Campaign Statement from Vice Chair Kerry Meuchel on Ken Calvert’s Response to Criticism Over Large Defense Contractor Donations – August 3, 2014

August 3, 2014 –

Recently the Committee to Elect Tim Sheridan to Congress issued a press release questioning the appropriateness of 20-year incumbent Congressman Ken Calvert taking $50,000 from defense contractors given his position as a member of the Defense Subcommittee on the House Committee on Appropriations.  Specifically, we asked if Mr. Calvert could fairly and reasonably consider legislation before his subcommittee involving these contractors given the amount of money he received from them.

In response, Mr. Calvert’s campaign said, in part, that Mr. Calvert supports the defense industry and that he wished President Obama and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi did the same.  Not surprisingly, Mr. Calvert did not explain how taking the maximum amount of campaign contributions from the defense contractors in question actually supports the defense industry, but we would like to know.

Mr. Calvert’s spokesperson also said that the Congressman “has, and will continue to have, a meaningful relationship with our defense industry . . . .”  That, of course, begs the question: Does Mr. Calvert have a “meaningful relationship” because of the money he has taken?  Or did he have a “meaningful relationship” with the defense contractors first?   Does just being a member of a defense subcommittee justify the amount of money he has received from defense contractors?

Equally importantly, why would defense contractors give Ken Calvert the maximum amount of money? – especially since he is a 20-year incumbent without any substantive accomplishments or demonstrative influence in the House of Representatives.

We would also note that Mr. Calvert’s campaign said that it took the money because Mr. Sheridan’s first vote would be for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House and “that’s all you need to know.”  What?  Needless to say, we’re quite perplexed by this ridiculous statement.  More importantly, we don’t know exactly where Mr. Calvert is getting his information considering that Mr. Sheridan has not committed to vote for anyone at this point.

In our view, the best way to predict how someone will vote is to look at their voting record.  Given this, we are confident to say that if Mr. Calvert is reelected, he will vote for Mr. Boehner as Speaker – the Speaker who presided over the shutting down of the government last year at a cost of $24 billion to taxpayers, and who is wasting more taxpayer money this month by suing the president.  The Congress is broken because of long term incumbents like Mr. Calvert and Mr. Boehner.  “That’s all you need to know” about that.

Here are some other things that you need to know-

According to the Alliance of Retired Americans, Mr. Calvert has a lifetime voting rating of 10% on senior issues.  “That’s all you need to know” about that.  We are also confident to say that if Mr. Calvert is reelected, he will continue to vote against issues important to senior citizens.

According to the League of Conservation Voters, Mr. Calvert earned a 0% rating in 2013 and has a 7% rating in his 20 years in Congress.  “That’s all you need to know” about that too.  We are also confident to say that if Mr. Calvert is reelected, he will continue to vote against legislation designed to support the environment – an issue important to Southern Californian voters regardless of party affiliation.

We are also confident to say that if Mr. Calvert is reelected, he will vote against children’s issues as he voted against the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and against women’s issues as he voted against fair pay (The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act) in 2009.  Yes, he voted against health insurance for kids and fair pay for adults.  “That’s all you need to know” about that.

In summary, Congress is broken – and it’s broken because of 20-year incumbents like Ken Calvert.   It’s time that we put People First, and elect someone new who is not beholden to special interests.

For the .pdf file, click here:  CampaignStatementonCalvertDefenseIndustryDonations,Aug3,2014