Monday, November 22, 2010
A USA TODAY Story on November 22nd (usatoday. 11-22-2010 scanner-lobby) highlights the sordid details of how lobbyist dollars influenced the TSA's purchase of nearly $40 million worth of so-called 'backscatter scanners' from RAPISCAN Corp. for use in U.S. airports. In the story, Peter Kant, a Rapiscan executive vice president incredulously stated that 'Hiring lobbyists with Capitol Hill experience does not grant the company special access to lawmakers'. HA! I suppose Kant also believes in the Easter Bunny, The tooth fairy and that no-one ever gets rich while serving in Congress!
This story exemplifies what is wrong in Washington- The place is run by and for the benefit of lobbyists! Just look at the Health Care Bill, which was WRITTEN by lobbyists from the Apollo Alliance and other left-wing lobbyists. How's that working out? What is needed is to clean up the culture of lobbyist-centered corruption in D.C. A ban on lobbying altogether would be the most effective way to stem the corruptocracy that has a stranglehold on government operations. Barring that, what would be second most effective is a ban on ANY government employee becoming a lobbyist (in name or de facto) for at least ten years from their last date of Government employment.
The main excuses usually given for this unethical (but apparently legal) behavior in this case, and seemingly all other cases, always remain the same: 'I'm following the rules', and 'I'm only doing what everyone else is doing'. Just because something is legal doesn't make it moral, ethical or in the best interests of the American People. And the 'good ol' boy' excuse wore thin a long time ago. Doesn't it seem that almost EVERY case of waste, fraud and mismanagement in Washington ALWAYS seems to come down to influence by special-interest lobbying? Any attempts to solve the problems in Washington without addressing lobbyist influence would be as effective as new window dressing on a condemned house. D.C. Corruption = waste of ever-scarce taxpayer dollars. All anyone has to do is merely look at what was passed in this current Congress (and, more importantly the WAY it was passed) to see that the current system is broken beyond repair. Any member of Congress who stands in the way of REAL reform of 'Business As Usual' in Washington should be tossed out on his bureaucratic kiester for encouraging a culture of corruption.
Change is never easy, but change must come to Washington Culture if we are ever to correct the wayward course our country is now on.