Christie Agrees on Revolving Door between Industry and Regulatory Agencies
I went to Tilton Diner to "bird dog" Chris Christie. I went in and sat by myself and ordered eggs benedict done with spinach. A State-House based AP reporter sitting nearby told me, "If you sit alone like that, he'll come and talk to you." Christie did. He paused at two tables of four to shake hands, but came to my table for conversation. Stayed for at least ten minutes.
I got in my two main topics - about arms industry like Lockheed possibly setting our security policy by heavily lobbying for more defense contracts. Will we never have an end to war, while the industry makes its profits, war going on and on? He said, "I have to know before I become President that I'll have that to deal with." What he wants is, for instance, "more ready air force" than it is now. I gave him examples of lobbyists with too much influence over military policy, and others going from positions in industry into jobs at federal agencies that regulate their former employers. Christie agreed such conflicts of interest are problems.
I couldn't get him to agree that the Pentagon budget is bloated. He said, "The money needs to be spent differently."
On the topic of yesterday's Shell permission to drill for Arctic oil - I praised NJ for reacting right away to Obama's opening the Atlantic coast for oil exploration "from NJ to FL." Quickly after NJ put up a protest, it became "from DE to FL." He said, "We have our tourist industry beaches to think about." He agreed that all the Atlantic coast deserves protecting from oil industry. He turns out to rest it all "on science." He's not anti-science. I said, "You are from a smart state. You have Princeton!" He and his wife together said, "Our son is going to Princeton!" He said, "If science says 'no' to drilling in the Arctic, then drilling in the Arctic should not happen." I told him he's "above" many of his competitors, with that remark. They are anti-science. Not too smart.
Well, you never know how the words before election will play out as actions after elections.
I may be on news tonight, as TV cameras were there as well as regular press cameras. I talked the longest time to a Japanese reporter, woman, who writes for Nikkei. She could not believe I am 70.