Thursday, March 18, 2010

Vought Aircraft Loves Texas Congressmen

Vought Aircraft's PAC donated to 14 incumbent members of the House of Representatives thus far in 2010. Seven or 50% are from Texas. Of $33,500 in House member campaign donations, $23,000 or nearly 70% went to Texas leaders. Why would Vought tilt the donation field so heavily toward the Lone Star state? Is it the C-17 or something else?

2010 is the year Vought Aircraft has to make good on its Texas promises. In 2004 Governor Rick Perry gave Vought $35 million in Texas Enterprise Funds for a promised 3,000 new jobs. Vought's employment numbers declined over the five year period, such that Rick Perry gave $1 million per job lost. Perry made clear his intentions not to act on citizens behalf, by altering the contract with Vought and another Carlyle Group affiliate, Authentix.

With the Governor unwilling to make public his new decrees, federal legislators could be a resource for concerned citizens. Who will Congressmen pay more attention to, a letter writing constituent or a $5,000 donor? The Carlyle Group and Vought clearly know the answer.

I've written leaders, including Congressman Mike Conaway on this issue for years. He received $2,000 from Vought in 2010, $3,000 in 2008, and $1,000 in 2006. You can deduce his response.