Why Are William And Karla Barritt Throwing A Fundraiser For Patricia McKeon Next Week?
The Barritts of Santa Clarita are Republicans and they donate, modestly, to the GOP, though not much over $11,000 since they started giving money to Buck McKeon in 1997. William Barritt is a high-ranking officer of Aerospace Dynamics and like his boss, the company CEO, John Cave (and Mrs. Cave, who also works at the company), Barritt gives almost every nickel of his contributions to Buck McKeon. Aerospace Dynamics is one of McKeon's top donors. And they have been major beneficiaries of his tenure as Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and of his herculean efforts to fill the skies over America with deadly drones. As founder and head of the House Unmanned Systems Caucus, McKeon has been able to assure his contributors that they will be very, very wealthy from contracts from the federal government. But, still, there's something funny about this invitation to a fundraising party at the Barritts' home in Stevenson Ranch next week:
It isn't Buck McKeon they're raising money for. They've already given him all they can. It's his wife, Patricia McKeon, who's running for a state Assembly seat. That's odd. The Barritt's have never donated to a state legislative candidate before. Neither has Aerospace Dynamics. I wonder what possibly could have made them change their minds and throw a big shindig for Mrs. McKeon, currently running a very distant fourth in a 4-man primary. In fact, she's kind of a laughing stock and, according to the most recent polling, languishing in single digits behind Democrat Ed Headington and fellow Republicans Scott Wilk and Paul Strickland.
The Barritts' most recent political contributions
If McKeon is continuing to get his donors from the armaments industry to raise money for his wife's "campaign"-- we pointed to another case a few days ago-- he would be continuing to break the law. McKeon is notorious for using campaign funds to underwrite his family's lifestyle, funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars into the pockets not just of his incompetent wife-- she's his extravagantly overpaid treasurer but never seems to get his FEC reports right-- but also to his otherwise unemployable sons. This is all illegal, like so much of the shady McKeon political operation, but the local media isn't interested in covering it, the House Ethics Committee is dragging its feet on several other charges involving McKeon, and... there doesn't seem to be any serious law enforcement around the FEC these days at all. And it all looks like a very blatant disregard of the law.
And while McKeon is busy helping campaign donors at Mammoth Mountain and Aerospace Dynamics with what amounts to prohibited earmarks for private gain, he has ginned up a major dispute with the city government of Santa Clarita, the biggest city in his district by deeming a legitimate request for help for the city an "earmark." And this could well be McKeon's undoing.
This week the City Council of his hometown publicly admonished him for his lack of cooperation on stopping the largest aggregate mine in the nation from starting in their backyards. In a unanimous vote, they sent a resolution to McKeon asking him to cooperate with the City, the mining company, and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) to come to a resolution. In the district, this mine is less popular than a bad case of herpes, and no one knows why McKeon wouldn't actively seek a resolution. Over 110 local organizations, from the Sierra Club to the Chamber of Commerce have lined up to oppose this mine. His Democratic challenger and Blue America endorsed candidate, Dr. Lee Rogers, has pointed out the McKeon is supported by the mining industry and in recent years he was number 26 of 535 for House and Senate members with the most contributions from mining industries. Rogers's campaign put together a Facebook timeline of McKeon's record and ethical transgressions which is an ingenious illustration of why this corrupt curmudgeon needs to be retired. Luckily for Rogers, McKeon has been building his own coalition of opponents. Just yesterday, another Republican, and this time a former congressional candidate and intern to McKeon, has come out to endorse Rogers. If you'd like to help Blue America put Rogers over the top in the June 5 jungle primary, please consider contributing here.