There's been a lot of ink and pixels spilled by the media over the coalition of House members who voted to end funding for the NSA's dragnet surveillance program in the House two weeks ago. The traditional media would have you believe that it was the crazy fringe from both sides; uber-libertarian right and dirty hippie left. But here's a much better explanation of the vote, not looking at who voted no, but who voted yes.
The numbers tell the story—in votes and dollars. On Wednesday, the House voted 217 to 205 not to rein in the NSA’s phone-spying dragnet. It turns out that those 217 “no” voters received twice as much campaign financing from the defense and intelligence industry as the 205 “yes” voters.Only one member, Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA), in the top-10 defense/intelligence industry recipients voted against the amendment. As usual, it comes back to money. The huge amounts of money being poured into the grift machine that has become the war on terror, and the huge amounts of money going back into Congress to make sure the grift keeps on flowing.
That’s the upshot of a new analysis by MapLight, a Berkeley-based non-profit that performed the inquiry at WIRED’s request. The investigation shows that defense cash was a better predictor of a member’s vote on the Amash amendment than party affiliation. House members who voted to continue the massive phone-call-metadata spy program, on average, raked in 122 percent more money from defense contractors than those who voted to dismantle it.