Federal lawmakers are pushing a bill that would pressure states into requiring in-car blood-alcohol tests for convicted drunk drivers. As with all government intrusions, we're told this is for the public good. But if you've been reading my work, I bet you can guess who's behind this push.
The Washington Times' Luke Rosiak has the story:
For the past 18 months, lobbyists for “ignition interlocks,” as they are called, have jockeyed to inject a provision into the crevices of the transportation reauthorization bill, a tentative outline of which was released Friday by Rep. John L. Mica, Florida Republican....
The Coalition of Ignition Interlock Manufacturers hired lobbyist David Kelly, a former chief of staff and acting administrator at the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration. Mr. Lautenberg’s former chief of staff, Tim Yehl, now lobbies for Ignition Interlock Systems of Iowa.
I call it regulatory robbery, and it's not rare. Here are three off the top of my head:
- Most famously, the health insurance industry got Congress to force everyone to own health insurance, and the drug industry got Congress to force states to subsidize prescription drugs through Medicaid.
- Merck hired the former chief of staff to Texas Governor Rick Perry, and Gov. Perry then mandated all Texas girls take Merck's Gardasil vaccine.
- GE invested in greenhouse-gas credits, and now lobbies to require businesses to use greenhouse as credits.