Wednesday, February 03, 2010

McConnell Raised Big Bucks From Foreign Defense Contractor Probed For Bribery


In the wake of the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has been quick to denounce a bid by Democrats to stop foreign corporations from pouring money into U.S. elections, claiming current law already bars such spending. As we've reported before, it's not nearly as simple as that -- but McConnell should know: The GOP Senate leader has raked in campaign cash from a subsidiary of a major foreign defense contractor that's currently being investigated by the Justice Department for bribery.

As we reported yesterday, McConnell, a longtime foe of efforts to get money out of politics, last week took to the Senate floor to pooh-pooh the notion that the court's decision could allow a flood of foreign money to sway our elections, citing an existing law that prevents foreign nationals, including corporations, from spending on U.S. elections. But that ban doesn't cover the U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies, or to foreign-owned corporations that incorporate in the U.S.

That's not just some technical loophole. Democrats and campaign-finance reform advocates argue it's a very real weakness in the law, that, even before Citizens United, gave foreign corporations influence in our elections. And McConnell's own ties to one foreign defense contractor offer a pretty good illustration...........................

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