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Know Your Enemy Better: The Top 10 Federal Contractors of 2013

A few years ago, I shared with you patterns of connection between the Top 10 federal contractors of 2011. Let’s return to that subject with federal contracting data for 2013, released last month by the Federal Procurement Data System. The top 10 private contractors with the United States government in fiscal year 2013 were:

1. Lockheed Martin Corp.: $44.1 Billion in contracts
2. Boeing: $21.2 Billion in contracts
3. Raytheon: $14.1 Billion in contracts
4. General Dynamics Corp.: $13.1 Billion in contracts
5. Northrop Grumman Corp.: $10.0 Billion in contracts
6. SAIC: $6.3 Billion in contracts
7. Huntington Ingalls Industries: $6.2 Billion in contracts
8. L-3 Communications: $5.8 Billion in contracts
9. United Technologies: $5.7 Billion in contracts
10. BAE Systems: $4.8 Billion in contracts

Together, these ten corporations received $131.3 Billion in taxpayer funds in fiscal year 2013, 28.7% of all federal contract dollars received during the year.

Every one of these top ten contractors made their money off of military contracts. This includes Huntington Ingalls Industries, which is a poorly-known new corporation formed in a spinoff from Northrop Grumman. Huntington Ingalls builds aircraft carriers and assault ships for the U.S. Navy. United Technologies is the parent company of Sikorsky Aircraft, which makes Black Hawk and other combat helicopters. L-3 Communications manufactures military surveillance system. SAIC designs the military’s information backbone. BAE describes itself as a “global provider,” selling military equipment to armies around the world.

From January 1 to December 31 2013, these ten corporations paid for the services of no fewer than 112 different lobbying firms, deployed to Capitol Hill along with their own in-house corporate lobbyists. More striking than the sheer number of lobbying firms hired on by the top ten military contractors is the overlap in the firms hired by the contractors.

Social Network Graph of Influence, Money and Politics: Number of Lobbying Firms Shared by the Top 10 United States Government Contractors in 2013. Data source: House Lobbying Disclosure

The above figure displays the social network of overlapping lobbyist hires generated from lobbying disclosure data for the calendar year 2013. A line is drawn between any two military contractors if they used at least one lobbying firm in common; each line is labeled to indicate the number of lobbying firms both contractors used.

As the figure shows, the sharing of lobbying firms by top military contractors is quite common. The density of the military contractor lobbying network is 82.2%; 37 out of the 45 possible pairs of contractors who could share lobbying firms actually do share lobbying firms. General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon have at least one lobbying firm in common with every other one of the military contractors; BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman and United Technologies share at least one lobbying firm with 8 of the 9 other contractors. Only Huntington Ingalls Industries is a relative outside within the Top 10 contractors, sharing relatively few lobbying firms with relatively few other contractors; this may be because the corporation is only three years old as an independent entity. General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman have the strongest lobbying bond among all 45 contractor pairs, sharing eight lobbying firms in common.

The following are the lobbying firms that were hired in 2013 by more than one of the top 10 federal contractors:

Etherton and Associates, Inc.: hired by 8 of the top ten federal contractors
American Defense International: hired by 5 of the top ten
Podesta Group: hired by 5 of the top ten
Denny Miller Associates: hired by 4 of the top ten
Innovative Federal Strategies: hired by 4 of the top ten
Shockey Scofield Solutions: hired by 4 of the top ten
Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz: hired by 3 of the top ten
Breaux Lott Leadership: hired by 3 of the top ten
Ervin Hill Strategy: hired by 3 of the top ten
FifeStrategies: hired by 3 of the top ten
McBee Strategic Consulting: hired by 3 of the top ten
Monument Strategies: hired by 3 of the top ten
Prasam: hired by 3 of the top ten
Robison International: hired by 3 of the top ten
Stapleton and Associates: hired by 3 of the top ten
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld: hired by 2 of the top ten
Barbour, Griffith and Rogers: hired by 2 of the top ten
C. Baker Consulting, Incorporated: hired by 2 of the top ten
CBD Advisors: hired by 2 of the top ten
Commonwealth Consulting Corporation: hired by 2 of the top ten
Diane O’Toole: hired by 2 of the top ten
Flagship Government Relations: hired by 2 of the top ten
LHD & Associates: hired by 2 of the top ten
Mercury: hired by 2 of the top ten
Park Strategies Washington Group, LLC: hired by 2 of the top ten
The Grossman Group: hired by 2 of the top ten
The Washington Tax & Public Policy Group: hired by 2 of the top ten
Van Scoyoc Associates: hired by 2 of the top ten

They are tightly connected. They are massively funded. They work for war. While anti-war movements limp on beneath the radar of official notice, this is the network they must confront.

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