Firms' lobbying push comes amid rancor on TSA use of airport full-body scanners
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Washington Post
Posted: January 3rd, 2011
About eight of every 10 registered lobbyists who work for scanner-technology companies previously held positions in the government or Congress, most commonly in the homeland security, aviation or intelligence fields, a Washington Post review of lobbying-disclosure forms and other data shows. Industries routinely employ well-connected lobbyists to seek favorable legislation and regulations in the nation's capital. But the extent of the connections to the federal government is particularly notable given the relatively small size of the scanner industry, which is dominated by half a dozen specialized businesses with heavy investments in airport and border security technology. The roster of lobbyists for L-3 Communications includes former U.S. senator Alfonse M. D'Amato (R-N.Y.) and Linda Daschle, a former federal aviation official who is married to Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.), a former Senate majority leader. L-3 has won nearly $900 million worth of TSA business, including for its "millimeter-wave" machines used for airport body scans. Former homeland security chief Michael Chertoff, a longtime advocate for increased use of passenger scanners, worked until recently as a consultant for Rapiscan, which provides "backscatter" X-ray scanners to the TSA. Privacy and civil liberties advocates and other critics argue that the industry's lobbying ties have encouraged a frenzy of TSA spending on technologies that are often untested or ineffective.