I asked Christie about the present corporate control of our nuclear weapons labs and whether profit should govern our nuclear weapons and overall defense policy. He said no, but added that corporations are entitled to a reasonable profit provided they make reliable weapons for national defense
Caroline Isaacs, AFSC Arizona Program Director, was on a recent Iowa speaking tour titled “Who Profits from Immigrant Detention and Mass Incarceration?” on Dec. 7-9. She educated first-in-the-nation caucus goers about the problematic private prison industry and immigrant detention centers, encouraging them to question presidential candidates about these issues leading up to the Iowa Caucus on February 1.
Governor Kasich was asked about the immigrant detention mandate in Ankeny, Iowa. He responded the immigrant detention mandate made no sense to him, but still needed more information before making his decision to call an end to it.
Senator Marco Rubio ignored two questions about ending the immigrant detention quota and his connections with the private prison GEO Group, which lobbied for the detention quota and profits from detaining immigrants. Rubio did not take questions from the audience and did not attempt to answer these questions while shaking hands.
Governor Bush took our question on immigrant detention while at Dmacc Newtown Campus and responded by stating he was unsure if it was true but if it was, we shouldn't have it. He has continued to state opposition to the immigrant detention mandate.
I questioned Gov. Jeb Bush about corporate lobbyists contributing to wasteful spending in the military, including the $1.5 trillion F-35 fighter jets and $1 trillion nuclear weapons plan. Bush called defense contractors aggregators and says “we need procurement reform, plain and simple.”
Five years of lobbying and donations to more than 200 key members of Congress paid off big for Northrop Grumman, which last week won a huge Pentagon contract for a new bomber, designed to deliver two types of thermonuclear weapons.
Lawrence Wilkerson, retired U.S. Army colonel and former chief of staff to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, was on a speaking tour with AFSC's GUI project in Iowa to educate first-in-the-nation caucus goers about the excessive political influence from private weapons manufacturers in the decision making process. These manufacturers earn tremendous profits from multi-billion dollar contracts for seemingly interminable war.
Governor Jindal was asked about his policies if elected for president would be in the interest of the public good instead of corporate interest.
Governor Jindal stated "...I think we need to stop members of Congress from becoming lobbyists...I think too often they do what the special interest want. In regards to military procurement... multiple sources, having competitive bid contracts, multi year procurement...I think its good for taxpayers and it's good for men and women in the military as well because when we don't do that they are also the ones getting cheated. They are not getting the equipment and the training they need and it shouldn't be done based on politics."