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Surveillance contractors gave millions in campaign cash to congressional lawmakers
Question of the Day
Six of the largest government contractors doing “Top Secret” work for the National Security Agency and other U.S. intelligence agencies have given more than $16 million to lawmakers since 2007, according to Maplight, a firm that tracks political donations.
The biggest donors were Lockheed Martin, whose employees gave over $5 million; Boeing, Inc. whose workers chipped in more than $4.5 million; and Northrop Grumman, $3.3 million.
SAIC, Inc. and consulting giant Accenture each gave more than a million, while Computer Sciences Corporation, with $600,000 and Booz Allen Hamilton with just over $81,000, bring up the rear.
The issue has come under renewed scrutiny after Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old contract worker from Booz Allen, fled the NSA facility in Hawaii with a still-unknown number of Top Secret documents about the agency’s surveillance and data-gathering programs.
He has been leaking providing information to the Guardian newspaper.
The $16 million figure covers campaign contributions from the six companies’ employees and Political Action Committees, from the beginning of 2007 until the end of last year.
Congressional Republicans got more than Democrats, but not by much -- $9 million to $7 million.
By far the largest recipient of campaign contributions was GOP Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who got more than $420,000.
All six of the companies included in the figures also have contracts with the Department of Defense.
Democratic Rep. C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger, whose Maryland district includes the Fort Meade headquarters of the NSA, and who is the ranking member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, received the second most in contributions, with just over $225,000.
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About the Author
Shaun Waterman is an award-winning reporter for The Washington Times, covering foreign affairs, defense and cybersecurity. He was a senior editor and correspondent for United Press International for nearly a decade, and has covered the Department of Homeland Security since 2003. His reporting on the Sept. 11 Commission and the tortuous process by which some of its recommendations finally became ...
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