The Direct Line Between Lobbying the DHS and Getting Defense Contracts

The top five contractors for the DHS, in terms of the value of defense contracts, spent millions on lobbying and political contributions to receive almost $9 billion worth of DHS contracts:

MapLight looked into the contracts awarded by the DHS to the top 5 contractors and these contractors’ political spending. These companies were chosen because they were the top recipients of DHS contracts between fiscal year 2011 and fiscal year 2014 according to USA Spending. The top 5 DHS contractors, between fiscal year 2011 and fiscal year 2014, spent $107.6 million on lobbying, and contributed $7.4 million to all congressional candidates from their political action committees (PAC). During that time period, these five contractors received $8.9 billion in federal contracts from the DHS.

In light of the controversy over funding the DHS, it seems like we should be considering just how the DHS is spending our money. Are they really functioning with the interest of the people in mind, or are they just doling out political favors with strings attached? From what I can gather from this list, it seems more the latter than the former.

Is there some way to neutralize the power of lobbying? It shouldn’t be the case that corporations can buy attention from the civil government for their pet projects or interests. Obviously, this is one problem with bureaucratic rule in general. We aren’t talking about elected officials. We’re talking about people whose positions are secured by political connections, and whose political connections are often secured by lobbying and other kinds of “grease.”

It’s an ugly situation. It was never the intention of the Founding Fathers to turn the major part of governance over to unelected, unaccountable stooges. It’s a shame that’s where we are now. Is it too late to shut down the DHS? Anyone? Bueller?

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