Saturday, March 19, 2011

Military-Industrial Round-Up

This week in war making:

--Late Friday, Sen. Collins passed along the news that General Dynamics subsidiary Bath Iron Works had received a $28 million contract from the Navy to build a new a DDG-1000 destroyer. No word on whether the vessel, once assembled, will be deployed to the Navy's Fifth Fleet, hosted by US military partner Bahrain, an autocracy that this week adopted a policy of killing its own people in the street. (Warning: link contains gruesome video.)

--Elsewhere, General Dynamics won even more business.

Defense giant General Dynamics has been awarded a $7.8 million contract to produce Gatling gun systems for the U.S. Navy.

U.S. Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine said about half the work for 22 lightweight Gatling gun systems used on fighter jets will be done at General Dynamics' plant in Saco, Maine.
It just so happens that through its PAC and via its employees, General Dynamics has funneled more campaign contributions to Collins over the course of her career than all but one other corporation. (For Snowe, General Dynamics has been the third largest contributor.)

--To our knowledge, there was no word this week from Sens. Snowe or Collins on their views of military intervention in Libya.

Collins, it should be remembered, visited Libya and its leader Muammar Qadhafi in 2009, as part of a US delegation tasked with discussing a possible military equipment sale or transfer. (Video here.)

UPDATE: Some context that may or may not be relevant: Jefferson Consulting Group, the lobbying shop that employs Sen. Collins' investment partner Tom Daffron, has purportedly worked on behalf of defense giants BAE Systems, Dyncorp, Halliburton and Northrop Grumman among others.

(For some reason, none of those companies appear on the client list posted on Jefferson's website.)

It is not known whether Daffron or his colleagues have lobbied Collins formally or informally on defense-related issues.

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