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Mar 07 2012

AD-38: Are Nuclear Weapons Buying a California Assembly Seat for Patricia McKeon?

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Rep. Buck McKeon and his wife, Patricia, a candidate for California Assembly

Well, the defense contractors that have a stake in House Armed Services Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon certainly want to curry favor.

The donations made by the four companies were distributed fairly evenly between committee Republicans and Democrats, but skewed slightly more towards the GOP signers on average.

Leading the way was Committee chairman Buck McKeon (R-Cal.). The four companies have given him $318,900 over this period, almost double what the runner up, former representative Ike Skelton (D-MO) — his predecessor as chairman — received. McKeon has long has a reputation as a friend of the defense industry in general — Salon reported in February that the defense industry firms have rushed to support his wife’s California Legislature race this year — and he has a number of key defense plants in his district, including one where work has been conducted on the new strategic bomber.

According to McGehee, of the Campaign Legal Center, “On the Armed Services Committee there is a tacit understanding between members and the military construction sector — ‘you scratch my back (with campaign contributions), I’ll scratch yours (by supporting policies that help your industry). And it’s all cloaked in patriotism and national security to protect it from criticism or harsh scrutiny.”

Spokespeople for House members and companies alike deny there has been any quid pro- quo.

“Funding from special interests does not always mean something unethical is afoot,” said McKeon spokeswoman Alissa McCurley. “Chairman McKeon receives input from senior military leaders as part of routine Congressional oversight. Those views, along with those of Committee professional staff members, are what sets his annual priorities.” She added that “President Obama’s own statement that nuclear weapons will be key to our national defense” make McKeon’s worries about the arsenal’s decay reasonable.

After reading the entire piece linked above, you can see how donating a few $ hundred thousand to Patricia’s California State Assembly race is chump change compared to the $ billions that are tied up in defense contracts, including a new strategic bomber.

And, what a great way to conceal/launder excessive political contributions to Rep. Buck McKeon, which are regulated by federal law. Sort of like, when Buck paid his wife for her campaign work.

These two POLS are pretty sharp in getting paid twice by the special interests and legally too.

But, do voters in AD-38 really want to elect an assembly member that votes based on how much money they can personally collect or one who makes decisions on what is best for the state.

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