The Center for American Progress has a new report out called “The Second Term Revolving Door,” documenting new Bush administration officials who have ties to business, as well as former officials who are moving on to plush lobbying careers. In a the abstract, it’s hard to see the big deal: clearly a number of appointees in the executive branch are often going to have business experience; nor is it a big deal if civil servants want to cash out after they leave government. This administration, on the other hand, deserves very little benefit of the doubt, especially after it let industry lobbyists infiltrate the Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration (see here for a long list) and corporate cronies oversee their former companies in Iraq.
Perhaps most notably among the current batch, both Philip Perry, the General Counsel for the Department of Homeland Security, and Michael P. Jackson, Deputy Secretary for DHS, have ties to Lockheed (Perry a former lobbyist; Jackson a former COO). Tim Wiener reported in the New York Times last fall that Lockheed is “increasingly putting its stamp on the nation’s military policies” through its corporate connections. That process seems to be accelerating.