with senators like shelby, the SCOTUS really didn't have to make corporations "people"...but just in case, doncha know...
The Senator confirmed that he launched the hold, in part, because he is upset with a tanker contract worth $35 billion that remains unresolved between Northrop Grumman/EADs and Boeing. Shelby favors the Northrop Grummann-EADS bid largely because it would result in tankers being assembled in his home state. The two contractors, in turn, have donated to Shelby's campaign committees, hoping ostensibly to secure favor or at least an audience with the Alabama Republican.
According to a review of campaign finance records, Shelby's political action committee received $7,500 in donations from EADS's PAC during the past two election cycles and an additional $21,500 from Northrop's PAC since 2000.
[UPDATE: The investigative journalism group Center for Public Integrity looked at all political action committees associated with Northrop Grumman and concluded that Shelby has received at least $108,233 in contributions since his first Senate election in 1986.]
Airbus Chairman T. Allan McArtor, meanwhile, donated $1,500 to Shelby in May 2009. Samuel Adcock, EADS Senior Vice President of Government Relations, donated $1,000 to Shelby in 2003. A fellow lobbyist and top executive at the company, Ralph Crosby, donated the same amount that same year. One other EADS employee, Bacon Douglas, donated $1,500 in 2003.
The strongest connection between Shelby and EADS, however, may not involve campaign contributions. The senator's former legislative director, Stewart Hall, is a major lobbyist for the defense contractor -- he was signed up by EADS North America in 2006 while a member of the firm the Federalist Group. During that time period, the Federalist Group was given $240,000 to help advance the company's legislative interests. When Hall left for another major lobbying firm, Ogilvy, he brought EADS with him -- receiving $160,000 in compensation for his work for the company.