Report Investigates Defense Lobbyists’ Investments

Report Investigates Defense Lobbyists’ Investments

Lobbyists representing defense contractors and other companies sometimes invest in the same industries they represent, a questionable practice with little oversight, according to a report.

Since 2006, almost 150 lobbyists or other professionals who seek to influence government policy “had investments that overlapped with their lobbying duties,” according to a Dec. 26 article in The Wall Street Journal by reporters Brody Mullins, James Grimaldi and Rebecca Ballhaus, who analyzed financial disclosure forms filed by lobbyists’ spouses working for Congress.

The practice — which is different from insider trading — isn’t illegal, but is ethically questionable, some say.


The article highlights the case of Martin Paone, an employee of WPP Plc, the London-based advertising and public relations company, who in November 2012 acquired shares of Lockheed Martin Corp., the world’s largest defense contractor, while his firm was representing rival General Dynamics Corp. — days before Lockheed won a final agreement on a $3.8 billion contract for more F-35 fighter jets.

Paone, whose purchase of as much as $15,000 of Lockheed stock were disclosed by his wife, a congressional aide, didn’t provide comment but a company spokesman said “the trades were made by a financial adviser without his knowledge” and complied with all necessary regulations and policies, according to the report.

The practice is probably more common than even the article suggests, considering there were more than 12,400 lobbyists registered with the government in 2012, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C., which tracks such activity.

The defense sector “has a formidable federal lobbying presence,” according to the group.

The industry spent $136 million lobbying the government last year, down about 11 percent from a peak of $152 million in 2008, according to the center, which analyzed expenditures filed with the Senate Office of Public Records.

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Nice. You have to go all the way to the end of the post to find out exactly who ARE those ubiquitous “some” who say lobbyists actually, y’know, investing in the same financial interests they represent, are doing something that while ‘legal’, that same ‘some’ finds it ethically questionable’? And without iterating WHY exactly to boot.

So when we find out who those ‘some’ are buried at the end of the piece, we find a non-state actor called ‘The Center for Responsive Politics’ who bills itself as ‘non-partisan’ yet who is overwhelmingly funded by a bevy of left-wing organizations?
Now THAT is ethically questionable. Follow the Money? No Discover the Networks.

Actually it wasn’t the firm he represented, it was the rival. In the example, his company represented GD and he bought LM stock. The point I believe is that his firm is technically not part of GD so it doesn’t fit the criminal code of insider trading, but it clearly points to them knowing GD was not going to get the contract ahead of time and that LM was going to thereby giving him a leg up on regular investors in publicly traded stock.

So it will show what we already know rapid corruption in the Pentagon.… Shocker!!!!

YAWN.….….. The number that bothers me is the 12,400 REGISTERED lobbyists. These are the honest guys who are buying influence in the puzzle palace. IT SUCKS!!!!!!!!!

Steve

I got that. The point is lobbyists jump from lily pad to lily pad and change their portfolios based on what they know. Can’t think of one that doesn’t, hasn’t or won’t. It’s all about networking. Done every day, for every industry on the planet. It’s not like insider trading at all, yet they draw parallels to same in order to inhibit ‘unacceptable’ influence. ‘Unacceptable’ defined as anything not controlled by Soros et al. These are the same kind of people who’d like us to view ‘non-profits’ as benign.
BTW, how ethical would you say it is to reword a PR release, probably from a bud at the CRP, in one venue without mentioning you have at least past connection to CRP? Go to the CRP/CPI website and search for ‘McGarry’.
Transparency? Yeah, but ‘Transparent’ in a way I don’t think these people want us to see.

Actually, my interest in this story came from The Wall Street Journal, which I noted in the post. I didn’t talk to anybody at the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), which isn’t the same organization as the Center for Public Integrity (CPI). I worked part-time at the latter during graduate school (in addition to taking courses full-time), as anybody can “see” on my Linkedin page: http://​www​.linkedin​.com/​p​u​b​/​b​r​e​n​d​a​n​-​m​c​g​a​r​r​y​/​4​5​/6b.… Please feel free to contact me directly if you ever have concerns about me or my work at brendan.mcgarry@monster.com.

Why don’t US politicians, I asked myself once, just legislate themSELVES into safety? Any congress, be it the 114th, 115th, whatever, can just write out ALL lobbyists etc and do whatever it is to protect themselves, behind closed doors, and have the president sign it? That’s the only way, just do it. Bite the bullet. Lobbyists shouldn’t decide a nation’s priorities (this goes for every sector, not just defense). Smart legislators, based on scientific studies, should decide a nation’s goals etc. Just write one big law outlawing or significantly limiting lobbyist’s interest, even if they paid you, and be done with it. Then each party outlaws insame primaries, so that only inter party (politician) voting can establish who gets a nomination etc, not the silly ‘caucus’ nonsense. There needs to be a way out of all this ingrained corruption.

I stand corrected.
I was probably blinded by the thirteen pages of links at CPI listing all the articles where they leaned on CRP as a data source between 2000 and today. Well…‘that’ and the reality of them both being largely funded by the same ‘usual suspect’ list of non-state actors: Soros, MacArthur, Ford, etc.

We operate in a corrupt society. And I mean corrupt in a loose sense, not a criminal one. Ever use family connections to get a job?

To not expect some financial connection between those represented and those representing is naive. Everyone does it. But we do have double standards. The federal government does it worldwide. They can represent the U.S. (State and Defense departments), but its citizens can’t. As long as they fully disclose, I don’t care they own stock in the companies they represent. In fact, I wouldn’t hire a company that didn’t believe in what I do or my values if they didn’t own my stock.

The problem isn’t lobbyist they actually serve a good purpose in a government. Used right they allow a group of say small farmers to call attention to a bad bill or something that will hurt their lively hood.

The problem in the US is that everything has been taken to the extreme. Logic is irrelevant even more than it usually is when dealing with human beings.

The Democrats have been taken over by far left liberals and former socialist/communist who are JUST SURE! they know exactly what to do to make the US better and make it stop destroying the world after all!
They promise they will make everyone feel good and that everything that glitters is gold. Meanwhile they wonder why the same policies that give Europe a shitty economy give America a shitty economy.

The Republicans have been split into a dozen factions which all believe everyone should follow without deviation or they aren’t TRUE Conservatives.

Meanwhile the people grow apathetic and ignore the world altogether unless they get it in a 15 second blurb on TV or Twitter.

No offense but coming from a place where the show economy is around 40% (Italy) and others are even farther in the dirt 60+ (Greece). That doesn’t make me say hey lets try this.

The end result of the road we are on now is at best a Greece type situation. However we have no one to bail us out and no buddies stronger than us to back us up. Oh and we have a cultural time bomb between the inner city, Rural, Black power, White power, Latino Power people.

It will never change the military industrial complex must have their toys. We have a corrupted congress thanks to the special interests. Their must be term limits for members of congress. It scares me to see what direction our country is taking. It’s up to the American voters to bring about change. What kind of a future will our children and grand children have. I have a question. Why are so many Americans being forced to retire at the age of fifty. Are their rights being violated. The government just looks the other way. Look at our border with Mexico.The drugs keep coming in to feed the addiction. Why must we let people in this country to fill jobs. Americans should be filling. This country needs strong leadership. We don’t need strings being pulled by the special interests to lead this country. The news media needs to do a better job reporting to the american people.

Seems like the fact that his wife is a congressional aide and he’s dealing in stock on companies with federally funded contracts is even more questionable. Congress people always have an inside track on $$ decisions.

If you want change start with your senator or congressman. And by that I mean DON’T vote for them in the next election. The only way to change is to vote for someone new. If you’re a Democrat or Republican, you need to vote for the other guy (not your guy) or vote Independent.

Remove all incumbants and put into law term limits. It’s the only way to save the Republic from itself .

Sometimes? Welcome to the wonderful world of the new Byzantium and its politics.

Do that and you’ll immediately have a raft of lawyers paid by the deepest pockets in Amerika, who will either find a way to reinterpret the existing law or write a new one to get around your term limits. That’s the way the game is played and their team is both larger and better funded.

We don’t have a Republic, We have an empire of special interests who know no borders and have no allegiance to anything but money. It’s way past time for a revolution.
We have a Congress which pays itself in the six figures, while the national average wage is down around whalesh=t. We have members of Congress, who pay closer attention to whether Israel gets its annual check for billions of our tax dollars than whether our people are losing jobs, savings, and even their homes. We have a Judiciary, hell-bent on locking up each and every pot head, while letting master criminals go free and speaking of ‘free’ we claim to be the freeest nation in the world, while having the most prisoners in the world.
We have millionaires in Congress, claiming to represent the people and the people BELIEVE them.
We are a nation which is the laughing stock of the world because we, not once, but twice, elected a total idiot to the presidency. (IdiotBush is now one word).
We have a former Speaker of the House who somehow managed, while working full time for the people, to enrich herself by 10 million dollars, in just a few days, in addition to her already handsome salary and her status as a millionairess; while most of us can’t get one half that amount working full time, at three jobs, in a life time. And she can still claim, with a straight face, that she’s all “for the people”„,and we BELIEVE her!
And she’s just one of the many self-serving pukes posturing as “servants of the people”, her opposition party is just as self-serving, while also having the distinction of being the dumbest bunch of bas—-ds ever to disgrace the Congress. Good luck with your proposal.

Doultom I agree with you. A great country going to hell. Greed and corruption. How can these members in congress get a good nights sleep. When they don’t serve the American people but the special interests. I am 86 what kind of a future will are children and grand children have. It’s time to clean house vote them out of office. We have to many lawyers in Congress. What will 2014 look like. More people out of work.The military and industrial complex buying more toys. It’s a shame when you have no faith in the leadership of your country. We are a divided nation.

American people need to wake up and Vote this election. One of the problems is that the 1/2 of the American people that work, are too busy working (Sometimes two or more jobs) so they;re too tired to understand what is really going on with the corruption and self serving President, House and Senate…It’s too bad we don’t have anyone with B—ls on the Hill to do what is right. The President fired a bunch of senior officers for “Lack of confidence in their leadership” Wow, is that calling the kettle black or what? America is already broke, we owe so much money even if we taxed the working 1/2 of the people their entire paychecks we wouldn’t be able to pay back the interest. Then he comes up with QE (Lets print up a bunch of funny money, that will help? Heck, he and the others obviously didn’t learn anything from the European countries that did this).
Oh and then let’s have Obama Care, another lets take from the middle class and give to the other 1/2…OMG, another tax for us!! Not to mention a decrease in medical benefits for most of us. The Hospitals and Doctors are already getting overburdened with patients and he wants to do them another favor…Lets Legalize 11 Million Illegal Aliens to the system (What a plan)!! That on top of the legal citizens aging and needing more medical procedures; no wonder it takes me 3 or more months to get an appointment that I used to get in a week or two!! If the socialized medicine plan worked so well for other countries why are there citizens (i.e. for example Canadian) coming over to the united states for medical treatment? Oh ya, maybe it’s the fact that it sometimes takes a year or more to get certain procedures done, or they can’t get them done at all. So to sum this up let’s review what our Snake Oil Salesman of a President wants to do to America . (1) Print plenty of funny money, putting us further in dept. (2) Socialized Medicine causing an Overburden of the medical system and imposing New Taxes. (3) Legalize Millions of Illegal Aliens, putting a huge strain on U.S. citizens unemployment (After All, you can’t tell me they all are going to suddenly start paying taxes and they are only going to take “Farm type jobs. Not to mention we give them Free Education for their children, now even through college. Taking seats away from American Citizens Children. Oh can anyone answer this question for me? Why would we want to let 11 Million Illegal;s in the country to work here when we have only half the people here working, and then give companies exemptions to ship jobs overseas? Maybe we should quit giving companies breaks and level the playing field. Good luck America in 2014…we are going to need it.

He purchased $15000 of stock? Gasp!

Shocking.

Come on, this is small potatoes.

The guy who purchases $15k of stock isn’t the guys we need to be worrying about. We need to worry about the guys who are buy $32M hours before government contract awards happen.

News organizations can print articles about crap like this and it almost seems like they really give a damn about how our money is wasted. It’s just one more example of how the taxpayer is being lulled to sleep while the rich are robbing us blind to get richer. Since they control the news, they control the stories that are printed.

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