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May 07, 2003

What If

Dave Winer's comments about the Halliburton/Cheney imbroglio (see last post) made me wonder: What if we had laws against giving government contracts of any kind to any company with "close ties" to current government officials? The law could state that if any senator, representative, or member of the current Presidential administration has worked for or with Company X in the past 10 years, that company is not eligible to bid on or receive government contracts.

Wouldn't that close the "revolving door" between government and industry? Why don't we do that?

Posted May 7, 2003 02:01 PM | general politics

It seems to me that while this would eliminate this major problem, it would be doing so at the cost of punishing other honorable compnaies who had the ill-fortune (if you can call it that) of hiring a later-public servant. Also, you would remove a whole lot of good compnaies from the bidding. I can even imagine a company making its workers sign an agreement to not work in government for ten years after retirement if they want to retain benefits or something. I guess my main belief is that there is nothing inherently wrong with a company having some ties to government, and while at times this is abused, all companies should not be punished for having capable employess who make it into the government.

Posted by: matt at May 7, 2003 04:06 PM

I obviously had this mistaken idea that there were already conflict of interest rules in place. Yep, I was wrong. But you're right -- there should be laws to keep nepotism at bay.

Posted by: Nicole at May 8, 2003 02:46 PM

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