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.

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Comments on “Dianne Feinstein Receives Three Times More Cash From Intelligence Contractors Than Patrick Leahy”

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beech says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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 ..

Carl "Bear" Bussjaeger (profile) says:

Re: 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

Carl "Bear" Bussjaeger (profile) says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.


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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

out_of_the_blue says:

"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?


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