Pataki Agrees to Close More Revolving Doors

Arnie Alpert on May 30, 2015
GUI bird dogs and banneristas greeted hundreds of Republicans and two presidential candidates by the Weirs Beach boardwalk. Governor George Pataki told me he would block former Cabinet members, and retired generals and admirals from becoming corporate lobbyists, just as he would for former members of Congress.

The sun was out, the weather was warm, and hundreds of people were arriving for a GOP benefit cruise aboard the Mount Washington on Lake Winnipesaukee on the evening of May 29.   Governors George Pataki, Jim Gilmore, Scott Walker, and Bob Ehrlich were all expected.  That made the boardwalk at the Weirs Beach pier a great place to talk about “governing under the influence.” 

One fellow who stopped to read our banners and talk a bit turned out to be Jim Gilmore, former governor of Virginia.   I encouraged him to heed President Eisenhower’s warning about the military-industrial-complex.   

I was waiting for former New York governor George Pataki, who at his recent announcement speech had said he wants to ban members of Congress from becoming lobbyists.

When Gov. Pataki arrived, I put out my hand and said I had something to ask him. 

“I’ve been glad to hear you talking about closing the revolving door between Congress and lobbying firms,” I started.  He smiled and slowed down a bit, though he clearly wanted to get to the boat more than he wanted to talk with me.

“Would you also close the revolving door for cabinet members and generals and admirals?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said, and strode down the ramp to board the Mount Washington.

We also found numerous cruise-goers who agreed that big corporations have too much influence over government policy.

Weirs Beach Laconia, NH 03246
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Arnie Alpert

Arnie Alpert

Arnie Alpert is co-director of the American Friends Service Committee’s New Hampshire Program, which he has led since 1981.  In that time he has been involved in movements for economic justice and affordable housing, civil and worker rights, peace and disarmament, abolition of the death penalty, and an end to racism and homophobia.