Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Politics of Pork has this excellent article about space contractors making campaign contributions to members of Congress to assure they receive NASA contracts.

Boeing spent nearly $18 million on its own lobbying operation in 2010, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a government watchdog group. In addition, Boeing hired 19 outside lobbying firms and paid them an additional $3.5 million-plus. Among its outside lobbyists is former House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.).

Boeing’s PAC donated more than $2.2 million during the past cycle, including $7,500 to Shelby’s campaign committee, $13,000 to Mikulski’s reelection committee and leadership PAC, $1,000 to Aderholt and $3,500 to Wolf.

Lockheed Martin spent nearly $13 million on in-house lobbying and $3 million on outside lobbyists, including former Rep. Sonny Callahan (D-Ala.). And Bill Inglee, staff director of the House Appropriations Committee, is a former vice president at Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed Martin’s PAC shelled out nearly $3.5 million in 2009-10, according to records, with the lawmakers seeking the NASA funding receiving more than $69,000.

Alliant Techsystems, also known as ATK, spent $1.3 million on federal lobbying, according to disclosure reports. Its PAC gave out $28,500 to lawmakers involved in obtaining the new NASA funding, including $15,000 to Shelby, FEC records show.

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, which is working with ATK on part of the rocket system, is a division of United Technologies, and is itself a major lobbying force — spending $14.5 million in 2010 — with a PAC that dished out nearly $30,000 to members pushing for the NASA money.

Contrast these millions of dollars with the modest campaign contributions made by SpaceX.


  1. Still - SpaceX invested quite a lot of money into Obama's success and some people may feel like some of the NASA money assigned to SpaceX CCDev and COTS awards were actually an award for sponsoring the president.

  2. Just curious ... How much is the "quite a lot of money" you claim SpaceX "invested into Obama's success"?

    If you look at the link I posted in the article, Elon Musk gave $2,300 to the Obama campaign. Do you really think that pocket change (for Musk) equates to buying off a President?!