When Tom Ridge arrived here after the Sept. 11 attacks and opened the White House Office of Homeland Security, the former Pennsylvania governor quickly surrounded himself with a group of trusted deputies, many of them drawn from the staff he assembled as governor. But when Mr. Ridge was sworn in this year as the first secretary of homeland security, some of his inner circle did not follow. Instead, they emerged as lobbyists whose corporate clients want contracts from Mr. Ridge’s multibillion-dollar agency. Lobbying disclosure forms filed in Congress show that at least four of Mr. Ridge’s senior deputies at the White House are now working as “homeland security” lobbyists, as is a chief of staff from his days as Pennsylvania governor. They are a small part of a booming new lobbying business in Washington that is focused on helping large corporations get a share of the the billions of dollars that will be spent by the vast domestic security bureaucracy that Mr. Ridge oversees. Full Story
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