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McHugh's Defense Industry Ties

POSTED: 07:30 AM ET, 06/ 4/2009 by Sarah Fitzpatrick

President Obama's nomination of Rep. John McHugh (R-N.Y.) as Army Secretary has focused attention on McHugh's ties to the defense industry and lobbyists, including his campaign contributions from a firm at the center of an FBI investigation.

McHugh has spent his career in public life, previously serving as a city manager and a state senator. He was elected to represent New York's 23rd District in 1992, an area that includes the Fort Drum Army base. But his efforts since have gone beyond the concerns of his home base: as a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, McHugh has proved an attractive political candidate for the defense industry.

The Center for Responsive Politics estimates that political action committees and individuals within the defense industry have contributed more than $220,000 to his campaigns over the course of his career. McHugh's top contributors include defense firms such as Lockheed Martin ($35,000), General Dynamics ($31,000) and more recently Boeing ($13,500). He has also supported spending on major military projects, such as the Navy's F-14 fighter and the Marines' V-22 Osprey.

McHugh is also closely associated with the now-defunct PMA Group, which is under investigation for possible campaign finance violations. According to federal records, McHugh has received $160,250 in donations from the PMA group and its clients, ranking him 65 out of 514 members of Congress to have financially benefited from the firm and its clients. By comparison, the top two recipients of PMA funding are Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-IN) and Rep. John Murtha (D-Penn.), have received $1.4 million and $2.4 million, respectively.

An examination of donations by the PMA group and its employees to McHugh's campaign committee suggests that McHugh has yet to refund any PMA associated donations.

A list of McHugh's requested earmarks can be found on his Web site.

By Sarah Fitzpatrick |  June 4, 2009; 7:30 AM ET In the News
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