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How Dependent is the RI Delegation on Defense Industry Contributions?

The alleged $10 million kickback scandal involving a Rhode Island-based Navy official and defense contractor Advanced Solutions for Tomorrow (ASFT) has focused attention on campaign contributions offered up by ASFT to members of the Rhode Island Congressional delegation.

There is nothing to suggest anything untoward by members of the delegation. Indeed, as Senator Jack Reed's spokesman Chip Unruh noted in a piece that appeared in the ProJo on Sunday, the indictment doesn't appear to involve the earmark process at all.

Nonetheless, we thought it would be interesting to provide a glimpse at how dependent the delegation is on defense industry campaign contributions. The following tables - which total up contributions by sector for 2005-2010 - are courtesy of Open Secrets. David Cicilline, elected this past fall, is not included. His predecessor, Patrick Kennedy, is.

Some of the results you might expect: Reed and Congressmen Kennedy and James Langevin, all of whom served on key defense-related committees during the period in question, got more from the defense industry than Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. Others are a little more surprising. Defense industry contributions were further down the list than you might expect for Reed and Kennedy - ranking 8th out of 13 industries for Reed and 7th out of 13 for Kennedy. Defense contributions ranked 3rd out of 13 for Langevin, the one member of the delegation who is not yet returning donations from the two men named in the kickback scheme. Here are the numbers:

Senator Jack Reed

Sector Total PACs Indivs
Agribusiness $22,450 $11,500 $10,950
Communications/Electronics $143,213 $51,500 $91,713
Construction $126,850 $37,000 $89,850
Defense $222,417 $152,700 $69,717
Energy & Natural Resources $24,950 $6,500 $18,450
Finance, Insurance & Real Estate $1,352,026 $750,488 $601,538
Health $286,900 $192,850 $94,050
Lawyers & Lobbyists $609,297 $91,794 $517,503
Transportation $35,350 $20,000 $15,350
Misc Business $264,705 $77,000 $187,705
Labor $273,850 $271,500 $2,350
Ideological/Single-Issue $376,875 $227,635 $149,240
Other $232,355 $18,000 $214,355

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Sector Total PACs Indivs
Agribusiness $56,025 $20,500 $35,525
Communications/Electronics $399,101 $83,326 $315,775
Construction $66,793 $1,000 $65,793
Defense $17,000 $15,500 $1,500
Energy & Natural Resources $77,350 $28,500 $48,850
Finance, Insurance & Real Estate $1,299,657 $97,750 $1,201,907
Health $157,699 $68,300 $89,399
Lawyers & Lobbyists $1,174,866 $67,630 $1,107,236
Transportation $44,400 $17,000 $27,400
Misc Business $444,292 $39,500 $404,792
Labor $287,000 $286,000 $1,000
Ideological/Single-Issue $945,957 $378,245 $567,712
Other $610,416 $0 $610,416

Patrick Kennedy

Sector Total PACs Indivs
Agribusiness $7,050 $0 $7,050
Communications/Electronics $11,100 $5,200 $5,900
Construction $9,200 $5,000 $4,200
Defense $32,000 $27,500 $4,500
Energy & Natural Resources $1,500 $1,500 $0
Finance, Insurance & Real Estate $60,350 $5,500 $54,850
Health $84,350 $59,400 $24,950
Lawyers & Lobbyists $116,621 $16,571 $100,050
Transportation $4,000 $3,000 $1,000
Misc Business $97,900 $19,000 $78,900
Labor $72,000 $72,000 $0
Ideological/Single-Issue $14,750 $10,350 $4,400
Other $34,975 $0 $34,975

James Langevin

Sector Total PACs Indivs
Agribusiness $1,200 $0 $1,200
Communications/Electronics $47,500 $35,000 $12,500
Construction $31,350 $10,000 $21,350
Defense $102,300 $81,800 $20,500
Energy & Natural Resources $5,750 $2,000 $3,750
Finance, Insurance & Real Estate $126,524 $37,350 $89,174
Health $81,012 $46,600 $34,412
Lawyers & Lobbyists $99,639 $17,500 $82,139
Transportation $5,750 $4,000 $1,750
Misc Business $76,595 $15,500 $61,095
Labor $164,950 $164,950 $0
Ideological/Single-Issue $26,944 $25,944 $1,000
Other $47,895 $0 $47,895

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