Democratic congressional candidate Gunn McKay says Rep. Jim Hansen, R-Utah, hasn't done enough to prevent fraud by defense contractors, while at the same time he is accepting thousands of dollars from them for giving speeches.
"I will look closely at re-introducing legislation that calls for tougher penalties on contractors who break the law. . . . My opponent, Jim Hansen, has repeatedly voted against such measures. At the same time, he has been receiving thousands of dollars in honoraria from these very defense contractors," McKay said at a press conference Tuesday."While taking $16,000 in honoraria from defense contractors (in 1987), Hansen has voted against giving the inspector general power to punish contractors for fraud, waste and abuse; he voted against competitive bidding on major weapons systems; and voted against the biggest procurement reform proposal of the decade, the Mavroulos amendment."
McKay added, "My opponent says he is serving the people of Utah now that he is on the Armed Services Committee. But it appears that Jim Hansen could be serving himself more than the citizens of the 1st District."
McKay also said Congress should ban all honoraria - or pay for speeches - because of the conflict of interest they present. However, he admitted he accepted honoraria when he was in Congress from 1970 to 1980.
"But I accepted only a small amount, about $3,000 over the 10 years," he said. He added that much of that came from energy groups interested in his assignment on an interior committee.
Of note, Hansen said recently in a Deseret News story about honoraria, "The word around Washington is that if you are attacked for taking honoraria, you must be doing something right because groups won't invite you to talk to them unless you are an expert in an area or are on a key committee."