Defense Firms Prefer GOP, but Spread Campaign Cash Between Political Parties

Defense Firms Prefer GOP, but Spread Campaign Cash Between Political Parties

For every campaign contribution from a major arms manufacturer to a Republican candidate or group, one of comparable size to a Democrat is not far behind.

Defense-sector insiders have said for months that they would prefer Republicans to control the House, which they have for several years, and the Senate, which most prominent analysts say likely will happen after the Nov. 4 midterm elections.

Their thinking is that GOP leaders would move annual Pentagon policy and spending bills much earlier than has Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in recent years. Congress might actually send the president full-year defense appropriations bills under full GOP control, something Pentagon and industry officials want.

So campaign donation figures likely show a strong preference from defense firms for Republican incumbents and candidates, as well as for that parties’ congressional campaign committees, right?

Not exactly.

Lockheed Martin, which was ranked first on Defense News’ 2014 Top 100 list , has donated more of its more than $3.5 million of donations during the 2014 midterm cycle to Republican congressional candidates, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. The defense behemoth has given the most to three Texas GOP lawmakers: $97,200 to Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn, $75,900 to House Armed Services Committee (HASC) Vice Chairman Mac Thornberry and $73,100 to House Appropriations Defense subcommittee Vice Chair Kay Granger.

Lockheed builds the F-35 fighter, a crucial program for the company, in the Lone Star State, and Thornberry is expected to take the HASC gavel in January.

House Appropriations Committee-Defense Subcommittee (HAC-D) Chair Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., is next at $42,350. He crafts the lower chamber’s version of the Pentagon appropriations bill each year.

But a closer look at Lockheed’s contributions reveals plenty of cash heading into Democratic campaign coffers. Scattered throughout a Center for Responsive Politics list of candidates receiving Lockheed donations are plenty of Democrats, who received from just over $16,000 to $8,000.

Read More:Defense Firms Prefer GOP, but Spread Campaign Cash Between Political Parties | Defense News |

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