From Sheila Krumholz <[email protected]>
Subject Why you follow OpenSecrets' reporting
Date July 20, 2022 7:44 PM
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Using decades of data, we can track a network of one of the most influential industries in Washington

Dear Friend of OpenSecrets,

You follow OpenSecrets because you want to cut through the noise — pushing past rhetoric to find the money and influential actors aligned on an issue.

We don’t always provide the easiest read, but you’ll always receive unadulterated analysis, steeped in reliable data that has been meticulously maintained for decades. We do this because, as you know, the devil is often in the details.

A recent example is our Capitalizing on Conflict report series that examines the defense industry’s multi-pronged influence machine. While the defense industry plays an outsized role in Washington — note the $840B 2023 National Defense Authorization Act budget just passed in the House of Representatives — it’s hard to visualize the industry’s influence in its totality.

To start unraveling the influence network, our researchers pulled data on all inputs (read $$$) from defense firms and contractors to elected officials, PACs and lobbyists. So far, we’ve revealed that:
* In the past two decades, defense companies, PACs, and donors have directed $300 million in campaign contributions and $2.6 billion in lobbying spending ([link removed]) to influence defense policy. That’s $40,000 a day.
* Defense firms and foreign agents from countries who purchase U.S. arms squeeze Congress on both sides, sometimes hiring the same lobbying firms ([link removed]) to work in their mutual interests.
* As a way to “get their foot in the door”, defense sector donors have contributed $3.4M to members of the House Armed Services Committee ([link removed]) and $7.2M to members of the Senate in the 2022 election cycle alone.

Our investigation has not gone unnoticed. With OpenSecrets data used as a catalyst, a Public Citizen report in early July shows that defense company investments in Congress have produced a 450,000% return ([link removed]) .

Investigations like this are expensive and time-consuming, and unlocking decades of contributions and lobbyist filings requires thoroughness and determination by our researchers.
That’s why I am asking you today to join OpenSecrets for the first time in making a charitable gift. ([link removed])
We’re able to produce reports that have impact in Washington because of readers like you. As a nonprofit, we rely on donations from individuals as a significant source of our funding. We need people like you to support us for this important election cycle, and to join us as we follow the trail of money as it flows to power.
With gratitude,

Sheila Krumholz
Executive Director
P.S. Click here to donate. ([link removed]) If donating today is not right for you, that is okay. Please understand our need to ask periodically in order to carry out this essential work.
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