All About The Money: Reps Who Voted For NSA Surveillance Received 2X As Much Money From Defense Industry
from the but-of-course dept
For many years now, we’ve pointed out that so much of what drives the fear-mongering about the “intelligence-industrial complex” is pretty simple: money. As in lots and lots of money. All of these intelligence programs require both staffing and systems, and almost all of that goes to a group of well-known big companies who (I’m sure, coincidentally…) also happen to be some of the biggest campaign funders for so many politicians. The folks at MapLight decided to take a look around and noticed that those who voted to keep the NSA’s ability to scoop up data on every American’s phone call (i.e., rejecting the Amash amendment) had received more than twice as much money from defense contractors as the reps who voted to defund the program:
- Representatives voting to continue the NSA’s dragnet surveillance programs received on average 122 percent more money ($41,635) from defense contractors and other defense industry interests than did representatives who voted to end the programs (18,765).
- Representative Justin Amash, R-Mich., the chief sponsor of the amendment, has received $1,400 from defense contractors and other defense industry interests.
- Representative Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., has received $526,600 from defense contractors and other defense industry interests, more than any other member of the House. He voted to continue the programs.
In fact, as some have pointed out, of the top 10 recipients of defense conctractor money, only one — Rep. Jim Moran — voted for the Amash amendment. In fact, if you look at the top 27 recipients (the first page of the document embedded below), you see a grand total of four votes to kill the amendment, with the rest voting to continue scooping up data on all Americans. Meanwhile, on the flip side, there are only 26 members of the House who received no money from defense contractors (they really spread it around), and 16 of them voted to end the dragnet surveillance.
Of course, it’s not true that purely money “buys” votes — in some cases it’s the other way around, in which votes result in contributions. But, either way, it’s no less questionable in terms of how Congress sets its priorities. And, just from the standpoint of how it looks to the American public (and to those around the globe), it’s really, really bad. On top of all of this, I’d imagine that most of those at the top of this list have little fear of being voted out of office, because even if they do they’ll get a cushy “job” from these private companies.