comsc US Politics | AMERICAblog News: Northrop gives lobbyist $500k bonus just before he takes job as low-pay Congressional staffer shaping military policy
Join Email List | About us | AMERICAblog Gay
Elections | Economic Crisis | Jobs | TSA | Limbaugh | Fun Stuff

Northrop gives lobbyist $500k bonus just before he takes job as low-pay Congressional staffer shaping military policy

| Reddit | Tumblr | Digg | FARK

Lee Fang is on fire. And this is red hot conscienceless stuff. As you read, the name to remember is Thomas MacKenzie.

Now consider. You're a lobbyist/vice-president for Northrup Grumman, the people who help bring you — well, all those wars.

I know, this is a huge stretch — you actually have a conscience. You don't want to eat breakfast food made from napalmed children. But for the sake of argument, bear with me.

So, you've shed your conscience like a skin, you're a war-industry lobbyist, and you're about to go to work for a bought Congressman — Rep. Buck McKeon, by the way — heard of him?

But darn the luck, to do it, you're going to have to take a serious pay cut. Can't do the public good without a pay cut.

How do you keep your pockets lined while working for the public good? How about an upfront, lumpsum two-year bonus from your ex-employer — say, $250,000 per year — to tide you over? (Two years is a congressman's term of office.)

Would a half million dollars keep your present mind on your once-and-future job?

If you have no conscience about how you earn your keep (because, in fact, you are definitely kept) you say "Thank you, Master; I'm here."

Which brings us to Lee Fang's story at the heroic Republic Report. In it, Thomas McKenzie says, in effect, "Thank you, Master; I'm here" (my emphasis and paragraphing):
Northrop Grumman, the fourth largest weapons maker in the world, follows the actions of Congress very closely. The F-35, which may cost over $1.45 trillion because of unprecedented cost overruns, an expensive surveillance drone program criticized as unnecessary, and even a new fleet of nuclear bombers are among the Northrop Grumman products that may be in jeopardy as the Pentagon is forced to trim fat from the military budget.

But luckily for Northrop Grumman, which made $2.12 billionin profits last year, the firm essentially has a man on the inside of Congress with wide sway over how the government spends money on national defense.

In 2011, after Republicans seized the House of Representatives in a landslide victory, the House Armed Services Committee, which oversees the military, gained a new chairman, Representative Buck McKeon (R-CA).

As with most leadership changes, McKeon and his committee hired new professional staff. Thomas MacKenzie, a vice president at Northrop Grumman, was tapped to work for the committee beginning in March of 2011. [MacKenzie is the lobbyist perp, in case you haven't noticed.]

There are many examples of lobbyists burrowing into government to work in policy areas that impact their former employers. Theselobbyists, as Public Citizen’s Craig Holman, an expert on lobbying, has explained, seem happy to accept low-paid public service salaries, perhaps because they can expect extremely high pay once they return to K Street [the "once-and-future job" noted above].

In MacKenzie’s case, Northrop Grumman made sure he had extra cash before he went to work writing policy on the defense budget. Republic Report viewed a recently filed ethics disclosure form, and found that Northrop Grumman paid MacKenzie a $498,334 bonus in 2011, just before he went to work under McKeon as a committee staffer. ...

As a congressional staffer, MacKenzie now makes close to $120,000 a year. Representative McKeon, by far the biggest recipient of Northrop Grumman campaign contributions in Congress, has defended billions of dollars in questionable projects for MacKenzie’s former employer. ...
To see how much MacKenzie made at Northrup Grumman per year, check out Lee Fang's piece; it would be a shame not to send you there for that.

Humans rendered into profit. You read that correctly; supply the substituted noun and you got it.

* * * * *

Dozed again. I keep having them dreams. "Master, we're here" is rolling round my brain.



To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius

blog comments powered by Disqus