The Denver Post’s Mark Matthews reports on the latest meta-scandal to hit Colorado Republicans since Donald Trump’s election–new questions about political moonlighting by locally-based appointees at the Environmental Protection Agency:
A group of U.S. House Democrats wants EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to explain why two of his employees were given permission to do outside political work while on the payroll of the Environmental Protection Agency.
The officials under scrutiny are John Konkus, who works in the public affairs office, and Patrick Davis, an EPA senior adviser in Denver and the former director of Donald Trump’s campaign in Colorado.
According to a letter sent Monday by the House Democrats, Davis was given approval in February 2017 to work as the sales director for a company called Telephone Town Hall Meeting, which does outreach for legislators, political campaigns and other causes.
Now, being a curious reader you might rightly wonder what the former Colorado campaign director for Donald Trump’s qualifications might be for the role of “senior adviser” at the EPA. After all, the EPA as it’s been known since its creation is…well, a little different than Trump’s vision. But as it turns out, you don’t have to look any further than Rep. Mike Coffman’s glowing recommendation of Patrick Davis:
In an April 17 letter to Pruitt, Coffman said Davis had applied for the job and that the congressman urged “your favorable consideration of Patrick for this important post within the EPA.”
Coffman said that Davis’ consulting work exposed him to the issues facing Region 8 and that he had built “thousands of relationships in the region,” ranging from governors and senators down to state legislators and mayors. Davis also built similar relationships in EPA due to his work as part of the beachhead team, according to Coffman.
Coffman also said Davis has “close alignment” with the Trump administration’s priorities.
“His record in this regard is well established and he is ideally suited and capable of communicating and carrying out President Trump’s and your priorities as the EPA Region 8 Regional Administrator,” Coffman said. [Pols emphasis]
First off, knowing what we know today about Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s “priorities,” that says a mouthful!
But in Coffman’s case, Patrick Davis’ moonlighting scandal is doubly problematic. Back in 2007, then-Secretary of State Coffman stumbled into one of his more significant political scandals when his subordinate employee Dan Kopelman was found to be operating a voter data business on the side from his position as technology manager in the Elections Division. Coffman was forced to demote Kopelman under a heap of bad press, which thankfully for Coffman didn’t overly complicate his election to Congress the following year.
Doesn’t seem like Coffman learned his lesson, but each disgraced crony is a new opportunity.