The defense industry is not only waging a full fledge propaganda campaign to prevent defense budget cuts, but also spending millions on campaign contributions. According to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, defense industry companies’ political action committees (PACs) have contributed $10.3 million dollars to federal candidates so far during the 2012 election cycle.
The defense industry is also hedging their bets. While the majority of contributions from defense industry PACs have gone to Republicans, significant amounts have also gone to Democrats. Republican candidates have received $6.2 million and Democrats have collected $4.1 million, created a 60/40 split between the two political parties. This percentage is maintained through the different defense sectors: aerospace (62/38), electronics (57/43), and miscellaneous (60/40).
The leaders in campaign contributions are a who’s who of the defense industry. Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, and Raytheon are all among the leading companies in campaign donations from their respective PACs.
Since 1990, Lockheed Martin’s PAC has contributed $22.3 million to federal campaigns. During the 2012 $2.1 million has been doled out by Lockheed Martin’s PAC. The biggest recipient of contributions from Lockheed Martin has been Rep. Buck McKeon, who has received $64,250 from the defense giant. Both President Barack Obama and Republican nominee former Gov. Mitt Romney have been beneficiaries of campaign contributions, taking in $31,000 and $22,000 each.
McKeon, chairman of the powerful House Armed Services Committee, is among the top recipients of all the defense industries most power companies. In fact, in the 2012 cycle the top five contributors to his campaigns are all defense industry companies. In all McKeon has racked in more than $441,000 in campaign contributions from the defense industry. In return the defense industry has received their most loyal member of Congress, who is the staunchest defender of military spending and the military-industrial complex.
So far during the 2012 election cycle, Boeing’s PAC has contributed just over $2 million to federal campaigns; $1.8 million from Northrop Grumman, $1.1 million from General Dynamics, and $1.4 million from Raytheon. All of this cash flowing from the defense industry to the politicians that feed it create an incentive for Pentagon pork, that has lead to the United States to spend more on the military than any other country in the world.