What Ally’s Up Against

Courtesy of The Progressive Point (@ProgressivePoint1 on Twitter)

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, to signing the Green New Deal, to 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 current public information about his campaign finances and conflicts of interest, and these are the questions we like to raise: Who watches over the watchdog and what does Gerry actually stand for?

Protecting Health CareAccording to Follow the Money, Gerry received campaign donations from Pharmaceuticals & Health Products 71 times, adding up to $100,500 during his political career. This might explain why he does not support Medicare for All even though 87% of Democrats favor it. He is a “Protect and Expand ACA” Democrat which, as anyone who is in the ACA system knows, is far from “excellent coverage.”
Criminal Justice ReformGerry’s campaign has received donations from big tech such as Amazon, Google, and L3 Technologies which have a history of selling software to police departments and ICE agents.
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.
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 LawsGerry received $281,123 from military contracting companies between 2017 to 2020, 9th most of any Democrat in Congress. Unsurprisingly, he consistently votes to increase the military’s budget (e.g., HR 6395 and HR 2500).
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. 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 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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