Election 2020: January 2021 Archives

There's A New "Make Space Great Again" Campaign Video From Team Trump, Earlier post

"At 4:10 the live chat begins. It is hosted by Donald Trump Jr.'s girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle who works on the Trump campaign. Her guests are former NASA Chief Financial Officer Jeff DeWit and former astronaut and NASA GRC Center Director Janet Kavandi who is now a Senior Vice President at Sierra Nevada Corp. Apparently the Trump family is really into space - Eric Trump's brother-in-law Kyle Yunaska is the new Deputy Chief of Staff at NASA."

Keith's note: Some research from a noted space policy expert: Open Secrets has a lot of data that lets you do a deep dive into who gave what to whom. Check out this chart (larger image). Looking at Big Aerospace - specifically the top 12 NASA contractors and their PAC contributions by party during the recent election cycle - all but SpaceX and Bechtel favor the congressional republicans. Republican-leaning donors are shown in red, Democrat-leaning contributors are shown in blue.

Traditionally PACs focus on incumbents, which makes these numbers even more skewed. Every contractor gave significantly to Sen. Cruz (R-TX) and virtually ignored Sen. Sinema (D-AZ) for example. Oh yes, Sen. Sinema is about to become the Chair of the prime Senate space subcommittee (subcommittee on Aviation and Space, Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation). Big Aerospace gave candidate (and now Senator) Mark Kelly (D-AZ) next to nothing yet many aerospace contributors maxed out when donating to his opponent, incumbent Sen. McSally (R-AZ).

With such a lopsided approach to contributions toward their opponents why should Democrats feel a need to advance the Big Aerospace agenda? Out of ~$12 million in contributions, over $1 million more was given to Republicans than Democrats. Boeing, SAIC and Aerojet Rocketdyne gave 60% (or more) to Republicans. Aerojet Rocketdyne gave 73% more. Other than ULA, only company PAC contributions are included in chis chart - not contributions from employees. ULA doesn't have a PAC, so employee contributions (73% Republican) were used.

How Big Aerospace Supported Efforts To Undermine Democracy, earlier post

Donors to Electoral College Objectors, OpenSecrets

"OpenSecrets compiled a list of the top donors to GOP lawmakers who objected to the Electoral College results on Jan. 6, 2021. The dataset includes the top PAC donors, top individual donors and top industry donors to the campaigns and leadership PACs of lawmakers who objected to at least one state's election results."

Keith's note: This is what big aerospace thinks about American democracy - they were massive donors to efforts to undermine the election:

10. Northrop Grumman $687,500
15. Lockheed Martin $651,000
18. Raytheon $570,000
19. Boeing $567,000

It is one thing for big aerospace companies to play both sides. It is quite another to even consider supporting someone who'd have undemocratic leanings - regardless of their party affiliation.

NASA Is Better Than This

Keith's note: FYI earlier today I sent an email asking for comment on Blackwell's political tweeting to the NASA NASA Office of General Counsel, the Inspector General, NASA HQ Public Affairs - and Blackwell - citing the most recent NASA memo on the Hatch Act. No one responded. Moments after I posted this tweet this evening regarding these tweets Blackwell suddenly scrubbed her Twitter account and then made it private. There must be a reason why the account was suddenly edited and hidden.

Luckily the NASA family is better than these tweets - and the horrible events today that they served to endorse.

Keith's update: I got this response from NASA PAO just before midnight last night: "Thank you for forwarding this matter to NASA. As this is a personnel matter we will not be able to comment further."

https://s3.amazonaws.com/images.spaceref.com/news/2019/Star-Trek1.jpg

Keith's note: I originally posted this on 7 August 2019. Give today's political events I thought it was worth reposting.

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In light of the naked racism and politics of division coming from the White House - and the impact that it has had on societal events of late - I need to say something. We are stronger as a result of our diversity - not weakened by it. Humanity evolved elsewhere - not in America. As such we are all immigrants. Full stop.

We have had a space station in orbit for decades that is the collaborative effort of many nations. When political strife fractures relationships on Earth, space keeps them intact. Small wonder that the ISS has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize (recently endorsed by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine).

Back in the 1960s when the original "Star Trek" first aired, we had a black and white TV. My first exposure to the future was a multi-ethnic/multi-racial/multi-species/gender-balanced crew exploring the universe. I fell for it. It never left me and resonates in my mind to this day half a century later. Alas, back in the 60s, with near simultaneity 20 feet away in my back yard, I was playing catch with a friend of mine. He was black. His name was Wesley. My bigoted neighbors shouted a racial slur at him. We played catch at his house after that. These two things clashed in my young mind. Yet the Star Trek ethos prevailed.

Indeed, in 2009, I had a resonant Star Trek epiphany of sorts in Nepal as I supported Scott Parazynski's ascent of Everest: "My Star Trek Episode at Everest".

Over the past 25 years that I have edited NASAWatch I have tried to avoid mention of partisan politics - and, when my personal views showed through, I openly admitted them - but sought contrary views.

NASA is being pushed to reassert, speed up, reinvigorate America's efforts in space. Hurray. Let's have more. Let's race back to the Moon and then to other places and try to out-compete one another with all manner of cool stuff such that we all benefit in the end.

But in so doing, America needs to assert itself in space in a way that advances the interests and the dreams of all Americans - and do so in a way that encourages all other nations to engage in space exploration in a fashion that advances the interests of all of humanity.

We've all seen those Star Trek episodes where worlds fall into chaos, tear themselves apart, and play only a negative role in the overall legacy of the universe. Let's not do that. We need to do the right thing.

Just sayin'

Note: my comments do not reflect on anyone at NASA. If anything the interest in diversity practiced by the folks behind the glass doors on the 9th floor embodies what I am talking about. As for NASAWatch readers who do not like what I have said and/or respond with profanity or threaten to never visit this site again: bye bye.


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This page is an archive of entries in the Election 2020 category from January 2021.

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