U.S. defense contractors were full participants in the last election cycle. Their contributions, totaling $13.5 million, were liberally distributed among both presidential campaigns, major party coffers, and House and Senate races, heavily emphasizing the members of both houses’ Armed Services Committees. This corporate campaign financing will help ensure that weapons industry interests will be well served in the coming year’s budget process.
While hedging their bets somewhat with a $40,000 donation to the Gore campaign, these companies gave a far bigger boost—$162,975—to the eventual presidential winner. They also gave fifty percent more ($3,007,509) to the national Republican Party than to the Democratic Party ($2,061,541).
The largest contractor, Lockheed Martin contributed $549,077 to congressional Republicans and $326,392 to congressional Democrats. This largesse went to sixty-two out of seventy-eight members of the congressional Armed Services committees.