Phil Anschutz Just Happens To Be Everywhere

Phil Anschutz.

In a detailed New York Times story out this weekend exploring more ethically questionable behavior exhibited by embattled EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, a big name in Colorado politics takes center stage:

The aides said E.P.A. staff members helped arrange meetings and phone calls for Mr. Pruitt with influential donors to his past campaigns and political causes in Oklahoma, where he served as a state lawmaker and attorney general before joining the Trump administration. The appointments — including with Philip Anschutz, a Denver-based billionaire — were kept off Mr. Pruitt’s public schedule, the aides said, because it was clear the sessions were not about E.P.A. business, even though agency staff was involved in setting them up…

During a trip to Colorado last August, Mr. Pruitt reserved time for a meeting with Mr. Anschutz in what was listed only as a “private meeting.” Ryan Jackson, Mr. Pruitt’s chief of staff, helped set up the meeting, according to agency officials.

Mr. Chmielewski, the former deputy chief of staff, said that when he arrived at the office of Mr. Anschutz, a major Republican fund-raiser and owner of the Oklahoman newspaper, he questioned why the meeting would be among the administrator’s visits that day. Mr. Chmielewski said an agency colleague told him it was about fund-raising.

Further elucidating via Twitter, NYT reporter Eric Lipton spelled out the impropriety more clearly:

To summarize, you’ve got a meeting with Colorado’s top Republican kingpin with vast amounts of business before the federal government, in particular business that the EPA could make much easier or more difficult depending–omitted from Pruitt’s official schedule because it’s allegedly “not official business.” But this meeting that doesn’t pertain to official business was set up by Pruitt’s official staffers, who also attended the meeting.

Is this the only item in Pruitt’s short record as EPA Administrator that looks, like, really bad? Nope.

But it raises a ton of fascinating questions. And if you don’t see in this the reason why Phil Anschutz must be stopped in his years-long quest to buy up the state’s newspapers, you should. We can’t claim to be sure of too many things in this crazy world, but the chances of you ever reading about this meeting in a newspaper owned by Anschutz lie somewhere between “no” and “don’t be silly.”

And seriously, Republicans and Democrats agree–Pruitt’s got to go.

2 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Zappatero says:

    (h/t Zappatero for the umpteenth time.)

  2. allyncooper says:

    As always, just follow the money.

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