Thoroughly and Properly Out of Control

#DrainTheSwamp | #WhatTheyVotedFor

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt speaks to employees in Washington, D.C., 21 February 2017. (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

This is thoroughly and properly out of control.

First up—

A third top EPA official is leaving the agency amid intensifying scrutiny of Administrator Scott Pruitt’s travel, spending and condo rental.

Associate Administrator Liz Bowman, the top public affairs official at the Environmental Protection Agency, is leaving to become a spokeswoman for Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican from Iowa.

Bloomberg reports on the third high-ranking departure from Scott Pruitt’s EPA this week. Liz Bowman came to the agency from a trade group called the American Chemistry Council, which in turn hires lobbyists on behalf of chemical manufacturers such as Dow, BASF, and Monsanto.

CNN adds particular detail from “a source close to Bowman”—

Bowman is the third top EPA official to leave the agency this week, following the resignation of Pasquale “Nino” Perrotta, who headed Pruitt’s security detail, and Albert “Kell” Kelly, an Oklahoma business associate of Pruitt who led the agency’s superfund cleanup program. Unlike Bowman, both men had come under scrutiny for their role in the scandals swirling around Pruitt.

The source said she is leaving because she has two small children and wants to be able to spend more time with them.

—and postures what seems an obvious contrast. Another source, from EPA, pointed to the growing cascade of scandals, “said Bowman ‘broke her back trying to fight these stories the last few months'”.

Politico, however, achieves some feat trying to sum up Bowman’s departure in three paragraphs that would seem to make some sort of point about the zeitgeist of the Trump administration:

The exit of Liz Bowman comes after Pruitt’s lead security agent, Pasquale “Nino” Perrotta, and EPA’s Superfund task force head and adviser Albert “Kell” Kelly both quit earlier this week. Perrotta has cited negative media attention as contributing to his decision. His role in Pruitt’s security spending was under review by the agency’s inspector general, and he was interviewed by House Oversight Committee staffers on Wednesday.

EPA also confirmed Kelly was leaving because he attracted controversy over being banned from the banking industry.

Bowman, who will join Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst’s staff, has been associate administrator for public affairs since shortly after Pruitt was confirmed in early 2017. She was previously director of issue and advocacy communications for the American Chemistry Council.

Yet, whatever else goes here about the #trumpswindle and #WhatTheyVotedFor, the fact remains that the flaming excremental spectacle continues to burn, though in Administrator Pruitt’s case, it seems more like a peat fire.


Image note: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt speaks to employees in Washington, D.C., 21 February 2017. (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Diamond, Jeremy. “Top EPA public affairs official departs”. CNN. 3 May 2018.

Dlouhy, Jennifer A. and Jennifer Jacobs. “Another Top EPA Official Is Leaving, Sources Say”. Bloomberg. 3 May 2018.

Holden, Emily. “EPA’s top spokesperson to depart”. Politico. 3 May 2018.

Tabuchi, Hiroko and Steve Eder. “Pruitt’s Coziness With Lobbyists Includes Secretly Buying a House With One”. The New York Times. 3 May 2018.

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