The defense industry’s political clout occasionally can backfire. Case in point are recent comments by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., who chairs the influential Armed Services Committee. A reporter asked Levin to comment on a proposal by his colleague Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., to open to the public the committee’s markup sessions. Levin said he would not entirely object to the idea, but he fears that it would create a lobbyist feeding frenzy. It would be tough to have a debate “without contractors being in our lobby 10 minutes after anyone [on the committee] opened their mouth,” Levin said.