Colt files for chapter 11
Colt, the famous gun manufacturer, has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy after losing a key government contract to supply M4 rifles to the US Army.
The bankruptcy filings provide a key glimpse into Colt’s lobbying expenditures; the company has outstanding debts to numbers of lobbyist firms (from the above link):
The filing shows Colt has made payments to the McChrsytal Group, a consulting firm set up by Stanley McChrystal, the retired general who was relieved of his command of military operations in Afghanistan following a damaging story in Rolling Stone magazine. Though not registered as a lobbying firm, the McChrystal Group has previously reached out to military officials on behalf of corporate clients seeking to influence policy decisions.
According to the bankruptcy document, Colt owed money to a number of other lobby-related trade groups, including the Aerospace Industries Association and the National Defense Industrial Association, both of which represent defense contractors; the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which represents gun companies; and the Congressional Sportsman’s Alliance, a pro-hunting organization.
Colt also owed money to various law enforcement and political nonprofits, including the National US Arab Chamber of Commerce and the National Sheriffs’ Association.
Fascinating that a disgraced general is lobbying without being a lobbyist, that a gun manufacturer cannot operate profitably without government contracts to make weapons for the army despite the ever-growing arming of US citizens, and that there are so many other ways, beyond the avenues created for Citizens United, for corporations to speak.
We’ve seen the flood of money into politics has, at some point, diminishing returns. Is it possible that flood is also draining corporate coffers too?
Sciens Capital Management has agreed to buy Colt, including their secured liabilities and existing agreements with employees, customers, vendors, and trade creditors.