Congressman Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) is locked in one of the most watched primary elections tonight. He faces Beto O’Rourke, a businessman and former member of the El Paso City Council. Observers have noted that the election has become a referendum on Reyes’ close ties to the defense contracting industry.
Reyes is a proud Drug War proponent — last year, he suggested that the American military should send weaponized drones into Mexico for targeted assassinations. And as Reyes has called for militarizing homeland security issues, several of his family members have gained jobs at defense companies linked to the congressman.
In contrast, O’Rourke has argued for relaxing some of America’s more draconian drug laws, including our backwards and unpopular policies towards marijuana.
For-profit defense companies, hoping to keep Reyes in Congress, have responded to the O’Rourke challenge by lavishing Reyes with eleventh-hour campaign contributions:
– Raytheon’s PAC gave Reyes $1,500 earlier this month.
– Fluor Corporation, which makes cameras used at the border and on drones, gave Reyes $2,500 earlier this month.
– James Norton of General Dynamics, a manufacturer of drone weapons for the U.S. military, gave Reyes $1,000 earlier this month. The General Dynamics PAC has given Reyes $10,000 this cycle.
– EADS PAC, a European-based defense contractor, gave Reyes $5,000 last week.
– Oshkosh Corp. PAC, a large defense company, increased their total donation to Reyes this cycle to $5,000 last month.
– Lockheed Martin PAC increased their total donation to Reyes this cycle to $10,000 last month.
– Employees of Northrop Grumman Corp. PAC increased their total donation to Reyes this cycle to $10,000 last month.
– DRS Technologies PAC, makers of the RQ-15 Neptune drone, increased their total donation to Reyes this cycle to $4,500 last month.
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