Is Bernie in the pocket of Lockheed Martin?

Robert Maynard

Robert Maynard

While Vermont’s own Bernie Sanders has long been a critic of multinational corporations, and what Eisenhower has labeled “The Military Industrial Complex,” he recently was fingered as the top recipient in the U.S. Congress of funding from the defense contract industry.  Furthermore, he has been particularly hesitant to criticize Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program.  He argues that the reason was the jobs it would bring to Vermont, but TNR’s own former reporter Angela Chignon had earlier uncovered a sensitive connection between Bernie and Lockheed Martin.

American Thinker’s David Archibald wrote about the problems he saw with the F-35 and expressed a bit of curiosity about why the supposed scourge of corporate interests and the Military Industrial Complex would not speak out against this.  Bernie claims it was the jobs that the project would bring to Vermont, but Mr. Archibald points to “the list of Congressional beneficiaries of defense sector donations provided by the Center for Responsive Politics” and notes that: “he gets a lot of love from defense contractors:

All donations took place during the 2015-2016 election cycle and were released by the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday, September 21, 2016:

Sanders, Bernie (D)

$398,089

Thornberry, Mac (R-TX)

$357,500

Cruz, Ted (R-TX)

$333,038

McCain, John (R-AZ)

$314,115

Frelinghuysen, Rodney (R-NJ)

$299,500

Granger, Kay (R-TX)

$265,800

Ayotte, Kelly (R-NH)

$223,965

Forbes, Randy (R-VA)

$217,395

Turner, Michael R (R-OH)

$209,800

Smith, Adam (D-WA)

$196,650

Visclosky, Pete (D-IN)

$179,800

Bernie Sanders tops the list, well ahead of any Republican. I have continued the list down to the next Democrat, Pete Visclosky of Indiana, to show that Senator Sanders stands alone. For some reason the defense sector was able to figure out an investment in Senator Sanders would provide a high rate of return, that, paraphrasing Shakespeare in Henry V, he was a hollow bosom that they could fill with treacherous crowns.

In addition, according to Politico, Bernie and Hillary topped all Presidential candidates in defense contractor donations.  Not surprisingly, Lockheed Marin was a major Bernie supporter.  According to Mr. Archibald the mystery is solved.  Bernie supported Lockheed Marin on the F-35 because he is the top recipient of funding from defense contractors.  The problem is that this begs another question.  Why is Senator Sander so beloved by the defense industry, or Lockheed Martin in particular?  To shed some light on that subject one would have to look back on early reporting from former TNR supporter Angela Chagnon.

When Angela was a TNR reporter, she wrote a series of pieces on the efforts to create a national laboratory in Vermont for the implementian of a smart grid and the use of smart meters.  Her main article  detailed how:

The state of Vermont is partnering with Sandia National Laboratories to implement a statewide Smart Grid system. The new system will replace the state’s electric grid, and electric meters now on homes and businesses will be replaced with Smart Meters (see previous True North article on Smart Meters here).

The main objective of this project would surprise people not familiar with progressive philosophy:

“Part of what we’re about here in the next two days is about changing culture,” Stulen said. “It’s about changing human behavior. It’s about making sure that the energy conversation and the awareness of energy is a part of our daily lives in ways that it is not, quite frankly, today. It’s about this intersection between technology, policy, and people.”

Needless to say that Vermont was seen as playing a central role:

Senator Sanders applied his typical ‘we’re going to save the world’ remarks to the proposed project.

“This is a big deal,” he gushed. “We have before us an extraordinary opportunity to not only do great things for the state of Vermont to help people, but be a leader for the nation. And have the rest of the country look back on what we are doing in terms of energy, to the Sandia-Vermont project, and say ‘thank you very much for the ground-breaking work that you did.’ ”

Bernie was more than jsut a speaker. he was a key player in crafting this partnership:

Fogel referred to the Vermont-Sandia partnership as a “first step” to implementing an energy plan that would benefit Vermont. He praised Vermont’s Congressional delegation and state utility companies for their work in submitting the winning application for a $69 million federal ARRA grant for the Smart Grid system.

He also credited Senator Bernie Sanders, “who began creating early connections between Vermont and the Sandia National Laboratories over three years ago”, with making the Smart Grid vision possible in the state.

So, what does all this have to do with Lockheed Martin:

Sandia National Laboratories a government research and development lab, has locations in New Mexico and California. Their website explains:

“Sandia is a government-owned/contractor operated (GOCO) facility. Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin company, manages Sandia for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

It might be in the interest of concerned Vermont citizens to investigate further into whether Senators Sanders opposition to corporate interests depends on the extent to which they support government partnerships with corporations aimed at “changing human behavior.”  Are corporate interests only to be opposed if they see the role of government limited to securing our inalienable rights?    Inquiring minds want to know.

One thought on “Is Bernie in the pocket of Lockheed Martin?

  1. Interesting read but I’m a 7th generation native Vermonter. Many of us would seriously like it if people would stop claiming that Bernie is our own. He is not a Vermonter, does not think like a Vermonter, does not act like a Vermonter and is actually a New Yorker. Many of us are disgusted that anyone would lump us in with him for any purpose.

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