Scanner Firms Doubled Lobby Spending Over 5 Years

High-profile former officials ended up on scanner firms' payrolls
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2010 3:50 AM CST
Scanner Firms Doubled Lobby Spending Over 5 Years
TSA screener Marlon Tejada, left, watches as Randy Parsons, TSA acting Federal Security Director, right, goes through a full body X-ray scanner for a security screening.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

A revealing USA Today scan of government records finds that companies who won the contracts to supply the TSA with its controversial full-body scanners have more than doubled their spending on lobbyists over the last 5 years. The firms have also hired some high-profile former government officials to advance their cause, most notably former Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff, who worked as a consultant for Rapiscan Systems.

The companies lobbied lawmakers on about two dozen bills, including one that would ensure that full-body scanners were only used as a backup measure. The bill passed the House but stalled in the Senate. This was partly because of the attempted Christmas Day bombing, says its author, GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz. "But I also routinely heard that 'Secretary Chertoff believes this is the right thing to do. Who are you to challenge him?'"
Click here for more on the scanner controversy.
(More Michael Chertoff stories.)

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