Tuesday, February 20 , 2018, 2:28 am | Fair 39º


John Hager: Capps, Watson Guilty of Conflicts of Interest

Research sheds light on shady government contracts and earmarks

Research by the John Hager for Congress campaign has revealed conflicts of interest involving competing candidates Republican Tom Watson and incumbent Democratic Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.

Watson’s employer, Agile RF, was formed in 1999. Agile is one of 20 companies backed by a group of four venture capitalists (Watson isn’t one of them) who operate under the name of Cycad Group. Cycad’s chairman is Paul Glenn, a registered Libertarian. Watson joined Agile in 2003 (see Watson’s ballot statement).

Paul Glenn has sent regular large donations to Capps. Watson admits that he himself has lobbied Capps. Capps then handed Agile $1.6 million in earmarks. Agile has collected millions in government money. Watson claims bidding was competitive, but in most of the contracts, Agile was the only bidder.

Neither Capps nor Watson ever disclosed any of this before. Now they both admit the government contracts and earmarks but act like there was no wrongdoing. The Glenn payments are unmentioned and remain undefended.

These facts show both hypocrisy and conflict of interest.

Hypocrisy: Watson claims that he wants to cut government spending while he’s getting millions in government money. Capps claims she wants to rein in military spending, but she’s granting military contract earmarks after taking money from Glenn.

Conflict of interest: Will Watson favor his company with contracts if he takes Capps’ position? He has never addressed this conflict. Capps is granting earmarks after taking money. The Glenn payments surely weren’t because Capps supports any Libertarian policies. Capps excuses the earmark as helping out a constituent, but she’s helping out Glenn after he paid her money. That isn’t helping a deserving constituent based on merit, that’s corruption — government earmarks in return for campaign donations.

For more information or supporting data, call E. G. Garay at 805.966.2018.

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