Fred’s Closet Has a Big Gov't Skeleton

Thompson lobbied for reactor that leeched taxpayer dollars
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2007 11:22 AM CDT
United States former senator Fred Thompson delivers a speech at the right-wing British think tank Policy Exchange in London, Tuesday, June 19, 2007. The United States will miss Tony Blair, even if the...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Fred Thompson, would-be president, bills himself as a small-government hero, but the southerner once had a way with spending taxpayer bucks. A nuclear breeder reactor planned for the banks of a Tennessee river ran through $1.7 billion in government funds between 1970 and 1983 without ever getting built; Thompson was an instrumental lobbyist for the contractors, Politico reports.

He remained thick as thieves with Westinghouse and Stone & Webster for the next 10 years, even serving on one of their boards. Said a Thompson supporter, “This is the problem with lobbying: It may have been lucrative, but it makes it hard to be true to your school.”