Recently, our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com, mashed up the federal checkbook with the congressional campaign donor database (source: OpenSecrets.org). We found powerful members of Congress soliciting campaign donations from federal contractors based in their districts.
We followed the money and found a culture of conflict-of-interest. The confluence of federal money, campaign cash, private employment, investments, prestigious committee appointments, political power, nepotism, and other conflicts are a fact pattern.
Furthermore, members of Congress own investment stock in, are employed by, and receive retirement pensions from federal contractors to whom they direct billions of taxpayer dollars.
Moreover, members sponsor legislation that affects these contractors. The contractor's lobbyists then advocate for the legislation that helps the member and the contractor. Oftentimes, the contractor's lobbyist also donates campaign cash to the member.