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Defense Industry-Backed Lawmakers Voted to Continue Police Militarization Program

Local law enforcement around the country has become more heavily armed through partnerships with the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security. One of the key programs, the 1033 Program, allows the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) under the Department of Defense to transfer military equipment to civilian police.

In June, the House of Representatives voted on an amendment from Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) that sought to partially defund the 1033 Program. The amendment failed on a bipartisan vote of 62-355.

  • Representatives voting to continue funding the 1033 Program have received, on average, 73 percent more money from the defense industry than representatives voting to defund it. 
  • Fifty-nine representatives received more than $100,000 from the defense industry from January 1, 2011 - December 31, 2013. Of those only four supported defunding the 1033 Program.

As the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) noted in a recent report, "it appears that the DLA can simply purchase property from an equipment or weapons manufacturer and transfer it to a local law enforcement agency free of charge." The ACLU states that 36 percent of the equipment transferred under the program is brand new (pg. 26).

Methodology: MapLight analysis of campaign contributions from PACs and employees of Defense aerospace contractors, Defense electronics contractors, Defense shipbuilders, Defense-related services, Ground-based & other weapons systems, Defense Research & Development, and Defense to members of the House of Representatives, from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2013. Contributions data source: OpenSecrets.org

Submitted by Donny Shaw on Aug 14, 2014

 

Image credit: U.S. Air Force/Wikimedia Commons

© Copyright MapLightNational Law Review, Volume IV, Number 229

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Maplight non profit revealing moneys influence on politics, equal voice in our democracy

MapLight is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, research organization that reveals money's influence on politics.

Elected officials collect large sums of money to run their campaigns, and they often pay back campaign contributors with special access and favorable laws. This common practice is contrary to the public interest, yet legal.

MapLight connects data on campaign contributions, politicians, votes, industries, companies, and more to show patterns of influence that could never be seen before. 

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