What do Plastic Bags and Military Contractors Have in Common? One Congressman

Monday, February 06, 2012
Patricia and Buck McKeon
A Republican running for an open seat in the California Assembly has received unusually large donations from defense contractors, possibly because of her congressman-husband who holds a powerful position in Washington.
Outraged by Los Angeles County’s 10-cent tax on plastic grocery bags, Patricia McKeon decided to run for an Assembly seat that overlaps with her spouse’s congressional district. Her husband, Buck McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, is one of the most powerful members of Congress when it comes to deciding spending for the Department of Defense.
Shortly after announcing her bid for the state legislature, Patricia McKeon began getting contributions from defense companies that stand to benefit from Buck McKeon’s decisions on the armed services panel.
Patricia McKeon has collected nearly $20,000 from defense contractors or their registered lobbyists, including $3,000 from Lockheed Martin, which is trying to convince Washington decision-makers not to cut funding for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet, $3,900 from General Atomics, $2,000 from Raytheon and $1,000 from Boeing.
Not surprisingly, considering his position, Buck McKeon himself is the largest recipient of campaign contributions from the defense industry, having raked in more than $750,000 from weapons makers since republicans gained control of the House of Representatives in 2009.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
To Learn More:

Contributions to Patricia McKeon (California Secretary of State) 


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