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Arsenal could have signed quick, attacking 78kg star for FREE

first_img1 Oh what could have been, Arsenal fans.Gunners manager Arsene Wenger has revealed the club attempted to sign Kingsley Coman in 2014 when the teenager was heading for the PSG exit door.“We really tried to sign Kingsley Coman in the summer of 2014,” Wenger told beIN sports.Arsenal missed out, the player opted for Juventus and the 19-year-old is now on his third professional club having joined Bayern Munich in August.Name: Kingsley ComanDate of birth: 13/06/96Position: ForwardClub: Bayern (on loan from Juventus)Who is he?1) Coman was born in Paris and made his PSG debut at the age of 16, becoming the youngest player to appear for the first team when he came on against Sochaux in February 2013. He joined the Ligue 1 champion’s academy from US Senart-Moissy, a lower league club not too far from Paris, in 2004 and played four times for the club before leaving for free and agreeing a five-year contract with Juventus in 2014.2) Given the teams he has played for, it’s safe to say Coman has bags of quality. He is very attack minded and uses his pace, strength and vision to great effect. The 19-year-old can play on either wing and has also been delployed up top. His former manager at PSG, Carlo Ancelotti said Coman is “quick but also very intelligent.”3) In Italy, Coman left the country’s often hard to please media and a whole load of Serie A fans in awe of his talent on his debut against Chievo. In the 1-0 win he displayed great control and tested the goalkeeper on several occasions. The teenager has scored some fantastic goals in his short career, which you can see below.4) After playing 20 times for Juve where he finished the season as a title winner, Bayern made their move meaning that before Coman is 20 he will have played for PSG, France, Juventus and Bayern Munich. The Germans paid £5m to take him on loan for two seasons and £16m will make the deal permanent in 2017, which is likely to happen if things progress the way they are.Here’s what Arsenal have missed: He’s a quality player who was there, in Paris, who was not given his chance– Liverpool defender and former PSG captain Mamadou SakhoOur game style has much improved with Douglas Costa and Kinsgley Coman. We can use the whole pitch and our strikers, Lewandowski and Thomas Muller, get more chances– Bayern manager Pep Guardiola is thrilled the club signed Comanlast_img read more

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West Ham in early move to new training ground to prevent more injury troubles, reveals Slaven Bilic

first_img1 Victor Moses is just one of West Ham’s players recently sidelined with injury Slaven Bilic is taking drastic action in a bid to help stop West Ham’s injury woes – by moving training grounds.The Hammers were due to relocate to their new Rush Green HQ, where they currently play under-21 games, at the start of next season.But beleaguered boss Bilic has decided to take training there from next Monday, despite the site not being completely ready, after a large batch of injuries on the pitches at their current Chadwell Heath base in recent months.Bilic currently has six key players – Dimitri Payet, Enner Valencia, Diafra Sakho, Manuel Lanzini, Victor Moses and Winston Reid – on his casualty list.Payet and Valencia were hurt after heavy challenges against Everton last month but the other four have suffered muscle injuries, which Bilic has blamed on the training pitches.Winger Moses and defender Reid were this week ruled out until the new year with hamstring damage on Thursday, which proved the final straw for the Croatian.“I heard a lot about the pitches here and they are not ideal,” he said.“With Reid’s injury, for example, they are slippery on the top but rock hard underneath, and it is a bad combination.“Over the time players have been moaning about the pitches, they are not happy.“We were planning to move next season, at the start, to Rush Green because of the quality of the pitches.“I decided on Monday next week, we will go. We can’t continue to risk this much on these kind of pitches.“The pitches are better there than here. We can live without the great dressing room, the kitchens and the free area for now.”New Zealand international Reid could be facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines, with West Ham awaiting the results of a scan on Friday.“It doesn’t look good,” added Bilic. “It’s one of those they tell you is four to six weeks, but it doesn’t look like small one. He slipped and felt it rupture.“Victor is out for four to six weeks. It’s a blow – we have had six injuries since the Everton game. Before that we had a full squad!”Ecuador forward Valencia is the closest to being fit and has an outside chance of making the bench against Stoke on Saturday.last_img read more

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Mira Costa stays in mix

first_imgGIRLS TENNIS: Mustangs rule singles play to earn victory over Peninsula in Bay League clash. By David Saunders STAFF WRITER Peninsula’s Cze-Ja Tam asked to play in the No. 2 singles slot so that she could have a warm-up match before facing Nicole Gibbs. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityMira Costa’s Allie Wahba gave her that and then some. Though Tam beat Wahba by three points, the match took its toll on the stamina of Peninsula’s best player and marked the team’s lone singles victory in Thursday’s 10-8 Bay League loss to visiting Mira Costa. Tam led in both of her final two singles sets, but failed to secure a victory in either. She scored the first point in her set with Gibbs before losing, 6-1. She then allowed Mira Costa’s No. 3 Krystal Langley to score the final three points in a 7-5 defeat. “I do think she got worn down by the third set because she’d had two tough matches before,” Peninsula coach Mike Hoeger said. “It’s tough to get points off of any of (the Mira Costa singles players) because they make you work.” Gibbs continued her Bay League dominance by winning her other two sets, 6-0, 6-0, but it was Wahba who officially clinched Mira Costa’s second victory over Peninsula in four years. The victory also keeps Mira Costa (10-3, 2-1) in the hunt for the Bay League title after a 9-9 loss on games to Palos Verdes Tuesday. “We wanted to win really badly today. It’s about time that we’ve beaten them,” Wahba said. “It feels good to win this because we’re basically back in the game to win the (Bay) League.” Peninsula’s hopes for a victory relied heavily on the success of its doubles teams, which held up their end of the bargain, winning seven of nine matches. Jenna Glimp and Hana Chang swept their doubles sets for Peninsula (7-4, 1-1). “We shouldn’t be able to win a match while losing seven of nine in doubles,” Mira Costa coach Joe Ciasulli said. Natasha Rothwell and Casey Reed scored both of Mira Costa’s doubles points, winning, 6-1, 6-2. Even the pair’s 6-4 loss to Glimp and Chang helped set the tone for Mira Costa, which was competitive in most of its matches, besting Peninsula, 89-67, in games. It was the first time the two have played together since Sept. 17 “Their play helped decide the match. We thought we could get two out of three from them, but they were strong,” Hoeger said. “You always put a lot of pressure on your doubles teams when you want them to take eight of nine. It’s a risk and one that didn’t work this time.” [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Recalls bring bad tidings for toy stores

first_imgNEW YORK – Lead on toys was bad enough, but last week’s recall of a toy tainted with a date-rape drug threatens to turn into a lump of coal for toy retailers just as the key holiday selling season gets started. The recall of Aqua Dots comes just as the industry was starting to see shoppers return to toy stores after summer’s high-profile recalls of more than 21million Chinese-made toys with high levels of lead or dangerous magnets. Aqua Dots, distributed by Spin Master Ltd. in the United States but made in China, was on many retailers’ hot toy lists, and there are few substitutes, retail executives say. Reports of children knocked unconscious after swallowing the tiny colorful beads set off a whole new level of worry among parents. What effect the souring economy will have on sales is also still unclear. Consumers are wary, but even the most frugal parent will buy some children’s toys come the holidays. Target Corp. has said that its toy business has been “soft” this fall, while eToys.com’s CEO Michael Wagner reported that October sales were weaker than expected. Amazon.com said it’s been pleased with its toy business; many others declined to comment saying that the bulk of holiday sales is yet to come. The industry is worried that parents’ frugality could derail holiday sales, which showed a meager increase last year after several years of declines. Toy sales were up 0.2percent last year, according to the NPD Group Inc., a research company based in Port Washington, N.Y. Already, aggressive price cutting has begun. Wal-Mart kicked off in early October, at least a week earlier than a year ago. Over the Nov. 2-4 weekend, Wal-Mart, Toys “R” Us and K-B Toys Inc. wooed shoppers with weekend discounts and specials similar to what they would offer on the day after Thanksgiving. Such heavy discounting could depress sales even more, analysts say. BMO Capital Markets analyst Gerrick Johnson noted that he now expects toy sales to be down from a year ago; before the summer recalls, he had estimated that toy sales would be slightly up. As toy-buying kicks into gear, there seem to be plenty of contradictions in spending patterns. While some small toy stores report a sales surge in naturally stained wooden blocks and eco-friendly stuffed animals, plenty of Chinese-made mass products are big hits, such as Fisher-Price’s Smart Cycle and Jakks-Pacific EyeClops, a handheld device that magnifies objects. Brands that suffered recalls – such as Mattel Inc.’s preschool brand Fisher-Price and RC2 Corp. – are rebounding, according to Toys “R” Us officials. They noted that Fisher-Price has done better than other brands hurt by recalls. Online specialty stores such as Oompa.com and ebeanstalk.com that sell fancier, higher-priced toys also report hefty sales increases from a year ago. Sue Warfield, president of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association, which represents about 500 stores, says her members, long battered by discounters, are bracing for a turnaround. “One bright side is it’s made people aware there’s more to shopping than just picking something off the shelf,” she said of the recalls. “You have to think a little bit more. You have to pay a little bit more attention.” Still, amid a challenging economy, plenty of parents will shop for the best price. Ryan noted that she will stick to shopzilla.com, a shopping site, to search for the best deals, avoiding small toy stores. “I think the shoppers are out there looking for bargains,” said Geoffrey Webb, director of advertising and sales promotions at K-B Toys Inc., which stepped up price cutting from a year ago. This season, the retailer launched what it calls its “supervalue” program, which offers discounts on hundreds of toys. Barb Hollenbeck, owner of Second Childhood Toys in Hastings, Minn., whose toys are about 20percent higher than items found at discounters, said she’s seeing some new customers and expects higher sales this season. Still, she is realistic. While she doesn’t see sticker shock among her new customers, “a budget will be an important factor” for shoppers. “They are out there looking before they buy,” she said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre The good news for shoppers is that they’re being bombarded with free shipping offers and fat discounts as rivals such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Toys “R” Us try to out do one another and draw reticent consumers. Most of the discounting had been planned, but at least one toy retailer, eToys.com, added a free-shipping offer after a disappointing October. The Aqua Dot recall is “scarier than all the others,” said Stacey Ryan, of New Providence, N.J., who planned to buy Aqua Dots for her 3-year-old daughter, Shannon. The summer recalls had already made her cautious about buying toys for Shannon and her 2-year-old sister, Bridget. But she reasoned, what could be worse than them swallowing the Aqua Dots? Little did she know that the beads were coated with a toxic chemical that metabolizes into gamma hydroxy butyrate or GHB – the date-rape drug. Now, Ryan is focusing on bigger toys such as baby dolls and stuffed animals – items her children can’t swallow. “If it looks like a piece of fruit or a snack, I just won’t buy it,” she said. “I really don’t understand how a toy like that can have something like that put into it,” said Colleen Scanlan, from Sun Prairie, Wis., who is trying to find a replacement for Aqua Dots for her daughters, ages 5 and 8. “They’ve been asking for it for about a year, so that one will be a big disappointment.” While many toy merchants say so far shoppers largely have not been rejecting Chinese-made toys – which make up 80percent of U.S. playthings – they are being choosier. A poll done last month by Harris Interactive showed that one-third of Americans say they will be buying fewer toys this holiday season because of safety concerns, and 45percent said they will avoid buying toys made in China. last_img read more

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Plymouth pushes its role in history

first_imgDoubt does not stop a million people from visiting the rock each year; nor will it stop Plymouth from making big plans for its own 400th anniversary in 2020. To start, the State of Massachusetts will soon renovate the Roman Doric portico built around Plymouth Rock in 1920. It has long been crumbling and rusting. Tiles fall so often that netting has been hung under the structure’s ceiling to catch them. Combined with the litter that accumulates at the rock’s base – on Tuesday, that included cigarette butts and crumpled work sheets tossed aside by students on a field trip – the portico’s condition has rankled some in Plymouth, a town of 58,000. “It’s been a disgraceful mess for a number of years,” Baker said. “It ought to be spick-and-span, since it’s the geographic marker of where something very significant started.” In addition to the portico, Pilgrim Hall Museum, which gets only 25,000 visitors a year, needs renovation. It will close for the winter to get $3.7 million worth to help “convey the inherent drama in the Pilgrim story,” according to its Web site. And Plymouth recently hired a consultant who recommended $20 million worth of improvements, many aimed at luring visitors up the hill from the waterfront to other historic attractions. The consultant, Dennis Carlone of Cambridge, suggested a nightly theater presentation of a historically correct “Story of the Pilgrims,” a port for small cruise ships and other marketing strategies. “There’s a theory out there that one out of 10 Americans is related to the Pilgrims,” Carlone said. “Even if they found all the Brewsters in the country and sent them a letter that said, `Come back home,’ that would be pretty powerful.” Mark Sylvia, the town manager, said Plymouth was not seeking a makeover to compete with Jamestown. “It’s been free media and free exposure for us,” Sylvia said of the hoopla in Virginia. “We are comfortable with the fact that the national Thanksgiving holiday is reflective of what happened in Plymouth, and we just want to keep promoting that.” Downtown Plymouth was fairly empty two days before Thanksgiving, but by the harbor, a steady stream of visitors approached the rock in an icy drizzle, snapping photos and peering for a dutiful moment or two before trudging off. “What do you think?” one asked his companion. “I’ve seen enough,” came the response. The rock was once broken in half by townspeople trying to move it (the pieces were later cemented together). And souvenir seekers have swiped chunks over the centuries, historians say, reducing it to a third of its 1620 size. Daniel Ramey, visiting from Seattle, said he was shocked to learn from the nearby sign that the rock was not necessarily where the Pilgrims first set foot. “I totally thought it was what they tied the boat to and stepped on,” he said. “Seeing the real story told more in textbooks would be awesome.” Like countless visitors before him, Ramey also found the rock surprisingly small; he had expected something more like Prudential Financial’s logo, he said. That, however, is modeled on the Rock of Gibraltar.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PLYMOUTH, Mass. – This year, as Jamestown, Va., splashily celebrated the 400th anniversary of its founding as the nation’s first permanent English settlement, the home of Plymouth Rock found itself on the defensive. Virginians have relished trumpeting that Jamestown came first, even vowing to get it “out from under Plymouth Rock.” Their strategy has worked to an extent: Jamestown’s tourism figures rivaled Plymouth’s this year, and even Queen Elizabeth II paid a visit. In a speech near Jamestown on Tuesday, President Bush challenged the popular notion that Plymouth was home to the first Thanksgiving. “The good folks here say that the founders of Berkeley held their celebration before the Pilgrims had even left port,” Bush said, referring to a plantation in Virginia where settlers arrived in 1619. “As you can imagine, this version of events is not very popular up North.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsIn response to such barbs, the people of Plymouth have gone to greater lengths than usual to prove it is “America’s Hometown,” as its marketing brochures announce. “There’s no question Jamestown was first,” said Peggy Baker, director of the Pilgrim Hall Museum, home to Miles Standish’s sword and other artifacts. “But when it comes to issues of historical significance, we don’t just talk about first; we talk about what speaks to people’s emotions. Plymouth is the settlement that has spoken to the hearts and souls of Americans over centuries.” Unlike the Jamestown settlers, who were mostly men seeking investment opportunities and planning to return home, the Pilgrims who came to Plymouth 13 years later were families hoping to start anew, Baker said. Ann Lainhart, historian general of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants – which still gets some 1,400 new applications a year – added: “Plymouth just makes more sense to more people. They can relate to it more.” Still, the rock’s importance is in doubt, a point conveyed to visitors on a small sign a few steps away. The Mayflower Pilgrims never mentioned the rock in their writings. The first to call it sacred was a 95-year-old church elder who decried plans to build a wharf over the rock in 1741, more than 120 years after the Pilgrims landed, claiming his father had identified it as the Pilgrims’ landing spot. last_img
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FATHER MCDYER’S DREAM CONTINUES TO FLOURISH

first_imgA FOOD processing factory borne out of the hard work and dreams of legendary Glencolmcille priest Father James McDyer continues to flourish.An excellent article on Errigal Seafood is in today’s Irish Times.Finance director Alan Mitchell says the company has stayed one step ahead of the recession. You can read the full article here:http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/finance/2012/0410/1224314564729.html   FATHER MCDYER’S DREAM CONTINUES TO FLOURISH was last modified: April 10th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:FATHER MCDYER’S DREAM CONTINUES TO FLOURISHGlencolmkillelast_img read more

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WATCH: Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez scores as Chile hit Mexico for SEVEN

first_imgAlexis Sanchez scored as Chile humiliated Mexico in the quarter-finals of the Copa America on Saturday.The Arsenal forward grabbed his side’s third in a 7-0 rout at Levi’s Stadium in California to take his tournament tally to three goals.Sanchez also laid on two assists, although he was outshone by former QPR man Eduardo Vargas, who helped himself to four goals.Chile will face Colombia on Wednesday night in the semi-finals, while Argentina and USA will meet on the other last-four tie.last_img read more

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Samba Diakite set for Montpellier move after QPR release

first_img Samba Diakite in action for Mali 1 Mali midfielder Samba Diakite is set to join Montpellier following his departure from QPR.Diakite spent four-and-a-half years at Loftus Road after his arrival from Nancy, initially on loan, back in 2012.But he leaves having made just 23 league appearances for the west London club as he was shipped out on loan to Watford and then Al Ittihad over the past two years.So it was not surprising when Rangers decided against offering the 27-year-old a fresh deal this summer with his initial four-year contract up.But it does not look as though Diakite has had to wait long for fresh employment, with L’Equipe reporting that he is set to sign a two-year deal with Montpellier after impressing on trial.last_img read more

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Bears’ Smith honored

first_imgLovie Smith is in the company of Hall of Famers. Smith was hired to resurrect the proud Chicago Bears franchise once coached by George Halas and Mike Ditka. He did such a strong job in 2005 that he was chosen The Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year on Saturday. Halas and Ditka each won the honor twice. In his second season with the Bears, Smith took them from 5-11 to 11-5, the NFC North title and a first-round bye. “Each day I’m living a dream to even be talked about with those guys,” Smith said. “I’m blessed to be a Bear. Each day I realize that, and it seems like more and more I realize that.” Smith, who served as Dungy’s linebackers coach from 1996-2000 in Tampa, recently attended the funeral of James Dungy, his close friend’s oldest son, who died last month. Their bond remains strong and Smith often has credited Dungy with helping develop his leadership skills. Bears general manager Jerry Angelo also worked for the Buccaneers. “Lovie, when we went out and started our search for a head coach, it starts with leadership,” Angelo said. “And (with) Lovie there’ve never been any doubts about that. I knew that firsthand. I had the benefit of working with him down in Tampa and saw that come to fruition even more so now that he’s in charge.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonSmith also beat out his mentor, Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy, drawing 24! votes from a nationwide panel of 50 sports writers and broadcasters who cover the NFL. Dungy was next with 20!. “I would have voted for Tony for the award,” Smith added. “I’m really happy for our assistant coaches, to get that award. Tony did a great job with his program, as a lot of other coaches did.” Chicago had the league’s stingiest defense, which figures because Smith made his reputation as a defensive mastermind, first in Tampa Bay under Dungy, then in St. Louis. Now, he oversees a team that surged to a Super Bowl contender, armed with a defense that allowed only 202 points, just 61 of those at home. “I definitely get the sense this is the Bears’ year,” he said. “We have a special group of athletes, a special team with character.” last_img read more

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Area firms paying to play?

first_imgWASHINGTON – Nearly every defense contractor that Southern California lawmakers boasted securing federal funding for over the past three years also made political contributions, according to a review by the Los Angeles Newspaper Group. In the review of 32 private firms in Southern California that won money in federal spending bills since 2003, all but two made political donations to national or local lawmakers through their top executives, political action committees or Washington, D.C., lobbyists. The companies gave more than $10.8 million nationally, with about $200,000 going to Southland lawmakers who championed their specific projects. The companies, in turn, got more than $203.8 million in funding for everything from construction of unmanned aerial vehicles to fiber optic research. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE “It has become a pay-to-play system,” said Keith Ashdown, spokesman for Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan budget watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. “If you want to get federal contracts or earmarks, you have to support and financially back those in Congress. It doesn’t always mean you get want you want, but it opens the door.” All of the contributions were within the legal limits, and the earmarks have not sparked any allegations of misconduct. Southern California lawmakers maintain the donations did not influence their decisions to seek appropriations, and the companies said the contributions were made with no expectation of a return. But two recent high-profile congressional influence-peddling scandals are putting such dealings under a microscope, highlighting what insiders say is a pervasive culture in which money opens doors on Capitol Hill. “All of this is now under scrutiny, and everybody is scared to death,” said Winslow T. Wheeler, director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the Center for Defense Information in Washington, D.C. The newspaper review targeted projects that Southern California lawmakers announced they helped secure funds for since 2003, and used Federal Election Campaign reports and PoliticalMoneyLine.com, a nonpartisan, nonprofit public disclosure Web site, to analyze campaign contributions. While millions of dollars were secured for public universities and local military bases, area congressional members also brought between $32 million and $106 million annually to defense contractors performing work in their districts. Donors ranged from multibillion defense contractors such as Boeing and Northrop Grumman to smaller local companies. Recipients included longtime champions of defense projects such as Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald, D-Long Beach, whose district is home to C-17 transport plane production, and lawmakers who lead key committees such as House Appropriations Chairman Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands, and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter, R-San Diego. They also included local lawmakers who rarely get involved in national defense issues such as Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Santa Fe Springs. Donations ranged from $250 to $20,000. “It’s a very easy game of compound interest. You give thousands, you get millions,” Ashdown said. Lewis said he believes the vast majority of contractors and politicians operate ethically. But, he said, he is troubled by the cloud that disgraced former Rep. Duke Cunningham cast over Congress by accepting millions of dollars in bribes from defense contractors. “There should never be a linkage,” Lewis said. “That’s an unacceptable linkage, and I think the vast percentage (of lawmakers and companies) see it that way.” Lewis, who is one of the House’s biggest recipients of defense dollars from contractors and their lobbyists, said he supports projects on their merits. “Anybody who comes to my office to talk about a defense system, it is an unacceptable process for them to mention fundraising to me. I do not recall anybody violating that rule,” he said. Still, he and others acknowledge that campaign contributions undeniably open doors. “There’s no doubt that contributions provide access,” Lewis said. Added Doug Fouquet, spokesman for General Atomics in San Diego, which donated more than $1 million nationally from its political action committee over the past three years, “It’s important that we communicate to our congressional representatives the importance of our projects, or they might not see the light of day.” Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, who sits on the House Armed Services Committee, was one of the region’s highest recipients of defense dollars along with Lewis, Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter, R-San Diego, and Jane Harman, D-Los Angeles, the leading Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. So far this campaign cycle, defense contractors have contributed $34,750 to McKeon, according to campaign reports. Over the past three years, companies in his district that he has announced he helped win federal funds donated more than $125,000. Vista Controls in Santa Clarita, for example, donated $11,550 to McKeon, and this year won $2 million in the defense appropriations bill to make electronic upgrades to heavy armored vehicles. Executives at H.R. Textron, also in Santa Clarita, for whom McKeon got $1.4 million this year to develop a guided dispenser system for future armed UAVs, donated $3,400. General Atomics, which has won McKeon’s support for several programs including its extended-range UAV system, has donated $40,000. McKeon did not return a call to discuss the contributions. “We pride ourselves on acting scrupulously,” said General Atomic’s Fouquet, who said the company’s political action committee donates to lawmakers who share the company’s philosophy. In a few cases, companies gave little or nothing to local lawmakers who supported their projects. Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Thousand Oaks, for example, announced he championed AeroVironment’s funding for an unmanned aerial vehicle, yet campaign reports show no record of contributions from the company to Gallegly. He also helped secure $1 million this year for Behavioral Science Technology Inc., an Ojai company that also did not donate to any lawmaker. Company officials did not return a call seeking comment. Still, lobbyists for Zebra Technologies in Camarillo have donated $4,000 to Gallegly, who helped the company receive $1 million in 2004 to replace bar codes with radio frequency identifications to help the Army track military supplies. “I have always fought for two priorities: what is in the nation’s best interest and what is in the district’s best interest,” Gallegly said. “I like to think people are supporting me because people like the job I’m doing philosophically.” San Bernardino County is home to the only other company reviewed that, according to campaign records, secured money from federal appropriations bills but did not contribute to any lawmaker. Certified Aviation Services, based at Ontario Airport and for which Lewis helped secure $8.5 million to convert Cessna planes into unmanned planes, did not return a call seeking comment. Wheeler, a former aide to Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., who worked for years on defense appropriations, said that despite what lawmakers and companies say, the wheels of Washington are greased with campaign contributions. “A competent congressional staff will check on whether or not a manufacturer made a contribution last year, and that will typically affect the enthusiasm with which the office seeks an earmark for the following year,” Wheeler said. While openly discussing fundraising is forbidden for both staff and lawmakers as well as contractors, “both sides understand it’s going to occur,” he said. It’s a characterization Southland lawmakers and their aides deny. But many acknowledge that Congress has a public perception problem that’s going to be tough to change. “I would love to see a system of reform that could take us to the meaningful elimination of contributions from private interest groups,” said Lewis. “But we’re not going to be able to, that’s the problem.” Lisa Friedman, (202) 662-8731 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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