Another Rendell staffer joins natural gas industry

    Another senior level administrator in the Rendell Administration is leaving the Governor’s office to work for the natural gas industry.

    Another senior level administrator in the Rendell Administration is leaving the Governor’s office to work for the natural gas industry. Good government reformers say this is one more reason Pennsylvania needs to strengthen its ethics law.

    Sarah Battisti’s jump from the Governor’s office to the gas industry marks the third such move for a senior level employee in the last year. The natural gas boom in Pennsylvania has regulators trying to play catch-up. And lawmakers debating how to tax the industry.

    Barry Kauffman is executive director of Common Cause. Kauffman says taxpayers should be concerned about these types of revolving doors.

    “So basically government goes out, trains people on the tax payer dollar and these people get lots and lots of connections with people who make decisions about the future of that industry. And they leave government and make major dollars after the taxpayer has subsidized their training and development of influence.”

    Pennsylvania prevents government employees from lobbying their former colleagues and departments for one year. Kauffman says it should be extended to two years.

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