Wide-Ranging Ethics Scandal Emerges at Interior Dept.

So, is this what “drill, baby drill” means? 😉

As Congress prepares to debate expansion of drilling in taxpayer-owned coastal waters, the Interior Department agency that collects oil and gas royalties has been caught up in a wide-ranging ethics scandal — including allegations of financial self-dealing, accepting gifts from energy companies, cocaine use and sexual misconduct.”

“Wide-Ranging Ethics Scandal Emerges at Interior Dept. By Charlie Savage. New York Times.

more Allred responds to Interior ethics scandal. Boise Weekly.

Stephen Allred is the former Idaho Department of Environmental Quality director. Kempthorne took him to Washington and made him head of the Land, Minerals and Management Bureau






  1. Nathaniel Avatar

    Hey Ralph — More of the story, including a response from Allred, is here: http://citydesk.boiseweekly.com/2008/09/allred-responds-to-interior-ethics.html

  2. Wolfy Avatar

    I agree with Ralph; The fact that yet another department or agency in the federal government has come under investigation is getting tedious. Not that these crimes are ho-hum, but the lack of response by the Justice Department makes this rather tiresome. Yet another bunch of bureaucrats is coming under scrutiny for ethics and corruption violations. And again the Justice Department refuses to prosecute the, yada yada yada

    Getting pretty lame.

    For those of us who make a living doing a good joba dn obeying the rules, its disheartening and shameful. No wonder the public doesn’t trust us.

  3. Kristin Avatar

    Dang! Makes me long for the days when the Bush administration being in bed with industry was just a euphemism.

  4. jimbob Avatar

    Looks like more of the same….the employees (people like you and me who got caught up in it) will probably be fired and go to jail. The corrupt political appointees who are rich and have connections will escape prosecution. How convenient!

  5. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    The United States truly is at a tipping point.

    Four more years of crony capitalism and authoritarianism, and it will be a poor copy of China.

  6. Mike Post Avatar
    Mike Post

    It would be nice if this was a Republican issue but it is only in part. It is really about political appointees, regardless of affiliation, who are appointed by both parties when in power and have not a clue about what managing a large federal agency is all about. These types of cases have surfaced under both parties and in the military (which is, at least theoretically, apolitical). Both parties vet their appointees by party loyalty first, and expertise second, if at all. Then the appointed leader with no experience or expertise is supposed to manage employees in a high risk environment for corruption and influence peddling. We will see similar situations with the next Democratic administration just as we did during Clinton’s term. It is a systemic problem that just got a little more pervasive with the current crowd.

  7. SmokyMtMan Avatar


    Excellent post, you make a great point. Imagine if Wall Street firms, every 4 years, fired all their top executives and brought in all new people to run the firm.

    Those firms would be bankrupt quickly. That is the stupidest way to run a business imaginable, yet that is how we run our government.

    There is little wonder our government struggles with corruption on a large scale. We appoint people to lead these agencies, and they know they will be fired in 4 or 8 years, tops.

    This is not a Republican or Democrat issue. remember why republicans took control in 1994? Democratic corruption at the time was as bad as it is now. Democratic approval ratings were so low in 1994 they had little chance to hold power. They deserved to lose their majorities.

    Corruption has plagued both parties equally, don’t be naive enough to think corruption is solely a Republican invention. This belies an ignorance of political history.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan