PDA

View Full Version : Even Republicans think Scott Pruitt should resign



Norman Bernstein
04-03-2018, 02:47 PM
Considering the incredible level of corruption Trump has brought to the federal government, even GOP legislators are beginning to recognize that this won't bode well for their party... and are asking for Pruitt to resign.


WASHINGTON ― Reps. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) called for Scott Pruitt’s resignation Tuesday, becoming the first Republicans to demand the embattled Environmental Protection Agency administrator step down amid growing controversy (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/scott-pruitt-epa-condo-rental_us_5ac25b2ee4b04646b644ffb1) over his spending and ties to lobbyists. In a tweet, Curbelo said Pruitt’s “corruption scandals are an embarrassment,” and urged President Donald Trump to fire the nation’s top environmental regulator if he does not quit.
.
Ros-Lehtinen, who is retiring from Congress this year, echoed Curbelo.

“When scandals and distractions overtake a public servant’s ability to function effectively, another person should fill that role,” the congresswoman said in a statement provided to HuffPost.

Curbelo is one of the most vulnerable House Republicans running for re-election this cycle ― former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won his majority-Latino district by 16 points in the 2016 election ― and he has said he’d welcome Trump’s help ahead of the 2018 midterms. Curbelo is up just five points over likely Democratic challenger Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, according to a survey (http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2018/04/democratic-polling-shows-a-tight-race-for-carlos-curbelo.html) the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released this week.



Curbelo, widely considered one of the GOP’s few hawkish voices on climate change, has been critical of Pruitt. In March 2017, he called Pruitt’s denial of carbon emissions’ impact on climate change “reckless (https://curbelo.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=1365),” and urged the administrator to “come to South Florida to see (https://curbelo.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=1380)” firsthand the effects of sea-level rise.

Curbelo’s comments about Pruitt, one day after the EPA unveiled the administration’s plan (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-epa-tailpipe-emissions_us_5abd595ae4b0f112dc9aefa5) to roll back Obama-era vehicle emissions rules, demonstrates how quickly the latest accusations of corruption against the administrator have spun out of control.

Pruitt’s housing in Washington came under scrutiny last week after ABC News (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/exclusive-cabinet-trouble-trump-epa-chief-lived-condo/story?id=54095310) reported that he rented a room in a luxury condominium co-owned by the wife of a top gas industry lobbyist. Pruitt paid $50 per night (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-30/epa-chief-s-50-a-night-rental-said-to-raise-white-house-angst), a sweetheart deal well below the market rate for an upscale Capitol Hill townhouse. The EPA’s Office of General Counsel quickly issued a memo endorsing the rate, but the agency’s ethics lawyer struggled to defend (https://www.buzzfeed.com/zahrahirji/epa-pruitt-dc-housing-ethics?utm_term=.ja9mmnvLm#.nfrddJKad) Pruitt’s adult daughter’s use of another room at the residence.

Curbelo did not return a request for an interview on Tuesday afternoon.

Asked to comment on Curbelo’s remarks about Pruitt, EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox sent a statement defending the administrator’s rental.

.As EPA career ethics officials stated in a memo, Administrator Pruitt’s housing arrangement for both himself and family was not a gift and the lease was consistent with federal ethics regulations,” the statement said.

The controversy comes after months of criticism over Pruitt’s spending on first-class flights and luxury hotels, including $2,600 airfare to Oklahoma, a $120,000 trip to Italy and a $40,000 visit to Morocco to promote liquefied natural gas, a questionable responsibility for an EPA administrator to take on.



Few other Republicans have publicly called on Pruitt to step down. A spokesperson for Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), who also represents a district in southern Florida, did not immediately return a request for comment.

However, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who outlasted the “Bridgegate” scandal that thwarted his presidential ambitions, on Sunday said he was concerned about the ethics of Pruitt’s rental.

“I don’t know how you survive this one, and if he has to go, it’s because he never should have been there in the first place,” Christie said (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/dont-survive-chris-christie-pruitts-condo-deal/story?id=54159739) on ABC News’ “This Week.”

Trump reportedly phoned Pruitt on Monday evening and told him to “keep your head up (https://twitter.com/JaxAlemany/status/981160587488047104)” and “keep fighting.” In a meeting with leaders of Baltic nations at the White House on Tuesday, Trump said, “I hope he’s going to be great.”

Democrats, meanwhile, are calling on Pruitt to resign “immediately.”

“It is long past time for Scott Pruitt’s tenure to end. From cozying up to industry insiders, to wasting taxpayer dollars and breaking ethical norms, Americans cannot trust Pruitt and he should resign immediately,” the Democratic National Committee said in a statement.

S.V. Airlie
04-03-2018, 03:05 PM
There's more, Pruit went to the WH to get a raise for two people who worked with him. The WH refused so he went behind it's back and weaseled out the raises somehow else.

Also, he was renting from a lobbyist who was having work done that need EPA approval, Pruit gave it to him. Conflict of Interest much?

CWSmith
04-03-2018, 03:07 PM
There may be some GOP politicians who want him out, but that isn't setting the bar very high! This bar is set so low he couldn't crawl under it if he wanted to.

S.V. Airlie
04-03-2018, 03:10 PM
WSJ support of my other post.

WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency signed off last March on a Canadian energy company’s pipeline-expansion plan at the same time that the E.P.A. chief, Scott Pruitt, was renting a condominium linked to the energy company’s powerful Washington lobbying firm.
Both the E.P.A. and the lobbying firm dispute that there was any connection between the agency’s action and the condo rental, for which Mr. Pruitt was paying $50 a night.
“Any attempt to draw that link is patently false,” Liz Bowman, a spokeswoman for Mr. Pruitt, said in a written statement.
Nevertheless, government ethics experts said that the correlation between the E.P.A.’s action and Mr. Pruitt’s lease arrangement — he was renting from the wife of the head of the lobbying firm Williams & Jensen — illustrates why such ties to industry players can generate questions for public officials: Even if no specific favors were asked for or granted, it can create an appearance of a conflict.

CK 17
04-03-2018, 03:14 PM
I used think the election of trump was alarming because he was for everything I’m against. I never dreamed this country could be so damaged by the disturbing scope of the incompetence of one individual.

Norman Bernstein
04-03-2018, 03:16 PM
I used think the election of trump was alarming because he was for everything I’m against. I never dreamed this country could be so damaged by the disturbing scope of the incompetence of one individual.

It's not merely incompetence... it's incompetence combined with ignorance and corruption.

delecta
04-03-2018, 03:20 PM
Thank God it's only going to last six more years.

Norman Bernstein
04-03-2018, 03:22 PM
Thank God it's only going to last six more years.

So, you're good with corruption and self-dealing, are ya?

I thought so.

S.V. Airlie
04-03-2018, 03:23 PM
Thank God it's only going to last six more years.You, SB and bobbys can dream. Trump won't last past 2020. His core fans barely make up 34% of the voters and without that core and the other undecided who will vote for someone else, you're crawling around on thin ice.

delecta
04-03-2018, 03:26 PM
So, you're good with corruption and self-dealing, are ya?

I thought so.

I have no say in what happens but I'm not stupid enough to think that Trump started corruption and self-dealings. It appears you are.

S.V. Airlie
04-03-2018, 03:32 PM
I have no say in what happens but I'm not stupid enough to think that Trump started corruption and self-dealings. It appears you are.So, Obama's admin was more corrupt than Trump's is that what you're saying? GEEZ, Trump practically invented the definition of corruption, very little he's done his intire life doesn't smell of corruption.

Tell me this Delecta, how many people have sued Trump in contracts not met, in stealing little old lady's homes, using imminent domain so he can build a parking lot for a casino, and who were his buddys at the casino sites as well as a few construction sites? Did they have Italian sounding last names? By the way, the little old lady STILL lives in her house. Yes, she was old so she may not be alive now but, she rubbed Trump's nose in it.

David G
04-03-2018, 03:36 PM
It's not merely incompetence... it's incompetence combined with ignorance and corruption.

You left out an overarching greed, and a baseline of self-absorption.

skuthorp
04-03-2018, 03:38 PM
Another gangster republic emerges fully formed from American private enterprise.

Who'd a thunk it eh?

John Smith
04-03-2018, 03:50 PM
Republicans say many things. How often does what they say line up with how they vote?

Garret
04-03-2018, 03:54 PM
It's all part of the plan to make us one of these:

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71gI-IUNUkL._SL1500_.jpg

Reynard38
04-03-2018, 03:59 PM
I have no say in what happens but I'm not stupid enough to think that Trump started corruption and self-dealings. It appears you are.

Those things started long, long ago. You however have indicated you don’t have an issue with it. Rather you embrace it.

John of Phoenix
04-03-2018, 04:06 PM
Given the amount of money we're talking about, you'd think reds could field smarter crooks. These people wouldn't make junior varsity at Club Fed.

skuthorp
04-03-2018, 04:25 PM
If you have the backing of the CinC you likely don't have to be smart, just follow orders and be compliant.

CK 17
04-03-2018, 04:36 PM
So, you're good with corruption and self-dealing, are ya?

I thought so.
He’s pulling you chain, pushing your buttons. That’s why he’s on ignore.

delecta
04-03-2018, 05:21 PM
He’s pulling you chain, pushing your buttons. That’s why he’s on ignore.

No, I'm a realist. I understand what politicians are and unfortunately I'm not able to put them on ignore.

Tom Montgomery
04-03-2018, 05:31 PM
delecta claims he is a realist. Actually he is a nihilist and cynic.

delecta
04-03-2018, 06:00 PM
delecta claims he is a realist. Actually he is a nihilist and cynic.

Hey Tom, the new Expedition/Navigator looks like a home run. I hope it delivers, for all of you. I realize that's not your plant but a score is good for all. Sign me up for a Bullet in green and if you can pull some strings get the 5.2 Shelby motor in it, holy flat plane :)

David G
04-03-2018, 08:42 PM
Independent ethics experts are not impressed --

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/rushed-epa-ethics-ruling-pruitt-condo-deal-problematic/story?id=54162917

David G
04-05-2018, 11:40 AM
There's more, Pruit went to the WH to get a raise for two people who worked with him. The WH refused so he went behind it's back and weaseled out the raises somehow else.

Also, he was renting from a lobbyist who was having work done that need EPA approval, Pruit gave it to him. Conflict of Interest much?

More on this episode of EPA shady dealings --

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/epa-chief-denies-knowing-raised-194625348.html

ccmanuals
04-05-2018, 11:54 AM
In depth article on Scott Pruett and his destruction of the EPA.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/04/02/scott-pruitts-dirty-politics

John of Phoenix
04-05-2018, 11:55 AM
Pruitt, in an interview aired Wednesday, said he wasn’t the one who gave the raises and "I don’t know" who did.

So should he be fired for lying... or incompetence?

LeeG
04-05-2018, 12:13 PM
Their objection is his questionable expenses and not his ethics wrt hiring industry lobbiests, silencing scientists and anti environmental policies?
That is really weird but if they go down that path it goes through Mnuchin ends with the POTUS. I don’t see a positive outcome for the Repubs on that.

John of Phoenix
04-05-2018, 12:16 PM
Their objection is his questionable expenses and not his ethics wrt hiring industry lobbiests, silencing scientists and anti environmental policies?

You seem surprised. When was the last time reds were concerned with their ethics? I honestly can't remember but it was before the Iran arms deal.

Canoez
04-05-2018, 12:17 PM
Pruitt, in an interview aired Wednesday, said he wasn’t the one who gave the raises and "I don’t know" who did.

So should he be fired for lying... or incompetence?

How about both. And add a failure of ethics for the housing situation.

Kevin T
04-05-2018, 12:25 PM
I used think the election of trump was alarming because he was for everything I’m against. I never dreamed this country could be so damaged by the disturbing scope of the incompetence of one individual.

Steve Schmidt (an R) last week on Nicole Wallace's (also an R) program "Dateline WhiteHouse" was hilarious when he was talking about the cabinet assembled by President Two Scoops.

He said, and I'm paraphrasing here, if you got the top ten HR professionals and asked them to assemble the equivalence of the "1927 Yankees," for Cabinet Head levels of Incompetency, you would be hard pressed to exceed the current level of incompetency in the Cabinet.

John of Phoenix
04-05-2018, 12:30 PM
How about both. And add a failure of ethics for the housing situation.Have you noticed that lying, incompetence and ethics don't matter to reds? Even childrens' lives don't mean **** to them.

Money is the only thing that matters but even then, it has to be the right kind of money - theirs.

Canoez
04-05-2018, 12:34 PM
Have you noticed that lying, incompetence and ethics don't matter to reds? Even childrens' lives don't mean **** to them.

Money is the only thing that matters but even then, it has to be the right kind of money - theirs.

It beggars the imagination that people can be so short-sighted.

David G
04-05-2018, 12:48 PM
It beggars the imagination that people can be so short-sighted.

THIS is how the Acton Dictum plays out. Ever-increasing, ever-more-focused, greed - leading to ever-increasing dysfunction on a variety of levels.

David G
04-05-2018, 04:21 PM
Here's the Imperial Mindset at work --

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/scott-pruitt-asked-to-use-sirens-in-dc-traffic-and-was-told-no-for-non-emergency/

S.V. Airlie
04-05-2018, 04:25 PM
Here's the Imperial Mindset at work --

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/scott-pruitt-asked-to-use-sirens-in-dc-traffic-and-was-told-no-for-non-emergency/Well, he's a big wig in the Trump cabinet. He's special.

LeeG
04-05-2018, 04:29 PM
Here's the Imperial Mindset at work --

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/scott-pruitt-asked-to-use-sirens-in-dc-traffic-and-was-told-no-for-non-emergency/

yep, whatever happens to Trump or Pruitt at the EPA the thing to remember is that Pruitt has a long career ahead of him to continue the same bs.

David G
04-05-2018, 04:46 PM
Not that I hope we ever reach the Heads On Pikes state of affairs. Far from it. But if it came to that... D.Tramp is assembling a fine cast of Prime Candidates...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEZH0t5Yozw

S.V. Airlie
04-05-2018, 06:11 PM
The new rumor which wouldn't surprise me is Sessions out next week, Pruitt in as his replacement.

David G
04-07-2018, 03:38 PM
Pruitt assembles a 20-person, full-time, security detail... which is 3 times the size of the previous office-holder's part-time detail. His office justifies it by saying he faces 'unprecedented' levels of threats. I wonder if that's true. And - if true - I wonder if they've ever thought about why. Or care.

Same reason they use for him flying First Class on our nickel. Unlike most other govt. employees, including agency heads. What's really magical about it all, however, is that the threat level diminishes sharply when he's flying on personal business. On his own nickel. Then he apparently flies coach.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/ap-sources-epa-chief-spent-millions-security-travel-043051540--politics.html

Acton's Dictum

David G
04-07-2018, 03:41 PM
And then there's this - which has resulted in a lawsuit --

https://www.yahoo.com/news/epa-lawsuit-claims-scott-pruitt-224139184.html

David G
04-07-2018, 03:45 PM
HuffPo has kindly compiled a current list of his ethical issues --

https://www.yahoo.com/news/least-22-ethical-issues-dogging-200530653.html

David G
04-09-2018, 09:41 AM
Another Republican senator slams Pruitt --

https://www.yahoo.com/news/gop-senator-slams-epa-administrator-170047318.html

“Stop acting like a chucklehead, stop the unforced errors, stop leading with your chin,” Kennedy said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” while addressing the multiple controversies currently surrounding Pruitt. “If you don’t need to fly first class, don’t. Don’t turn on the siren on your SUV just to watch people move over. You represent the president of the United States.”

He added, “All of this behavior is juvenile, it’s distracting from the business that we’re trying to do for the American people.”

At least 23 ethical issues are dogging Pruitt (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/scott-pruitt-scandals-list_us_5ac66dffe4b09d0a1191647f), including a $50-a-night sweetheart deal to rent a room in a luxury Capitol Hill townhouse linked to a fossil fuel industry lobbying firm, unapproved raises for his top staff, first-class airfare worth thousands of dollars, and costly, round-the-clock security. Two reports last week also alleged that Pruitt tried to use his vehicle’s emergency sirens to cut through traffic (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/scott-pruitt-asked-to-use-sirens-in-dc-traffic-and-was-told-no-for-non-emergency/) and that five EPA officials who challenged Pruitt’s “unusually large spending (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/05/business/epa-officials-questioned-scott-pruitt.html)” were either reassigned, demoted or forced out.

“Why do you want ― in his position ― why do you want to rent an apartment from a lobbyist for God’s sake?“ Kennedy added. “Stop leading with your chin. Now, these are unforced errors. They are stupid. There are a lot of problems we can’t solve. But you can behave.”

David G
04-09-2018, 09:48 AM
"Situational Ethics on Steroids"

http://www.msnbc.com/am-joy/watch/pruitt-has-trump-s-support-despite-pressure-to-resign-1205875779991

Norman Bernstein
04-09-2018, 09:57 AM
Needless to say, John Oliver makes it all clear :)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=119&v=ScTzyx04MDw

LeeG
04-09-2018, 10:28 AM
It’s still hysterical that their objection is to his various expenses and not the complete undermining of the EPAs mission. Trumps double dealing and egregious travel expenses are over the top yet somehow Pruitt is in the wrong. Totally bonkers but maybe this is the route the Republican leadership goes to claim some kind of ethical distance from Trump and providing some kind of defense in November.
This is wacky.

David G
04-10-2018, 09:33 AM
Federal Ethics Chiefs calls for investigation --

https://www.yahoo.com/news/federal-ethics-chief-asks-epa-190907229.html

The federal government’s top ethics official says it’s time for the Environmental Protection Agency (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/topic/epa) to address “extremely concerning” reports regarding EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/topic/scott-pruitt)’s potential ethics violations.

David Apol, acting director of the Office of Government Ethics, called on Kevin Minoli, the EPA’s top ethics official, to investigate three areas of concern involving Pruitt’s living arrangements, use of taxpayer dollars and staffing decisions, according to a letter first obtained by The New York Times (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/09/climate/epa-ethics-letter-pruitt.html).

“The success of our government depends on maintaining the trust of the people we serve,” Apol wrote in the letter, which was sent to the EPA on Monday, according to the Times.

Apol continued: “The American public needs to have confidence that ethics violations, as well as the appearance of ethics violations, are investigated and appropriately addressed.”

David G
04-10-2018, 05:31 PM
So Scott Pruitt - backed by D.Tramp - made claims of 'death threats' against him. His spokesman said 'unprecedented' numbers.

And some of Bilge Dingbats swallowed it - hook line and sinker. What a surprise --


EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox said last week there had been an "unprecedented" amount of death threats against Pruitt and his family. Wilcox doubled down on that assertion Tuesday, but did not immediately respond to a request from AP to release details of the specific incidents to which he was referring.

President Donald Trump defended Pruitt in a tweet Saturday night, downplaying the ethical questions swirling around his embattled EPA chief. He added that Pruitt's security spending "somewhat more" than prior EPA chiefs, but said Pruitt had received death threats "because of his bold actions at EPA."


So... having asked for evidence, and not received it, some Democrats went digging at the EPA. Turns out - it was a crock. What a surprise --


The Democrats said they found no records describing specific, credible threats against Pruitt. An internal EPA document recounted such threat as attempts by protesters to disrupt a speech and a post card sent to Pruitt that said: "CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL!!! We are watching you."The Democrats also obtained a Feb. 14 assessment from EPA's Office of Homeland Security Intelligence that concluded "EPA Intelligence has not identified any specific, credible, direct threat to the EPA administrator."

The internal review said an earlier threat assessment by Pruitt's security team "does not employ sound analysis or articulate relevant 'threat specific' information appropriate to draw any resource or level of threat conclusions regarding the protection posture for the administrator."

https://www.yahoo.com/news/dems-no-evidence-credible-threats-against-epas-pruitt-153422685--politics.html

David G
04-10-2018, 08:05 PM
Hmmmm... not a peep from the Dingbat Wing...

LeeG
04-10-2018, 09:01 PM
nope

David G
04-11-2018, 12:07 AM
nope

Still nothing. I guess even the Usual Suspects are feeling a bit gunshy about defending Pruitt... the way things are coming to light. But you know they want to. They really, really, want to. He's been the perfect avatar for their tribe.

LeeG
04-12-2018, 09:28 AM
more Pruitt priorities

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/pruitt-pitched-changes-epa-coin

During his first few months as Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt proposed removing the EPA’s logo of a flower from the agency’s souvenir coin, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing former EPA official Ron Slotkin and two unnamed EPA officials.

Pruitt offered a few different replacements for the logo. He suggested using the image of a buffalo, a symbol of his state Oklahoma, and at one point pitched using a Bible verse on the coin, according to the New York Times. He also suggested using the Great Seal of the United States on the “challenge coin,” a keepsake typically given as gifts to agency employees or guests, per the Times.

S.V. Airlie
04-12-2018, 09:35 AM
It appears that Pruitt and his multiple issues has been put on the back burner as I expected it would be. Trump has found a new deflection; Syria!

Canoez
04-12-2018, 11:22 AM
The plot thickens:

EPA's Scott Pruitt knew about raises, former aide tells Senate Dems

https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/12/politics/epa-scott-pruitt-travel-security-congress/index.html

David G
04-13-2018, 10:04 AM
Draining The Swamp continues - new EPA #2 confirmed. He may take over if/when Pruitt goes. Doesn't believe in global warming, and served both in the EPA previously, and as a lobbyist for energy firms --

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/amid-pruitt-controversy-congress-confirms-epas/story?id=54421904

http://media-cdn.timesfreepress.com/img/photos/2016/12/17/161218drainingtheswamp2211658624_t755_h0d4919b624d 2150b75c8f8b7a776aef870a5c237.jpg

David G
04-13-2018, 11:13 AM
And now... concerns that Pruitt might have been using multiple email accounts to duck Freedom Of Information requests compliance.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/scott-pruitt-uses-multiple-apos-102321919.html

SKIP KILPATRICK
04-13-2018, 11:15 AM
Some Republicans think that Pruitt should be the next Attorney General.

How F'ed up is that?

John of Phoenix
04-13-2018, 12:14 PM
So it turns out he lied about putting his people up for the raises. reds will love it. reds love being lied to.

"He'll be a helluva an attorney general. Bigly."

(Hilarious! The advertisement videos for these stories are for luxury hotel rooms.)

SKIP KILPATRICK
04-19-2018, 04:10 PM
Pruitt spent about $45,000 in government money to fly five people to Australia to prepare for a planned trip that was later canceled.
Two of his aides and three security agents flew to Australia last August on business-class tickets costing roughly $9,000 each to set up meetings for the EPA administrator.

Dave Lesser
04-21-2018, 04:58 PM
Sadly, he's more likely to get canned for this behavior than he is for destroying the environment.


Scott Pruitt Before the E.P.A.: Fancy Homes, a Shell Company and Friends With Money
By STEVE EDER and HIROKO TABUCHI
NY TIMES

APRIL 21, 2018 OKLAHOMA CITY — Early in Scott Pruitt’s political career, as a state senator from Tulsa, he attended a gathering at the Oklahoma City home of an influential telecommunications lobbyist who was nearing retirement and about to move away.

The lobbyist said that after the 2003 gathering, Mr. Pruitt — who had a modest legal practice and a state salary of $38,400 — reached out to her. He wanted to buy her showplace home as a second residence for when he was in the state capital.

“For those ego-minded politicians, it would be pretty cool to have this house close to the capitol,” said the lobbyist, Marsha Lindsey. “It was stunning.”

Soon Mr. Pruitt was staying there, and so was at least one other lawmaker, according to interviews. Mr. Pruitt even bought Ms. Lindsey’s dining room set, art and antique rugs, she said.

A review of real estate and other public records shows that Mr. Pruitt was not the sole owner: The property was held by a shell company registered to a business partner and law school friend, Kenneth Wagner. Mr. Wagner now holds a top political job at the Environmental Protection Agency, where Mr. Pruitt, 49, is the administrator.

The mortgage on the Oklahoma City home, the records show, was issued by a local bank that was led by another business associate of Mr. Pruitt’s, Albert Kelly. Recently barred from working in the finance industry because of a banking violation, Mr. Kelly is now one of Mr. Pruitt’s top aides at the E.P.A. and runs the agency’s Superfund program.

At the E.P.A., Mr. Pruitt is under investigation for allegations of unchecked spending, ethics lapses and other issues, including his interactions with lobbyists. An examination of Mr. Pruitt’s political career in Oklahoma reveals that many of the pitfalls he has encountered in Washington have echoes in his past.

According to real estate records, the 2003 purchase of the house for $375,000 came at a steep discount of about $100,000 from what Ms. Lindsey had paid a year earlier — a shortfall picked up by her employer, the telecom giant SBC Oklahoma.

SBC, previously known as Southwestern Bell and later as AT&T, had been lobbying lawmakers in the early 2000s on a range of matters, including a deregulation bill that would allow it to raise rates and a separate regulatory effort to reopen a bribery case from a decade earlier. Mr. Pruitt sided with the company on both matters, state records show.

In 2005, the shell company — Capitol House L.L.C. — sold the property for $95,000 more than it had paid. While shell companies are legal, they often obscure the people who have an interest in them, and none of Mr. Pruitt’s financial disclosure filings in Oklahoma mentioned the company or the proceeds — a potential violation of the state’s ethics rules.

The Oklahoma City deal, which has not been previously reported, was one of several instances in which Mr. Pruitt appeared to have benefited from his relationships with Mr. Kelly and Mr. Wagner while in state politics.

During his eight years as a Republican state senator, Mr. Pruitt also upgraded his family residence in suburban Tulsa from a small ranch-style home to a lakefront property in a gated community. In addition, he bought a sizable stake in a minor league baseball team, and took a second job at Mr. Wagner’s corporate law firm. Mr. Kelly’s bank, SpiritBank, would be there for much of it — providing financing for Mr. Pruitt’s Tulsa home and his stake in the baseball team, as well as the mortgage for the Oklahoma City house.

Mr. Pruitt’s interactions with SBC also show that his blurring of lines with lobbyists has roots in his Oklahoma years. One of the issues at the E.P.A. that has gotten Mr. Pruitt in trouble with government watchdogs involved his renting a room in Washington for $50 a night from the wife of an energy lobbyist who has had business in front of the agency.

Lobbyists and others in Oklahoma state politics who encountered Mr. Pruitt recalled him as a tough competitor who always had his eye on a higher office. Some called him a “Boy Scout” who was stingy with his money, while others said privately that he had exuded a sense of entitlement — that rules did not apply to him.

David Walters, a former Oklahoma governor and Democrat, described Mr. Pruitt as someone who looked out for himself over the needs of constituents, especially during his years as attorney general. “I was disappointed to find him operating in a hyperpartisan manner and seemingly representing corporate interests over Oklahoma citizens,” Mr. Walters said.

In response to questions submitted by The New York Times about Mr. Pruitt’s finances in Oklahoma, an E.P.A. spokeswoman said Mr. Pruitt’s business dealings with Mr. Kelly and Mr. Wagner “were ethical” and his stake in the shell company “was a simple real estate investment.” “Mr. Wagner and Mr. Kelly left high-profile positions in law and banking in Oklahoma, to serve in the administration,” the spokeswoman said in an email. “They are dedicated E.P.A. employees who have earned the respect and admiration of E.P.A. career employees across the country. They serve the country professionally, and transparently — and are committed to ensuring the programs they work on are successful.” . . .

The rest of the article is too discouraging to post, but you can read it here: www.nytimes.com/2018/04/21/us/politics/scott-pruitt-oklahoma-epa.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/21/us/politics/scott-pruitt-oklahoma-epa.html)

S.V. Airlie
04-21-2018, 05:01 PM
Pruitt is collecting more dirt with a Swifter every day it seems. Read the latest news about his land lord and her hubby and the deals he's made with the EPA. News out today.

David G
05-02-2018, 12:08 AM
Pruitt hasn't resigned yet, but his staff is dropping off in the face of growing ethics investigations --

https://www.yahoo.com/news/two-top-u-epa-staffers-resign-amid-ongoing-155043122.html


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two high-level Environmental Protection Agency employees whose names have come up in investigations of Administrator Scott Pruitt's ethics and travel have resigned from the agency, the EPA confirmed on Tuesday.

Pasquale "Nino" Perrotta, a former Secret Service agent who served as the head of Pruitt's security team, resigned on Monday but said he will continue to cooperate in a U.S. House of Representatives investigation of his role in costly decisions around Pruitt's security. ABC News first reported the resignation on Tuesday.

Albert "Kell" Kelly, who ran the agency's Superfund cleanup program, also announced his resignation, the EPA confirmed. Kelly, a friend of Pruitt's from his days in Oklahoma, was barred by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation from working at any U.S. financial institution after unspecified violations while working at a bank in that state.

LeeG
05-02-2018, 05:25 AM
Looks like Pruitt is representing the interests of US natural gas industry.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/lobbyist-helped-broker-pruitts-100000-trip-to-morocco/2018/05/01/b2e20ee0-4d76-11e8-b725-92c89fe3ca4c_story.html?utm_term=.9e24bf75ae34

MARRAKESH, Morocco — A controversial trip to Morocco by Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt last December was partly arranged by a longtime friend and lobbyist, who accompanied Pruitt and his entourage at multiple stops and served as an informal liaison at both official and social events during the visit.

Richard Smotkin, a former Comcast lobbyist who has known the EPA administrator for years, worked for months with Pruitt’s aides to hammer out logistics, according to four individuals familiar with those preparations. In April, Smotkin won a $40,000-a-month contract, retroactive to Jan. 1, with the Moroccan government to promote the kingdom’s cultural and economic interests. He recently registered as a foreign agent representing that government.
.
.
For months, many aspects of the journey have stayed secret, particularly the highly unusual role of Smotkin. These previously unreported details underscore lawmakers’ questions about whether the trip was in keeping with Pruitt’s role as the nation’s top environmental official.

The EPA has insisted that the trip was a legitimate effort to nail down details of a bilateral trade agreement, and the agency said Monday that Pruitt was unaware of the depth of Smotkin’s business relationship with the Moroccan government.
.
.
The reasons behind the trip came up again last week in Washington when Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) grilled Pruitt during the second of two contentious House hearings. She pressed him on why the EPA trumpeted the fact that part of his time was spent promoting the benefits of U.S. liquefied natural gas imports for Morocco’s economy.

I can’t, for the life of me, imagine why an EPA administrator would be over there promoting energy sales,” Pingree said. “We have a Department of Energy. You should be thinking much more about some of the challenges with [liquefied natural gas], and why you would be on the other side.”
.
.
Some of this scheduling activity took place before the meeting with Morocco’s ambassador, these individuals said. At the time, Pruitt indicated he had been invited by Prince Moulay Rachid, the king’s brother. During the subsequent planning, individuals familiar with the discussions said, Pruitt repeatedly expressed interest in how the trip could help advance American natural gas interests.

Moroccan officials, who are hoping to establish a terminal that could ship imported liquefied natural gas to the country’s power plants, announced two weeks before Pruitt’s arrival that they would be soliciting bids sometime in 2018. That imported gas could help power a number of operations, including Morocco’s phosphate industry.

LeeG
05-02-2018, 05:40 AM
Pruitt produces for Trump. So Republicans are a bit bothered by Pruitts expenses but not his role representing the oil and gas industry.

https://www.vox.com/2018/5/1/17292910/scott-pruitt-epa-fired-scandal-phone-booth-condo

Scott Pruitt’s tenure as head of the Environmental Protection Agency is now deeply tainted by a stunning number of alleged ethical and legal violations. There are at least 10 investigations into potential violations like his $43,000 phone booth, his 20-person security detail, and his housing deal with a lobbyist’s wife. And fallout, like the resignation and new congressional scrutiny of the head of his security team, Pasquale Perrotta (just reported by ABC News), continues.
.
.
Yet in an administration afflicted with unprecedented turnover, Pruitt has remained startlingly resilient.

His subservience to Trump appears to be one reason why he has dodged the ax. “People are not people to [Trump], they are instruments of his ego,” Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter on Trump’s book The Art of the Deal, told the New York Times. “And when they serve his ego, they survive, and when they don’t, they pass into the night.”
.
.
But to understand why Pruitt endures, you also have to look at how he differs from three top Cabinet officials who were terminated: David Shulkin, Tom Price, and Rex Tillerson.

While palace intrigue and scandal played a role in their demise, in many cases there were substantive policy differences between the agency heads and the president, or, rightfully or wrongfully, the president blamed them for major policy defeats.

Pruitt, on the other hand, is the happy conductor of the Trump train. He has brought the White House most of the few policy successes it has to date. Deregulation is Trump’s mission, and by beginning the process of undoing rules like greenhouse gas limits, fuel economy standards, and pollution controls, Pruitt has proved himself to be one of Trump’s most effective subordinates.

LeeG
05-02-2018, 05:46 AM
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mzhRxUpGkUY

LeeG
05-02-2018, 05:53 AM
Looks like Pruitt gets a pass

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/29/insider/covering-scott-pruitt-epa.html

I’ve now covered Mr. Pruitt’s congressional testimony several times, so I’m familiar with his style. For all the controversy and criticism swirling around him, he always manages to deliver a calculatedly calm, low-wattage performance. He deflects, defuses and never loses his temper. At the center of the red-hot controversy is a beige career lawyer, who is a master of the bland non-answer. It’s a tactic that enrages his Democratic opponents, but also ensured that he emerged from previous congressional grillings battered but unbroken.

And, in the end, that was what happened. The Republican condemnation of one of their own never came. Mr. Walden and his colleagues on the committee delivered a few slaps to Mr. Pruitt’s wrist, but went on to sing the praises of his policy work.

Many even offered sympathy to Mr. Pruitt, such as Representative Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, who told him, “I apologize for the abrasiveness of the questions of my colleagues.”

While Democrats pressed him on the ethics matters, the administrator delivered a classically Pruittian performance, insisting calmly but repeatedly that he simply had no knowledge of many of the decisions that drew national scrutiny to his department. For now, I’m guessing I’ll still be covering Mr. Pruitt’s tenure in the months to come.

LeeG
05-02-2018, 06:09 AM
https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060078837

As Pruitt faces intense scrutiny for his expensive travel and close ties to corporate lobbyists, the EPA administrator's trip to Morocco is attracting more questions. At the time, EPA said Pruitt's agenda for the overseas trip included exploring "new and ongoing areas of collaboration" under a U.S.-Morocco free-trade agreement and Morocco's "interest in importing LNG."

Pruitt's advocacy for LNG during the brief trip surprised many at the time because EPA plays no major role in LNG exports. The Department of Energy has authority over exports of the commodity, while the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission oversees the facilities that ship the gas (Greenwire, Dec. 13, 2017).
.
.
Paul Bledsoe, an Obama-era Energy Department consultant, said Pruitt's Morocco trip and others planned for Japan and Israel, which did not happen, were about burnishing Pruitt's credentials as a political partner to the oil and gas industry.

"Perry is a far more logical face for U.S. energy abroad," said Bledsoe, now with the Progressive Policy Institute.

Sarah Ladislaw, director of the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said playing the role of energy diplomat is "only slightly strange" for an EPA administrator, whom Congress charges with protecting the environment and public health.

"I can't speak to the validity of Pruitt's travel and agendas, but the idea that he thought promoting natural gas is good for the global environment and part of his job is not totally outlandish," she said.