Fiorina: Military corporate cronyism reform and Iowa Sweet Corn

Kevin Rutledge on August 17, 2015
While walking to eat Iowa Sweet Corn during the Iowa State Fair, Carly Fiorina is asked about crony capitalism in the military industrial complex where military officials go through the revolving door into the private sector and receive more government contracts. Fiorina says we need to have “strongest military on the face of the planet” and we need to reform bureaucracy and crony capitalism within the military and Defense department, but doesn’t say how.

Carly Fiorina has talked a lot about corporate cronyism (see today’s article in The Des Moines Register “Fiorina blasts ‘crony capitalism’ on Soapbox”), but she hasn’t shared a plan to end corporate cronyism in the military industrial complex (see our past bird-dog reports Carly Fiorina on Conversation with a Candidate, Fiorina Says Cronyism at Pentagon, and Is Carly Fiorina a champion of campaign finance reform?).

Today, we went to The Des Moines Register's Soapbox at The Iowa State Fair to see Gov. Scott Walker and Carly Fiorina.  Presidential candidates have 20 minutes to speak on the Soapbox and candidates are there almost every day of the Fair this year.

Following Ms. Fiorina’s speech at noon, I was able to walk-and-talk with her asking questions about corporate cronyism in the military industrial complex on her way to an Iowa Sweet Corn stand.  (The video had a few technical difficulties with a mob of people surrounding Ms. Fiorina and bumping into each other.)

“How would you address the issue of crony capitalism with military officials going through a revolving door through the private sector and receiving defense contracts from the government?” I asked.

“One of the things I said, I said that one of the things we need to have is the strongest military on the face of the planet, that’s true.  The military and the Defense department, they measure something called “tooth to tail”.  Tooth, you know, tip of the spear, fighting, bombs… [Explains ‘tail’ as] bureaucracy, crony capitalism and all that stuff.  We need to reform tail." Said Ms. Fiorina in the midst of cameras all around us.

When I asked “So how would you reform tail of the military industrial complex?” Ms. Fiorina ignored my question and kept walking to the Iowa corn stand, a few seconds later saying “I gotta eat some corn!”

I would have liked to hear how Carly Fiorina envisions having the strongest military on the face of the planet, while addressing the existing problems of massive Pentagon contractors who spent $128 million lobbying last year and received $202 billion worth of contracts.

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Kevin Rutledge

Kevin Rutledge AFSC Governing Under the Influence Presidential Campaign Project

Kevin Rutledge is the Grassroots Education Coordinator with AFSC’s Presidential Campaign Project in Iowa.  Kevin has deep family roots in Quaker activism for peace and social justice.  A graduate from Iowa State University in Sociology and Criminal Justice, his previous work includes: United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) organizer, Public Citizen online organizer to overturn Citizens United, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, and a youth residential treatment facility.  Kevin hopes to one day return to Brazil and live by the beach.

“What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill .