A new report released today by the group 1001 Reasons to Vote Against Harry Reid shows that Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) has either steered or is attempting to steer a total of $3,360,000 in earmarked Defense Department contracts to a campaign contributor, despite President Obama's direct opposition to the project.
The company on the receiving end of the funds, Arcata Associates, is a small privately-held defense contractor headquartered in Las Vegas, NV. The first earmark, already signed into law, occurred in FY2010 and was worth $1,360,000. The second, still under consideration, is slated to come during FY2011 and would cost $2,000,000. Both allocations use the Senate Defense Appropriations Bill.
According to the report, after the funding first appeared in 2010 President Obama requested that the funds allocated for the earmarked project (an underground sensor program) be used for "higher-priority defense needs." Instead of heeding the President's advice, However, Reid increased funding for the company.
The report also details Reid's link to Arcata and the Wong family that runs it. A figure in the report shows that over the last 24 years the Wongs have donated over $138,000 to Reid and the Democratic Party. Additionally, Tim Wong, Arcata's president and CEO, sits on the steering committee of Asian-American and Pacific Islanders for Harry Reid, an arm of the Reid campaign "actively working for his re-election."
"It appears that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to reward Arcata Associates, a big Democratic donor, a huge no-bid contract on the heels of two separate $10,000 (maximum) donation to the Nevada Democrat party," the group's website says.
"Senator Harry Reid, along with his House cohort Nancy Pelosi, promised to drain the swamp when they took full control of Congress," it adds. "Their behavior since taking office would indicate the exact opposite has happened."
According to spokeswoman Audrey Mullen, the information for the report was all obtained through publicly-available files. "This is stuff that anyone can do," she said.
Reid is currently running for re-election against Tea Party-backed candidate Sharron Angle. A call to Reid's office requesting comment was not immediately returned.