Defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel collected relatively little in political contributions from the defense industry as a senator from Nebraska.
The industry gave less than 1 percent of the $11.35 million that Hagel raised for two Senate campaigns and a committee he established to support other candidates.
He received $90,750 from individuals and political action committees affiliated with defense contractors, according to the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington, D.C., which studies campaign contributions.
Hagel “apparently had little to do with the defense industry, despite having served in Vietnam and earning a number of medals,” according to the center's Open Secrets blog. It noted that the Republican senator served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, not the Armed Services Committee, which oversees the Pentagon.
Instead, Hagel's campaign money was more likely to come from insurance companies, Wall Street investment firms and banks. He also served on the Senate's Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.
Hagel's top defense donor was Eurpac Service, which operates commissaries on military bases, at $18,000. He also received money from Pentagon contractors such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Northrop Grumman.
|Photos: Chuck Hagel through the years|
|See more photos of Hagel, from Nebraska youngster to national statesman.|
Defense money was a small share of his campaign cash, which isn't uncommon for members of Congress. Even some senators who serve on the Armed Services panel receive relatively little money from defense contractors.
For example, the center reports, committee member Ben Nelson, D-Neb., collected just $218,675 from the defense industry, or 1.3 percent of his campaign receipts. And defense money accounted for just 1.8 percent of the contributions collected by Michigan Democrat Carl Levin, the committee's chairman.
In all, Hagel raised $8.4 million for his campaigns during his Senate years. His Sandhills PAC collected an additional $2.9 million.
The finance, insurance and real estate industry gave Hagel's campaigns $1.6 million, the most of any sector, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Hagel's largest single grouping of donors came from individuals connected to Peter Kiewit Sons' Inc. Collectively, they gave $48,100. While the Omaha construction company does some work on military bases, including Offutt Air Force Base, the Center for Responsive Politics does not classify it as a defense industry donor.
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|Hagel's top defense contributors|
Note: Contributions didn’t come from the companies themselves but from their political action committees, their individual employees or owners, or owners’ or employees’ immediate families. Totals may include money from subsidiaries.
Source: Center for Responsive Politics analysis of Federal Election Commission data