Friday, March 30, 2007

Rove+Gordon Smith=Hatch Act violations?? Is Walden involved too?

A diarist at Kos named JLFinch has done some superb dot-connecting on the issue from a few years back of the Klamath River basin water/salmon fight.
The piece asserts that Karl Rove inserted himself into the decision making process of the Interior Department when it came down to deciding what to do with either irrigating fields or saving salmon runs. Rove allegedly worked to ensure that Gordon Smith would have the appropriate photo ops and news clips to buffet his reelection campaign, complete with Interior Secretary Gail Norton in tow.

Interestingly, the Interior Department cleared itself last week--making sure the announcement made it into the weekend news dump--where it was sure to be lost among the mass of other stuff.

The Interior Department appears to be susceptible to this sort of political maneuvering, as one of its deputy assistant secretaries is on the hot seat for possible violations of federal rules for sending internal agency documents to industry lobbyists--as well as attempting to overrule agency scientists and lawyers on science based policy issues.

And then there's the mess at Justice with the firing of the US attornies because they weren't towing the White House's political line.

If they were willing to do this kind of thing for Smith--now I'm curious if they've been doing similar things to help Walden. Granted, Walden isn't nearly as vulnerable. But is there an issue where the White House/Executive intervened in a way on an Oregon-based issue that clearly benefitted Walden?

Update: The DOI cleared itself in 04, not last week. I confused the date with a different article from the LA Times dated last month (lousy reading on my part--sorry), discussing the problems with with what happens to other species when salmon disappear.

Not my shining moment of blogging here, sorry.