Top Defense Contractors Double PAC Contributions to Politicians

Associated Press

The nation’s largest defense contractors have doubled their political donations since President Reagan took office, with the top 20 firms giving $3.6 million to 1984 congressional and presidential campaigns, an Associated Press review of the contributions shows.

The surge in campaign contributions occurred as government contracts to those firms swelled over the last four years by nearly 150% to $69 billion in 1984.

Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), the top congressional recipient, said that the contributions gain the firms no special attention.


But Fred Wertheimer, president of Common Cause, the citizens lobby, called the donations “a critical part of the lobbying process.”

Increase Nearly 100%

Total PAC contributions from the contractors rose to $3,636,587 in 1984 from $1,819,298 in 1980, an increase of almost 100%.

The review of contributions by political action committees, or PACs, affiliated with the companies, found that most top congressional recipients are supporters of Reagan’s $1.8-trillion arms buildup.

Of the 20 House members receiving more than $15,000 from those PACs, 17 voted last week to approve the President’s request for $1.5 billion to build 21 more MX missiles. Thirteen of the 14 senators who received more than $30,000 backed Reagan on the MX.