Editor's Note: Business-friendly big government

Steve LeSueur

As our Election 2004 special report makes clear, federal IT contractors have many good reasons to favor Republicans over Democrats with their campaign contributions.

In general, Republicans favor more defense spending, which makes up half of the federal IT budget. They tend to support business-friendly policies, such as reduced corporate taxes and fewer workplace restrictions. They often champion efforts to soften or eliminate government procurement regulations that contractors regard as unnecessarily restrictive. And Republicans are strong supporters of outsourcing initiatives that shift government jobs to the private sector.

The fact that Republicans control the White House and both houses of Congress also makes it likely that contractors will send the bulk of their campaign contributions to politicians who control the purse strings of lucrative government projects.

So far in the 2004 election cycle, the largest federal IT contractors have sent 62 percent of their contributions to Republicans and 38 percent to Democrats. These figures are based on an analysis provided by the Center for Responsive Politics of the campaign contributions of Washington Technology Top 100 prime contractors.

The CEOs at the Top 100 companies are even stauncher Republican supporters, sending 79 percent of their contributions to the GOP.

So why do I find this interesting? Well, government contractors, of course, make their living from government spending. The Republican Party is regarded as the party of smaller government, the party that will shrink government and tighten its spending spigot. Are contractors foolishly supporting the party that's working to bring about their long-term demise?

I doubt it. But I'll let you draw your own conclusions as you review the campaign contributions of the Top 100 companies and their CEOs. And don't forget to look for our expanded Election 2004 coverage online at www.washingtontechnology.com.

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