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Markay writes: "The Democratic Party's House campaign arm raised money from one of Washington's premier defense-industry lobbyists just months after he signed two new clients: a leading firearms manufacturer and the government of the United Arab Emirates."

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee received $26,250 in 'bundled' contributions last month from Michael Herson, the chief executive and co-owner of American Defense International. (photo: Bill Clark/Getty)
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee received $26,250 in 'bundled' contributions last month from Michael Herson, the chief executive and co-owner of American Defense International. (photo: Bill Clark/Getty)


House Dems Rake in Cash From Gun Lobbyist

By Lachlan Markay, The Daily Beast

21 May 19


The DCCC bundler recently signed up to win Pentagon contracts for a German firearms manufacturer.

he Democratic Party’s House campaign arm raised money from one of Washington’s premier defense-industry lobbyists just months after he signed two new clients: a leading firearms manufacturer and the government of the United Arab Emirates.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee received $26,250 in “bundled” contributions last month from Michael Herson, the chief executive and co-owner of American Defense International, according to a Federal Election Commission filing on Monday.

Through ADI, Herson lobbies on behalf of leading defense contractors including Raytheon, General Dynamics, and BAE Systems. In January, he also signed Sig Sauer, a German firearms manufacturer for which Herson will attempt to secure military contracts from the U.S. and other nations, according to disclosure forms.

Last summer, Herson and ADI signed up to provide “strategic consulting and government relations advice” to the UAE’s embassy in Washington, D.C., including efforts to maintain U.S. military aid. ADI has also sought to bolster the case for military intervention in Yemen, where Emirati forces have joined a Saudi-led coalition in battling Houthi rebel forces that deposed the country’s government in 2015.

Such clientele potentially puts Herson’s lobbying goals at odds with some of the Democratic Party’s goals on key policy issues. Herson’s work for the UAE took place even as House Democrats advanced a resolution, eventually vetoed by President Donald Trump, calling for an end to U.S. involvement in Yemen.

Herson’s work for Sig Sauer does not appear geared toward affecting federal gun-control laws. But such laws are high on Democrats’ policy agenda, naturally putting that agenda at odds with companies whose products they’re hoping to more heavily regulate—or ban entirely.

The committee didn’t respond to questions about how its new cash infusion from Herson in particular might put its financial base at odds with the party’s left flank.

The DCCC’s fundraising this year has rankled some progressives, with critics directing particular ire toward the industry clients of some of the committee’s top bundlers. Its fundraisers this year have also included a number of lobbyists representing the health-care industry, which Democrats’ left flank hopes to upend with plans for “Medicare for All” or single-payer health care.

The DCCC itself has become a flashpoint in the party’s widening ideological divide. It’s drawn fire from Democratic rising stars such as New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who called efforts to hobble primary challengers to Democratic incumbents “extremely divisive & harmful to the party.”

The committee also recently faced criticism from progressives for its support of Rep. Dan Lipinski, a moderate Democrat from Illinois whose re-election bid the DCCC is fully backing in spite of some policy positions that run counter to the party’s leftward-shifting ideological center of gravity.

The DCCC counters that its primary mission is not strictly ideological, but simply to elect and re-elect House Democrats. To do so, it’s tapped a formidable base of corporate cash this year. Corporate political action committees have donated more than $2 million to the group, and lobbyists have bundled another $1.3 million.

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+11 # apotem 2019-05-21 18:04
Dems do everything to loose the elections and then blame Reps for not allowing progressive agenda
 
 
+14 # Texas Aggie 2019-05-21 18:18
If you want yet another reason to ignore DCCC pleas for money, look at who is already donating.
 
 
+2 # Farafalla 2019-05-21 18:27
Ahh, good ol MSM like the Daily Beast. Note this gem: "...run counter to the party’s leftward-shifti ng ideological center of gravity." That means if you are not a corporate pig with no morals, you must be some left wing ideologue. No matter how corrupt the mainstream Dem is, the MSM will always say that they are accosted by the party's left wing.
 
 
+7 # futhark 2019-05-21 18:34
I am in no way a professional politician, but it is easy for me to see that all donations of businesses to political campaigns are a way of investing with an eye to improving profit margins, never for ideological reasons. Indeed, it would probably be a betrayal of the investors if the board of directors of a corporation used its funds for any purpose other than improving the value and productivity of the company. Campaign contributions from businesses must always be regarded as bids for attention from and favorable treatment by government officers.

If businesses are allowed to use the powers of their purse to buy such influence, wouldn't it be a whole lot more honest for candidates to hold periodic public auctions, openly selling their power to the highest bidder? Come on out of the swank hotel rooms and congressional offices and set up auctions on the Capitol steps!

A great classic movie dealing with these very issues is "Born Yesterday" (1950)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oW9IgGpoAQ

and remade in 1993.
 
 
+2 # jsluka 2019-05-21 18:54
We've long been sold out by the DNC. Since we refuse to vote for third parties like the Greens, our political system is now hopelessly corrupt. The only question is if we have the courage for a revolution, and I very much doubt that we do. It's all down hill from here.
 
 
+3 # tsyganka 2019-05-21 22:55
I'd vote for Democratic Socialists of America or Socialist Alternative. Jill Stein just seems to show up ever 4 years without having done anything in the meantime except (apparently) dining with Russian oligarchs. The DSA and SA (judging by people like AOC, Kshama Sawant, and Ginger Jentzen) have better stances than the Greens in general.
 
 
+9 # NAVYVET 2019-05-21 19:46
Never, Never, NEVER send a contribution to the DCCC or DNC or anything controlled by the Establishment DimDumbDems! Send it to the candidate of your choice. If s/he's a progressive, s/he would never get a penny of money donated to committees run by former lobbyists who now manipulate BOTH parties' corrupt machines. And be sure to mail back every one of those biased, loaded, rapidly spinning and money-grubbing "questionnaires " the Dems love to send. Just make sure they, not you, pay for the postage. A mass movement to charge the DCCC money for stamps is one way to help prevent Blue Dog DLC'rs from winning in the caucuses and primaries.
 
 
+1 # bobmiller101 2019-05-22 12:25
EVERY SINGLE e-mail I get from the DNC, DCCC and other related groups I hit "reply" and tell them WHY I DON'T support them. Sure it takes a little time, but if enough of us do this, perhaps, it will make them think. If nothing else, perhaps it will create some doubt about what they are doing. Just deleting the messages won't do anything.
 
 
+8 # Lgfoot 2019-05-21 20:39
Republican lite is too kind a description of the corporate Dems. They are hopelessly compromised.
 
 
+2 # tsyganka 2019-05-21 22:47
"...Dan Lipinskik a moderate Democrat...," my sainted Aunt Fanny. He's anti-abortion, anti-privacy, anti-autonomy, anti-woman.

The DCCC needs to take off its mask and join the GOP.
 
 
+4 # DongiC 2019-05-22 04:08
Call corporate Democrats like the DCCC what they truly are: dishonest hookers. They sell access to high government officials, offer special protection and other services in return for campaign contributions. They are prostitutes pure and simple working in the political sector. They disguise their true function under the rubric of just electing more Democrats because the truth hurts so much.
They have traded their honor for money so important for political success.
 
 
+1 # PABLO DIABLO 2019-05-22 13:49
"The DCCC counters that its primary mission is not strictly ideological, but simply to elect and re-elect House Democrats."
Trump? No problem, just keep sending that corporate cash.

VOTE PROGRESSIVE.
 

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