow, so cheap.

    Those are the "official" direct numbers, it doesn't account for "donations" elsewhere that she may have access to and are not visible.

    Family members, friends, business fronts(e.g. LLC's) etc.

    People should do to her what she wants to do to everybody else and map every single contact she has and see where those others are going too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2013 @ 11:48am

    I'll bet she has scheduled speaking engagements with these corporations where they supply the building, the audience, snacks, and best of all spystien gets a $100,000 for a one hour speech for her fee.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    David, Nov 13th, 2013 @ 12:40pm

    Re:

    She is living in the U.S.A. That's increasingly less distinguishable from sitting in jail. Of course, she is one of the jailers' favorites. Wasn't there some Clavell novel "King Rat"?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2013 @ 5:48am

    Politics and money

    So, when are we going to remove money from politics? Donation limits, maximum campaign spend and advertising. Seems to have worked well in parts of Europe.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2013 @ 9:22am

    Will someone PLEASE feather and tar senator Feinstein?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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