Just another Reality-based bubble in the foam of the multiverse.

Monday, December 03, 2007

It Takes an Orc to Sell Torture

Taser International certainly spends a lot of green lobbying, $320,000 in 2006 and over $100,000 reported so far in 2007.

It seems they've got 4 registered lobbyists each on Homeland Security and Law Enforcement & Crime, and one dealing with issues on Finance. These lobbyists have recorded meetings with the Dept. of Defense, Dept. of Homeland Security, Dept. of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, US House of Representatives, and the US Senate.

Like the farmer has noted, Bernard Kerik became a millionaire off of Taser International.

...Kerik benefited largely because the company has enjoyed an extraordinary surge in its stock. Stock options that were worth very little at the time became extremely valuable, in part because of the sales pitch that Kerik made on the company's behalf to other police departments.

The sales driving Taser's growing profits come mostly from local and state governments. But while Kerik has served on the company's board, it has made an aggressive push to enter markets either regulated or controlled by the federal government, most notably the Department of Homeland Security. A White House spokesman said Kerik would resign from the board and sell his remaining stock if confirmed.

At one point, Kerik referred Taser executives, seeking more federal business, to a Customs and Border Protection official of the Homeland Security Department, according to the company president.

"Anyone in a federal law enforcement position is a potential customer," said Thomas Smith, president and co-founder of Taser International, who said he had hired Kerik because of his prominence as New York's police commissioner. "And we are going to continue to go after that business."

Thus, the extensive use of tasers in police departments today is largely thanks to the personal promotion by Kerik.

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