Drone Industry Bucks for Drone Caucus Members Including 3 Oklahoma Congressmen

Kaye Beach

July 11, 2012

(OK Rep. Frank Lucas is in OK D-3 not D-1 as originally shown.  Apologies for the error)

As you are probably aware, Oklahoma has been chosen as a site to test and fly drones for the Homeland Security Department’s program for Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety (RAPS).  Of course there has been a lot of work done behind the scenes to get the drones moving in US airspace.  This has been an uphill battle waged for years by industry lobbyists and other drone aficionados. Last February Americans found out that it was ‘all systems go’ and we are now cringing at the thought of  some 30,000 drones being unleashed over our heads.

The information below reveals some of the money behind congressional drone industry advocacy but you should also know that the industry practically wrote the groundbreaking drone unleashing legislation as well.

– Page 6: The drone lobbyists take full credit for authoring the expansion of domestic drone use codified in the FAA authorization bill passed last week, noting “the only changes made to the UAS section of the House FAA bill were made at the request of AUVSI. Our suggestions were often taken word-for-word.”

Source-Drone trade group presentation document exclusively reported by Republic Report on Feb. 15, 2012

On a side note, one of the reasons I am fighting so hard against the collection of our biometric information is that no matter which type of surveillance tech really gets your dander up, whether it be CCTV, RFID, drones or simply the garden variety type of data mining and surveillance – biometrics enables these already too-close-for-comfort surveillance technologies to become unbearably personal and dangerously specific.  Biometrics is the glue by which all the other forms of technological scrutiny are married to our very selves.  My attorneys and I agree that our bodies are protected under our state Constitution and by state statute – the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act.  The lawsuit filed on my behalf addresses among other things the mandated collection of citizen’s biometrics when obtaining a state driver’s license.

The argument being made for Oklahoma’s active courting of this industry, of course, is an economic one which sure makes it tough to argue against, but I will predict that in the end it will not be everyday Oklahomans who will reap the benefits of this projected economic boon and they certainly won’t end up any more free with the evil mites buzzing overhead.

Now, have you ever  heard of the ‘Drone Caucus”?

As reported by KPBS on July 5, 2013;

SAN DIEGO — You’ve probably heard of the Congressional Black Caucus, or perhaps the Progressive Caucus. But what about the drone caucus? Officially, it’s the Unmanned Systems Caucus.

Primarily, the caucus advocates for drones — those pilot-less planes infamous for their role targeting insurgents in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They’re used as a spy tool in Iran, a drug-fighting tool in Mexico and an anti-smuggling tool along the U.S.-Mexico border.

. . .It’s definitely a powerful caucus,” said Alex Bronstein-Moffly, an analyst with First Street Research Group, a D.C.-based company that analyzes lobbying data.

. . .Many of the drone caucus members are well supported by the industry they endorse. According to Bronstein-Moffly’s data, the 58 drone caucus members received a total of $2.3 million in contributions from political action committees affiliated with drone manufacturers since 2011.

Read more The Drone Makers And Their Friends In Washington

The report details donations from the top five drone industry donors to just the border state members of the drone caucus but didn’t elaborate on donations received by other members of the drone caucus so I took a look at our Oklahoma Congressional Representatives who are acting as drone advocates as members of the Unmanned Systems Caucus.

Top five drone donors to the drone caucus

  1. Lockheed Martin
  2. Boeing
  3. Northrop Grumman Corp.
  4. General Atomics
  5. General Dynamics

Tom Cole  OK-4

Campaign Donations from top five drone donors 2011-12

Boeing 8,500

Lockheed Martin 6,500

General Atomics 2,000

**Raytheon 4,500 (Raytheon is also a big player in the drone industry)

**BAE Systems 3,500 (BAE Systems is also a big player in the drone industry)

**Honeywell 3,000 (Honeywell is also a big player in the drone industry)

**Mantech 3,000 (Mantech is another drone industry player)

**Alliant TechSystems (ATK)   1,500  (ATK is another drone industry player)

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cid=N00025726&cycle=2012&type=I&newMem=N&recs=100

Dan Boren OK-2

Campaign Donations from top five drone donors 2011-12

Northrop Gumman 2,000

**Raytheon 3,500 (Raytheon is also a big player in the drone industry)

**Honeywell 3,000 (Honeywell is also a big player in the drone industry)

**Textron Inc. 2,000 (Textron Inc. is another drone industry player)

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cid=N00026481&cycle=2012&type=I&newMem=N&recs=100

Frank Lucas OK-3

Campaign Donations from top five drone donors 2011-12

Lockheed Martin 4,000

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cid=N00005559&cycle=2012&type=I&newMem=N&recs=100

This is just the merest scratching of the surface-there is probably much more money and perks being doled out.  Stay tuned.

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5 responses to “Drone Industry Bucks for Drone Caucus Members Including 3 Oklahoma Congressmen

  1. Thanks Kaye, I had no idea !!!!

  2. Big Mama TEA

    I’m not anonymous. I’m your evil doppelganger!

  3. Ooohhhh! I have always wanted an evil doppleganger!

  4. They just keep pushing…

  5. IF MY DADDY GETS ELECTED HE WILL VOTE FOR DRONES BECAUSE WE NEED TO BE SAFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LEAVE MY DADDY ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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