How a Federal Lab Lobbied With Taxpayer Dollars

TIME

Top officials at one of the U.S. nuclear weapons laboratories secretly drew up a careful list of targets in 2009. But these were not Russian missile silos or Chinese leadership targets. The officials’ aim was instead to hit a small group of policymakers in Washington with enough political pressure to ensure that the laboratory’s managers could get a lucrative new, 7-year federal contract.

To ensure victory – which to the corporation controlling the lab meant avoiding a messy competition with any other corporations – those at the helm of Sandia National Laboratories devised what they called a “capture strategy” for senior Obama administration officials, according to a laboratory internal document. In part, it entailed hiring three high-priced consultants, at a total expense to taxpayers of up to half a million dollars, who helped craft the target list.

Those on the list were in many cases the usual suspects — members…

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