Idaho's Weekly Journal of Local & National Commentary Week 2815


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by Free Market Duck

Shell Oil hires ex Sec of Interior Gale Norton...
Conflict of interest?

(Dec 29, 2006)

In 1998 and 1999, Big Oil received $10 billion in tax exemptions under Sec of Interior Gale Norton.

Denver, CO So whaddaya think, girl friends?  Is this a conflict of interest or what?

   In 1998 and 1999, Shell and other Big Oil companies were excused by then Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton from paying $10 billion in oil royalties.  Royalties for what?  For sucking black gold from federal property under the Gulf of Mexico.


   Now, ex Secretary of Interior Gale Norton has been hired as a lawyer for Shell Oil Company.  Ding Dong, 2 + 2 = 4.  I smell a conflict of interest.


   Norton, put on your memory cap, Margie, voluntarily stepped down from her job at Interior after her Assistant Secretary and others were indicted in the Jack Abramoff Indian Affairs Scandal in Washington DC.  Norton said I don't know nothing about nothing, claimed she was exhausted and needed more time to do laundry and go hiking with her family.  Yeah, right.


   Then, out of the clear blue sky, President Bush shows up for cocktails at Tamarack Resort and extricates ex Idaho Gov Dirk Kempthorne from Boise's $136 million Watergate fiasco.  Bush shoe-horns Kempthorne, slicker 'n a hound's tooth, right into Gale Norton's Sec of Interior position.  After all, how would it look if one of Bush's Cabinet members, Gale Norton, was caught with her special interest fingers in Big Oil?  Pretty sticky, I'd say.  The big question is: did she grease the skids for her next Big Job at Big Shell Oil?


   At any rate, the new Democratic Congress, feeling their oats, may well continue investigation of the GOP Culture of Corruption and snoop around to find out if there is any connection between Ms. Norton's excusing the oil industry from $10 billion in taxes in 1998 and 1999 and her new job with Shell Oil.


   While Norton's recent hiring by special interest recipient, Shell Oil, smacks of an obvious conflict of interest, her replacement by ex Idaho Gov Kempthorne contains its own irony of historical special interest politics: (1) Kempthorne's special lowball property taxes ($20 for 14 acres of million-dollar land near Tamarack), (2) his admitted participation in one of Idaho's biggest crime sprees in recent memory, Boise's $136 million Watergate fiasco, in which U of Idaho ex VP Wallace just plead guilty to state criminal charges, and (3) US Attorney Allan Garten's continuing federal criminal investigation of Boise's Watergate mess. -- FM Duck

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