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Project on Government Oversight

POGO letter to Rep. Neil Abercrombie regarding appropriated funds to support defense industry lobby efforts to detract support from amendment to the 2002 National Defense Authorization Act

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August 1, 2001


The Honorable Neil Abercrombie
United States Representative
1502 Longworth Building
Washington DC 20515

Via Facsimile: (202) 225-4580

Dear Honorable Neil Abercrombie:

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) investigates, exposes, and seeks to remedy systemic abuses of power, mismanagement, and subservience by the federal government to powerful special interests. Founded in 1981, POGO is a politically-independent, nonprofit watchdog that strives to promote a government that is accountable to the citizenry.

Today we received an email sent from a government computer showing that Department of Defense (DOD) officials appear to have used appropriated funds to support defense industry lobby efforts to detract support from your amendment to the 2002 National Defense Authorization Act. We believe this lobbying by DOD on behalf of the defense industry may have violated www.access.gpo.gov/congress/cong013.html Criminal 18 USC Sec.1913. According to this law, no appropriated funds can be used "to influence in any matter a member of Congress, to favor or oppose, by vote or otherwise, any legislation or appropriation by Congress."

Of course, this backdoor dealing between defense contractors and the Pentagon's acquisition community is hardly unusual, although it is rare that they are caught in the act. We are concerned by the DOD's potentially illegal efforts to derail your work, and thought you should be notified immediately.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

Sincerely,

Danielle Brian
Executive Director 

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