Inside the DOI’s Embarrassing Ethics Fight on Twitter


Earlier this week, the Department of the Interior released a campaign video it put together for President Trump. It is a federal crime for government employees or agencies to participate in political campaigns in an official capacity, according to the Hatch Act. When Twitter users pointed this out, the department’s deputy press secretary responded in a measured, mature way that demonstrated the level of respect he and his colleagues have for the American people:

As a recap, the Department of the Interior is run by David Bernhardt, a former oil lobbyist who, as a personal hobby, has conducted a two-decade-long war on the polar bear species. He’s continued to work in the interest of his lobbying clients while in office, prompting ethics investigations that began on the fourth day of his tenure. Those came after the former secretary of the interior, Ryan Zinke, was forced to resign due to multiple ongoing corruption scandals. Bernhardt was Zinke’s deputy. Those investigations into Bernhardt have gone nowhere, becuase they’re overseen by the department’s corrupt solicitor, Daniel Jorjani, a lawyer for the Koch brothers who has been blocking the release of virtually all DOI records to the public. I could go on, but you get the idea. 

As Tim Fullerton notes, the deputy press secretary’s response has drawn a lot of attention. It also ended up highlighting a tweet from investigative journalist Adam Federman. 

As Aaron Weiss, a public lands advocate, points out, this looks like a violation of the Hatch Act all on its own. This could provide more evidence in a possible criminal investigation into corrupt practices at the department, or lead to its own charges. 

In short, this is a pretty good lesson in how social media works for the DOI press team. For more trolling, tune in to the entire thread.

Support Outside Online

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.

Contribute to Outside

Filed To:
PoliticsIndefinitely Wild

Lead Illustration: Wes Siler





Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *