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The Washington Times is reporting that defense contractors who in recent years received millions of dollars in earmarks directed by Republican U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter have contributed heavily to his son’s campaign for the 52nd congressional seat, which the elder Hunter is vacating in January.

Hunter, who has served in Congress for 28 years and chaired the Armed Services Committee until the Democrats took over Congress in 2006, announced his retirement in May. His 31-year-old son, Duncan D. Hunter, is running for the seat against Democrat Mike Lumpkin

Here is what the Times uncovered through an analysis of Federal Election Commission records:

Through June, the records show, Mr. Hunter received $17,750 from people identifying themselves as employees or executives of defense contractors who were beneficiaries of earmarks over the past two years. Among them:

  • A $19 million award to L-3 Communications Corp. in San Diego, a major supplier of homeland defense products and services. The earmarked money was for the development and testing of a missile system. L-3 Communications is the sixth-largest defense company in the United States.
  • A $1.5 million award to San Diego-based Trex Enterprises Corp., a high-tech defense contractor specializing in microwave sensing, high-resolution imaging, digital signal processing, applied optics and materials. The earmarked money was to develop a device to help helicopter pilots navigate with limited visibility.
  • Millions of dollars in earmarks for Dupont Aerospace in the San Diego area for the development of the DP-2 vertical takeoff and landing aircraft to transport special operations forces. More than $60 million has been appropriated for the aircraft, which has been rejected by the Navy, Army and Air Force.
  • FEC records show that executives at L-3 Communications contributed $2,750 to the younger Mr. Hunter’s campaign, while corporate officials at Trex Enterprises donated $7,100. Officials at Dupont Aerospace contributed $5,100 to the Hunter campaign, according to the records.
  • Mr. Hunter’s campaign also received $5,000 from political action committees controlled by executives of companies that benefited from the earmarks that his father secured and more than $9,500 from lobbying firms that represented contractors given earmarks, according to FEC records.

Other contributions from employees or executives of defense contractors benefiting from the Hunter earmarks include $350 from an official at Information Systems Laboratories, which received a $500,000 earmark; $250 from an official at defense and space technology consortium Defcomm, which received $8 million in earmarks; $500 from an official at NovaSol, which received a $1 million earmark; and $1,700 from officials at BAE Systems, which partially owns missile manufacturer MBDA that was among several companies that shared a $15 million earmark.

DAVID WASHBURN

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