Should Salazar resign?


In the wake of a major disaster like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, resignations like the recent departure of Elizabeth Birnbaum, director of the Minerals Management Service, are a de facto form of political appeasement.  

Environmental groups aren’t satisfied with Birnbaum’s head, though, and a group of them, led by WildEarth Guardians, are circulating a letter (and getting at least a bit of press out of it) calling for the resignation of Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.

 The letter (full text posted here) uses the spill as a jumping off point to air long-held grievances against Salazar and Interior, including the removal of wolves from the endangered species list, continued coal leasing in the West, and a failure to institute promised reforms to the department.

The leading green groups calling for a resignation have never been Salazar fans. When Interior nominations were first being floated, most of them preferred Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz), who has been a more outspoken proponent for traditional enviro causes like mining reform and land protection. 

Like many of Obama’s cabinet picks, Salazar hugs the center-left. Charged with a department that for eight years was little more than a rubber-stamping agency for the energy industry, the current secretary had a big uphill battle to institute quick change. And, unfortunately, he seems to lack the temperament to install the rapid culture shift many Interior agencies need, and that he promised when he took the office.

Despite the fact that he's more of a traditional politician than an intrinsic reformer, though, Salazar has made some sensible moves – post-spill, he immediately proposed necessary changes meant to curb MMS misdeeds. He’s also blocked drilling in sensitive lands in Utah, and earlier this year pushed through important reforms in oil and gas policy.

Unless the Obama administration starts taking real flack for the Gulf spill and needs another fall guy, Salazar’s job seems safe enough. Enviros may be disappointed in this moderate, get-along-with-everyone Colorado cowboy, but I doubt they’ll be able to capitalize on Deepwater Horizon as a means of getting a greener Interior secretary.

 Photo: Salazar visits the Gulf and consults with commander 8th Coast Guard District Rear Admiral Mary Landry and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Courtesy Tami A. Heilemann -- US Department of the Interior 

salazar's record in insurance regulation
Kay Sieverding
Kay Sieverding
Jun 20, 2010 03:36 PM
When Ken Salazar was CO AG, he tolerated insurance companies that didn't file required reports. These included Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency. CIRSA is not a corporation, partnership, local government or state agency. By statute, CRS 24-10-115, it is supposed to file annual claims handling procedures reports but hasn't filed them in 20+ years. According to the CO Division of Insurance, if Lloyds sells insurance in CO it is supposed to file its insurance contracts and broker info with the state but the State division of insurance Peg Brown and assistant AG Todd Larson say they don't have them and don't care that they don't have them or the CIRSA reports required by statute.

Whether or not Salazar goes to prostitutes himself, I think Salazar knew all about MMS and former judge Naughty Nottingham's use of prostitutes and the use of strip clubs as a place to do business. Someone should ask Salazar about his record as CO AG and why he didn't enforce the laws about insurance companies. I sued a state employee but instead of Salazar defending her, as required by statute, he allowed state interests to be represented by a private lawyer David Brougham. Brougham billed for ex parte conferences and I think he might have paid for prostitutes for former judge Naughty Nottingham. Look at the Denver Players subpoenas.

CIRSA also insures water supplies and dams. I called CIRSA and asked about my claim under its local government officials errors and omissions insurance. CIRSA's claims adjuster Mike Wagoner said he found my claim on CIRSA's computer and I should call back. When I did he said he was ordered to hang up on me. CIRSA gets all its money from taxpayers. I had a claim on Steamboat and Kevin Bennett because Bennett harassed me for complaining about his zoning violations. In 2009, Bennett admitted he was a convicted drug dealer but that was previously secret however the attorney bills show that Bennett's NCIC record was discussed w Salazar in 2003.

I think CIRSA also insured Granby but the State paid for the new city hall there instead of CIRSA. Why?
WRONG answer
Jun 23, 2010 02:23 AM
Well, technically not the wrong answer. Because he should be fired without being allowed to resign. That said, the President who pushes nuclear loan guarantees because his hand is in Exelon's pocket is as much a Gang Green-oriented neolib on environmentalism as he is a neolib in general.