Pataki: revolving door problem goes beyond elected officials

Eric Zulaski on July 06, 2015
Discussing the revolving door between government and corporations, presidential candidate George Pataki said that it's more than elected officials we need to be concerned with.

Yesterday I spoke with former NY Governor, George Pataki, about the revolving door.

I asked if the revolving door should be closed to other government officials in addition to members of congress. I pointed out that the former heads of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Federal Bureau of Prisons are both now on the board of directors of prison corporation, GEO Group.

His response? “No question. It’s more than simply elected officials. It’s key staff that go back and forth. I wouldn’t have a lifetime ban, as I would with legislators.”

The video got cut off, but I went on to ask if we should close the revolving door for retired Generals and Admirals who go on to work in high-paid advisory positions with Pentagon contractors. He said, “Absolutely.”

This is the latest in an ongoing conversation that GUI activists have had with this presidential candidate.

Six months ago he told John that members of Congress should never become lobbyists, that we should impose a lifetime ban. We wondered, however, what he thought about other cases of the revolving door, when, for example, high ranking military officers retire to work for weapons contractors.

We got a glimpse of his position in May just as he boarded a cruise ship on Lake Winnipesaukee. When Arnie asked if we should close the revolving door on former cabinet members and retired generals and admirals, he simply said “Yes.”

Later, Charlie got to dig deeper and asked if we should ban congressional staffers and presidential appointees from becoming lobbyists. Pataki responded saying such a broad measure would not be legal.


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