Friday, January 12, 2007

Of Foxes, Chickens and Chickencoops

In the continuing spirit of bi-partisanship, President Bush has renominated some of the worst of the worst nominees to head safety, environmental and regulatory agencies.

Former coal industry executive Richard Stickler was renominated for the -- hell, I can't even remember how many times the White House has sent him to the Senate (only to have him sent back again.) Stickler received a recess appointement last Fall.

Along with Stickler came the return of former Wal-Mart lawyer Paul DeCamp as wage and hour administrator at Labor. DeCamp has a record urging the weakening of the Fair Labor Standard Act’s (FLSA’s) overtime pay and other protections.

Also returning from the bureacratic dead is right-wing anti-regulatory zealot Susan Dudley, who we've written about here and here.

And then there's former mining industry executive John Correll who was re-nominated as director of the Interior Department’s Office of Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. Correll, you may remember, was involved improper contracting while at MSHA, and was instrumental in the firing of an MSHA whistleblower.

Needless to say, it's highly unlikely that any of these nominations will be confirmed by a Democratic Senate. (They were too controversial to even make it through a Republican Senate.)

But there is one piece of good news for the chickens. Steven Griles, a former mining lobbyist who was appointed Deputy Secretary of the Department of Interior (the number 2 position in the Departmetn) until he resigned in 2005, has apparently been notified by federal prosecutors that he will most likely be indicted for lying about his relationship with the corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Apparently Abramoff referred to Griles as “our guy” at the Interior Department.

Score one for the chickens.