Tuesday, August 4, 2015

U.S. Chamber Spent More Than $350K As McCain's Wingman; Senator Then Speaks To Chamber's Procurement Council About Opening Up DoD To New Contractors (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

After Presidential candidate Donald Trump attacked Arizona Senator John McCain's military record, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce took over the role of wingman, spending more than $350K on ads burnishing McCain's record.
As the Arizona TV air campaign wound down, McCain keynoted the Chamber's Procurement Council and explained how he was helping open up Defense Department spending for more and newer defense contractors.*

The rare off-year, large-scale political ad buy came as McCain was at the top of the news for his back-and-forth with Trump, and ran frequently on Phoenix airwaves through this past weekend.  FCC filings showed that the U.S. Chamber spent at least $266,000.  (Surprisingly, it did not run on Tucson TV stations.)  Combined with production and internet advertising, the total came to $350,150.

Coincidentally, as the ads stopped running, McCain - as Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee - went before Chamber members and explained how the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that he has been working on contains a lot of acquisition reform measures for the Pentagon, to fight the "emerging innovation gap".
“That’s why a major focus of the NDAA is improving access to non-traditional and commercial contactors. The NDAA incentivizes commercial innovation by removing barriers to new entrants into the defense market. By adopting commercial buying practices for the Defense Department, the bill makes it easier for non-traditional firms to do business with the Pentagon. And crucially, we ensure that businesses are not forced to cede intellectual property developed at their expense to the government."
Also at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's event last week, McCain was asked about whether the Senate should have a Select Committee on Cyber Security.  "I've been banging around the idea," was McCain's response. He noted - to DefenseOne.com - that there are at least six committees that have some oversight.
McCain also raised question about America’s cyber policy:“Is it the United States policy to play pure defense against cyber attacks? Is it the United States policy to launch preemptive attacks when they know that they’re out there surfing the Internet and trying to penetrate. Is it our policy to retaliate? Are the cyber attacks acts of war?”

* Of course, many of those new "innovators" are likely to be Chamber members and part of its Procurement Council.

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