Progressive House Democrats urge Biden against Defense chief with contractor ties

A pair of progressive House Democrats is urging President-elect Joe Biden not to nominate a Pentagon chief who has previously worked for a defense contractor.



Mark Pocan wearing a suit and tie: Progressive House Democrats urge Biden against Defense chief with contractor ties


© Aaron Schwartz
Progressive House Democrats urge Biden against Defense chief with contractor ties

“Respectfully, and in full agreement with your past statements, we write to request that the next secretary of Defense, have no prior employment history with a defense contractor,” Reps. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) wrote in a letter to Biden released Thursday.

Pocan is the co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Lee is the caucus’ chairwoman emeritus.

As House members, Pocan and Lee will not get a vote on Biden’s eventual nominee. But the letter signals the progressive position on the woman widely seen as Biden’s likely choice, Michele Flournoy.

Flournoy, who was under secretary of Defense for policy in the Obama administration, co-founded consultant group WestExec

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TV ads still win elections. And Democrats are buying a lot more of them.

The vast quantity of television advertising aired by candidates, parties and outside groups is proving to be one of the many ways that the 2020 election is remarkable. According to data gathered by the Wesleyan Media Project, more than 4.9 million ads have been aired on broadcast and national cable television in federal races this year — more than double the number run in 2012 or 2016.



a man holding a sign: Supporters of former vice president Joe Biden attend a speech at the Perez Art Museum in Miami on Sept. 5.


© Cristobal Herrera/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock
Supporters of former vice president Joe Biden attend a speech at the Perez Art Museum in Miami on Sept. 5.

Voters in competitive states may experience this as an onslaught. They — and we — may even wonder whether so many ads can possibly make a difference. Aren’t viewers zoning out, changing the channel or even fast-forwarding as soon as yet another ad comes on? And anyway, given the decreasing number of swing voters in U.S. politics, is anyone left

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