Have Your Senators Taken Money from Lockheed Martin?

Ryan Lau | @agorisms

Last year’s election was rife was polarization. With bitter fights in states such as Texas, where incumbent Ted Cruz narrowly defeated challenger Beto O’Rourke, the country’s politicians seemed more divided than ever. Many Democrats ran on an anti-Trump line, whereas many Republicans did the opposite. But one thing about the election season was eerily unified: most of the Senate took money from Lockheed Martin and other military industrial complex companies.

Lockheed Martin and Political Contribution

Lockheed Martin is the top defense contractor for the United States. Many advancements in offensive military technology, such as the infamous F-16 fighter jet, have come from their company. Beyond that, the military industrial complex corporation also specializes in donating money to national campaigns for both major parties.

Dating at least as far back as 1990, the company has given considerable funds to congressman seeking election. That year, their donations totaled over $450,000. By 2018, the figure shot up more than ten times over, reaching $4.68 million.

The funds do not exclusively go to Democrats or Republicans. More often than not, Lockheed Martin gives more to Republicans. However, they have never given less than a third of their raised money to Democrats. And in two elections, they gave substantially more to them than to Republicans.

Lockheed Martin political contributions
Lockheed Martin political contributions, 1990-2018

The figures, though down from 2016 to 2018, have increased steadily over the past 30 years.

Did Your Senators Take Funds?

In the 2018 election season alone, Lockheed Martin donated to a total of 91 Senate campaigns. Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz, who both received upwards of $50,000. Not far down the list, however, is Beto O’Rourke, to whom the military industrial complex giant gave $22,681. Even Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard, who profess a less interventionist foreign policy, received smaller amounts of money.

In total, Lockheed Martin gave to 454 national campaigns (or 85% of the total seats in Congress). In many cases, they gave copious amounts of money to opponents facing each other in a race. A notable example of this is the Texas Senate race between Cruz and O’Rourke. A similar thing happened in Missouri, where the company gave a combined total of over $10,000 for Claire McCaskill and Josh Hawley to battle each other.

According to OpenSecrets, the following individuals running for office took at least $15,000. Candidates who were in the House but running for Senate are listed as House.

The complete list of all 454 campaigns is available here.


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