So much for draining the swamp. Trump and the Senate just added to the muck in Washington, DC by confirming ex-Congresswoman Heather Wilson as Secretary of the Air Force. Lockheed Martin, the world’s biggest weapons contractor, started paying her $10,000 a month the day after she stepped down from office to help devise a strategy to extend its $2.6 bilion/year management contract of the Sandia Labs without competitive bid (the Labs are in her district). She went on to get a similar contract with the Los Alamos Lab, also for $10,000 a month. Good work, if you can get it!
Now as Air Force Secretary she will oversee the world’s most expensive weapons systems made by guess who? Lockheed Martin. All this for a Defense Department that has never been able to pass a financial audit for how it spends taxpayers’ money. Sadly, it’s business it as usual for the weapons megabusiness.
In particular, it’s especially hypocritical for New Mexico’s senior senator Tom Udall to have voted for her, given that he sent out an email fundraiser immediately after Trump’s speech to Congress denouncing his cabinet nominee’s conflicts-of-interest. I think it shows that the New Mexican congressional delegation’s primary loyalty is to the nuclear weapons industry in our state, instead of to political party or even good governance.
In contrast, praise and glory to California’s senior senator Dianne Feinstein who issued a strong statement against Heather Wilson because of her possibly illegal lobbying activities. Both the Sandia and Los Alamos Labs had to pay back the US government the ~$430,000 they had been reimbursed for paying her, but there is no public record of Wilson ever paying back one red cent.