Tom Ridge's Legacy At Homeland Security Needs Some Polishing
It appears that Tom Ridge's legacy at Homeland Security will not be a pretty one. The CNews is running a story by the Associated Press that leads:
Investigations by the U.S. Homeland Security Department's internal watchdog yielded the arrests of 146 workers and grant recipients and identified $18.5 million in unsupported costs during a six-month period that began last fall.
I have written about the fiscal abuses at the Department of Homeland Security before and this report doesn't surprise me in the least.
Hopefully, new Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff will have more luck running the still fledgling department. We wish him well.
Note: Interestingly, one of Tom Ridge’s first acts as a private citizen was to accept a cushy position on Home Depot’s board of directors. Home Depot was one of the main beneficiaries of ridiculous fear mongering recommendations from the Department of Homeland Security, reminiscent of school children hiding under their desks in the event of a nuclear attack, that resulted in a huge increase in sales of duct tape, plastic sheeting and batteries. MarketWatch reported:
Home Depot, in fact, went so far as to set up special Homeland Security displays nears it entrances to tout sales of duct tape, plastic sheeting, batteries and bottled water, among other safe-room supplies.
The Atlanta Business Chronicle reported the compensation in 2003 for the part-time position Ridge accepted was as follows:
Home Depot's board members are paid an annual retainer of $90,000. On top of that, directors receive $2,000 for attending a board meeting and $1,000 for committee meetings. The company pays an additional $5,000 to chairmen of any of its committees, except for the audit committee, whose chairman gets $10,000.
In Ridge’s second corporate affiliation since leaving his position at Homeland Security, the Mercury News reported:
Tom Ridge, the first Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is joining the board of directors of Savi Technology, a private Sunnyvale company that provides radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.
On April 11, 2004, David Asman of Fox News, said:
Since Savi is a private company, they don’t have to disclose how much they’re paying Mr. Ridge. But he doesn’t come cheap. Home Depot’s paying him $120,000 as a director, and Savi could be paying him more than that.
Washington is known for its revolving door between government service and private sector companies that rely on government contracts. Happens all the time. But that doesn’t make it any easier for us taxpayers to swallow.
You can read more about Savi Technology here.
Posted by Rick | June 4, 2005 09:58 AM