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In honor of Mother Earth, today we will celebrate one of the unknown Bush Sycophant/Crony/Underling/Minion Obfuscators charged with the toil of "protecting" our dear mother.

May the SCUM-O Team proudly introduce Julie A. MacDonald.

Previous SCUM-O's:
4/14: Philip Cooney
4/15: Dr. Reid Lyon
4/16: Dr. William Banner, Jr.
4/17: Alice S. Fisher
4/18: Dr. W. David Hager
4/21: Robert Coughlin

Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post Staff Writer, provides this story from October 2006:

A senior Bush political appointee at the Interior Department has rejected staff scientists' recommendations to protect imperiled animals and plants under the Endangered Species Act at least six times in the past three years, documents show.

In addition, staff complaints that their scientific findings were frequently overruled or disparaged at the behest of landowners or industry have led the agency's inspector general to look into the role of Julie MacDonald, who has been deputy assistant secretary of the interior for fish and wildlife and parks since 2004, in decisions on protecting endangered species.

Environment News Service offers this interesting story:

WASHINGTON, DC, May 21, 2007 (ENS) - Two senior House Democrats launched an inquiry today into reports that a Bush political appointee may have improperly removed a California fish from a list of threatened species in order to protect her own financial interests.

Julie MacDonald, who resigned this month as Interior Department deputy assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks, was actively involved in removing the Sacramento splittail fish from the federal threatened and endangered species list at the same time that she was profiting from her ownership of a farm that lies within the habitat area of the threatened fish, according to an investigative report published Sunday by the "Contra Costa Times" newspaper.

MacDonald's financial disclosure statement shows that she earns as much as $1 million per year from her ownership of the 80 acre active farm in Dixon, California.

Federal law bars federal employees from participating in decisions on matters in which they have a personal financial interest.

OMB Watch reports that the damage may be contained:

Political Influence Leads to Revised Endangered Species Decisions

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) will revise seven of eight decisions made under the Endangered Species Act program after reviewing them for improper political interference. The four-month review came as a result of a Department of Interior inspector general's investigation of allegations that former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Julie A. MacDonald, intimidated staff and changed the scientific information agency scientists developed for decisions about listing or delisting threatened or endangered species.

MacDonald resigned her position April 30 after the investigation concluded her actions, though not illegal, violated the Code of Federal Regulations regarding disclosure of nonpublic information and the appearance of preferential treatment. MacDonald disclosed information to the California Farm Bureau Federation and the Pacific Legal Foundation, a property rights group that often challenges endangered species decisions.

FWS Acting Director Kenneth Stansell sent a letter Nov. 23 to House Natural Resources Committee Chair Nick Rahall (D-WV) detailing the outcome of the eight decisions reviewed. Stansell wrote, "The Service believes that revising the seven identified decisions is supported by scientific evidence and the proper legal standards. As resources allow, these revisions will be completed as expeditiously as possible."

Julie A. MacDonald was succeeded by Patricia "Lynn" Scarlett:

In 1979, Scarlett began working for the libertarian Reason Foundation, becoming its president and CEO in 2001. The Reason Foundation is funded by industry groups such as the American Forest and Paper Association, the American Petroleum Institute, American Plastics Council, Chevron Corporation, Dow Chemical, etc. The author of "A Consumer's Guide to Environmental Myths and Realities," Scarlett cites the following as common myths about the environment: Disposables Are Bad; We Are Running Out of Resources; Americans Are Especially Wasteful; etc. Scarlett was a board member of The Thoreau Institute which "seeks ways to protect the environment without regulation, bureaucracy, or central control." Odd how she's now working in a central agency charged, in part, with regulating the environment.

...snip...

Since Gale Norton has been doing her best to keep a low profile, Scarlett has increasingly become the public face of the department, particularly on Capitol Hill. She's behind the proposed privitazation of National Park Service jobs, which environmentalists oppose, and has led the administration's opposition to making the Gaviota Coast of California into a National Seashore. Scarlett's explanation: she feels the Vandenberg Air Force Base officials and local agricultural interests will do a fine job of caring for the land on their own. #

And there is this fromwww.exxonsecrets.org:

Scarlett is a staunch supporter of the current President Bush, having served as an environmental advisor to his 2000 presidential campaign, and as a member of his transition advisory team for the EPA. While she was at he ReasonFoundation, Scarlett wrote a weekly environmental column for James Glassman's TechCentralStation.com.

According to a CLEAR report, Scarlett "rarely met a regulation she likes. According to her, the world is just too complex for pesky thngs like mandated air pollution limits, recycling, or day care standards to work efficiently."

As my good friend Julie (a different Julie) once said, "Remember, every day is Earth Day.  So tomorrow, love one another, and love Mother Earth."

Originally posted to MooseHB on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:12 PM PDT.

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