At the bottom of this page is a place for you to add your name to another letter of support we are sending (the first generated 5,000 signatures in 12 hours). If you believe that intimidation and corruption play a factor in public land management that is counter to law and transparent public process, you can add your name at the end of this article.
The Interior Department’s inspector general confirmed on Thursday that it has launched a probe into whether Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke ran afoul of anti-lobbying laws when he phoned Alaska senators, one of whom voted against bills to repeal and replace Obamacare.
In an Aug. 3 letter to Reps. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., and Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall acknowledged receipt of their July 27 inquiry into the matter and said, “the OIG is undertaking a preliminary investigation.”
The two Democrats on the Energy and Commerce and the Natural Resources committees were alarmed by reports that Zinke had phoned Sen. Lisa Murkowski and allegedly hinted at reprisals from his department on energy issues because her “no vote” had put “Alaska’s future with this administration in jeopardy.” Read the rest on GovExec http://www.govexec.com/oversight/2017/08/interior-watchdog-probing-secretary-zinke-alleged-lobbying-violations/140015/
It seems that Ryan Zinke feels “all good” now after tweeting a picture of himself sharing a beer with Murkowski. Murkowski is the chair of the Senate Natural Resources Committee. The Senate needs to do an independent investigation in addition to the OIG probe, without Murkowsi at the helm. The investigation needs to go from top to bottom in Interior.
Intimidation from outside entities aimed at agencies under the regulatory power of the Interior, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as an example, are not new. But neither are threats and intimidation by superiors inside the agencies to other employees. Many of these threats involve pressure to actually violate the law.
On June 14 of this year we passed a new law, “Follow the rules.” It states that it is against the law to order an employee to violate the law, isn’t that a bit crazy? https://wildhorseeducation.org/2017/06/21/follow-the-rules-we-needed-a-new-law/
For years Raul Grijalva has been trying to get a hearing in the House on the intimidation tactics used from influence of “front groups.” He has been unsuccessful in bringing this disturbing issue to the fore. https://wildhorseeducation.org/2017/05/17/posttruth-a-few-wild-facts-you-should-know-in-these-dangerous-times-part-one/
As wild horse advocates our interest often pays a drastic price. Public land is not managed as “fair use” and is a literal mess. Intimidation, bullying and manipulation of the system is widespread. These tactics run a gamut from simplistic, like prioritizing a family member or giving someone a hard time because your buddy or girlfriend doesn’t like them, to severe bullying tactics that threaten jobs, families and lives.
In our work we have addressed the Government Accounting office (GAO) and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) on multiple occasions. We have provided documentation and testimony for a handful of reports done in the last few years. These reports create a vital record (wild horse slaughter, livestock grazing, conduct).
It has been extremely difficult to coordinate legislative discussion and factual legal record toward appropriate actions; necessary laws to protect both the physical and human environment. Politics is often swayed by special interests, propaganda and personal agenda. This is another opportunity to bring change to one of the key components that adversely effects the world our wild things occupy into the forefront. The corrupt base needs to change, or nothing ever will.
If you want to add your name to a letter of support for an investigation into intimidation tactics in the DOI please add your name below.
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Categories: Wild Horse Education