Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton (the greatest friend to the environment in that post since James Watt) tendered her resignation to the President, effective March 31st.
Why did she resign? And on her 52nd birthday, no less? The CNN report I linked to... is conspicuously quiet on that point...
The Washington Post clears it up for us a bit, here. You don't recall the names Steve Griles (deputy secretary of the interior... until recently) or Italia Federici (a "public interest" lobbyist and good friend of the now departing Secretary Norton)? Who are they, you ask? Oh yes... they are also good buddies of Jack Abramoff, and indeed, are under investigation as part of that scandal...
Makes perfect sense, as... the Bureau of Indian Affairs is under the Dept. of Interior umbrella, and of course... Jack's clients included a lot of American Indian tribes with gaming interests... so, let's just say, this was a natural.
Hey, the rest of the Interior Department's portfolio was for sale-- everything from clean air and water given away in sweetheart court settlements to advocating literally selling off our national parks to the highest bidder ... So why not deals for Indian tribes? Their trust funds were so hopelessly mismanaged by Secretary Norton... it had to be made up somewhere, right?
Sort of an odd "first major casualty in the Administration" of Abramoff, but you've got to start somewhere. Yet another issue Democrats will likely fail to capitalize on going into this year's mid-terms... as they say... why start now?
Did you notice the entire Defenders of Wildlife comment on her resignation? They issued a press release which said, in full, "Good riddance."
Posted by Linkmeister at March 11, 2006 1:51 AM
She quit because she failed to bring that big Ivory Bill Woodpecker to justice. Norton in '04:
"To paraphrase President Bush, it can fly but it can't hide.
Posted by chefrad at March 11, 2006 11:58 AM