What Ally’s Up Against

Courtesy of The Progressive Point (@ProgressivePoint1 on Twitter)

With his recent victory, Gerry Connolly is now in his 7th term as a Congressman for Virginia’s Congressional District 11. Although he likes to portray himself as a progressive Democrat and watchdog from urging Biden’s transition team to pick Deb Haaland as the Secretary of Interior nominee, signing the Green New Deal, and criticizing the Trump administration, Gerry also voted yes on bills such as HR 6172 to continue surveillance programs without changes to protect civil liberties, received an F on Progressive Punch, and joked about the Armenian genocide in 2014 – one of many reasons for his low grade with the Armenian National Committee of America. On top of these, Connolly’s website boasts that he secured billions of dollars in federal grants to undertake the massive Silver Line project. But that expansion has failed to meet its ridership projections and came in $100 million over budget. Yet while billions were spent on the new line, the preexisting system was literally left to burn.
Using sources such as Follow the Money and Open Secrets, he received campaign money from defense contracting companies such as Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems, which sold cyber surveillance tools to Arab states, and telecommunication companies such as AT&T, which helped NSA spy on millions. Perhaps it should raise concern that Gerry is placed in powerful committees such as Oversight and Reform and Foreign Affairs. This is what we found on him so far and these are the questions we like to raise: Who watches over the watchdog and what does Gerry actually stand for?

Protecting Health CareHis platform doesn’t mention an ounce of Medicare for All even though 87% of Democrats favor it. He is an “Protect and Expand ACA” Democrat.
Criminal Justice ReformCurrently, we found that Gerry’s campaign donation ties with big tech such as Amazon, Google, and L3 Technologies with a history of selling software tools to police departments and ICE agents.
Retirement SecurityFor some reason, he won’t advocate for Medicare for All which arguably strengthen retirement security although centrist Democrats such as President elect Biden advocate for Obamacare.
Defending Reproductive FreedomAlthough he touts his record of protecting women’s right to choose as if that’s the only problem women have, Gerry seems content in receiving campaign money from tech groups such as Alphabet Inc. and Amazon – which have track records of sexual misconduct cases and gender pay gap.
Protect the EnvironmentAccording to Follow the Money, Gerry received campaign donations from Dominion Energy 33 times, adding up to $47,300 throughout his political career. Dominion Energy played controversial roles from obstructing clean energy in Virginia to lobbying against a law that would lower residents’ electric bills. Ironically, Sierra Club – who endorsed Gerry – also harbors negative views towards the energy company. If you also look at his stock trading activities, he recently sold his stocks on Dominion Energy (D) between $15,001 – $50,000 on October 10, 2020.
Standing Up for DREAMersBack in 2017, he supported H.R. 2825 which would fund ICE. In his list of campaign donors, he received money from former Harris Corp (now part of L3 Technologies) – which sold cell phone snooping tech to ICE agents.
Advancing Common Sense Gun LawsAlthough he states his proud F record on NRA’s profile, he agreed to increase the military’s budget with his votes on HR 6395 and HR 2500. Unsurprisingly, Gerry received $281,123 from military contracting companies between 2017 to 2020, 9th most of any Democrat in Congress.
Prescription DrugsAccording to Follow the Money, Gerry received campaign donations from Pharmaceuticals & Health Products 71 times, adding up to $100,500 during his political career.
Conflicts of InterestDespite his position overseeing investigations into corruption and wrongdoing in the Oversight Committee, he received campaign money from his old job at the private sector, SAIC, $10,000 for each campaign from 2013 to 2020. In his stock trading activity record, he sold his SAIC stock between $1,001-$15,000 on October 10, 2020. It’s the same story with Leidos. Gerry received $10,000 from Leidos for his 2019-2020 campaign while he sold his Leidos stocks for somewhere between  $1,001-$15,000 on October 10, 2020.
VeteransDuring Roll Call 74, he was apparently absent on a bill to recommit with instructions on HR 840, which would provide veterans with child care access. Also, Gerry’s campaign donor, L3 Technologies (formerly L3 Communications Holdings), agreed to pay “$25.6 million to settle a lawsuit that accuses [EOTech] of knowingly selling the U.S. military and government agencies optics that failed in extreme temperatures and humid weather conditions.”

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