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
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)

(Newser) – 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?'"
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