Jim Gilmore goes full disclosure on defense lobbying
I arrived at the New Hampshire Rebellion tent with one goal in mind, which was to talk to former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore. As I entered the tent, I went straight to the front of the room and picked up one of GUI’s handouts, prepared for Gilmore.
When Gilmore arrived, he quickly took to the stage and proceeded to speak against the dangers of corporate influence but in the form of media.
After speaking for a little over an hour, he opened it up for questioning, and I eagerly raised my hand which resulted in my being called upon.
Wanting to make sure he didn’t shift focus back to the media, I asked him:
Not just only media corporations influencing politics, but also the defense industry corporations are influencing politics. My question for you is what steps will you take to end crony capitalism and ensure policies are shaped for the public good and not by defense contractors or defense corporations?
Governor Gilmore responded to my question by stating, “Well in the interest of full disclosure, I used to serve on the board of a defense contractor, matter of fact. But the fact is that lobbying is controlled, and should be controlled, and we should have more and more disclosure and I think we have to have better scrutiny about how lobbying actually influences legislation. And, by the way, we are seeing a dissociation of the American people of their elected representatives because there is a suspicion and a fear that actually its crony capitalism and lobbying and all that, and it’s not in the national interest. Once again, full disclosure, seems to me this would be an appropriate place for uh the press to actually probe and get information out there and to the community so the public can know what in fact is going on.”
Gilmore continued, “…I happen to believe the defense contractors very often offer services that are essential in a world which we are basically in a guerilla international war. But the ability to oversee that and decide that, while its done through some regulatory bodies, in fact the best thing to do is to have the citizens have the maximum possible amount of information.”