Fox Watching the Henhouse

slyfox
Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

There are many insidious ways to undermine the body politic. The current U.S. Administration has used political appointments to formerly apolitical government agencies to create chaos. Here are a few examples:

Lobbyist Who Once Sued Interior Named To Be Department’s No. 2 Official
His name is David Longly Bernhardt, and he’s worked as the top lobbyist for California’s Westlands Water District, the largest agricultural entity of its kind in the nation. He’s sued the Interior Department and helped write legislation on behalf of his client. Largely because of his services, Westlands has paid Bernhardt and the law firm where he works $1.27 million since 2011.

Fresno Bee, April 28, 2017, by Steven Leavenworth

For those familiar with California water issues, the Westlands Water District is a well-known player in thwarting efforts to reduce selenium and other toxic chemicals in California’s irrigation water.

Trump Friend and Climate Foe Sam Clovis Is Up for a Big job at the USDA
The post, undersecretary of research, education, and economics, sets the Agriculture Department’s scientific course. Clovis’s background as a professor of economics fits with the econ and ed parts of the job, but reports of his pending appointment is drawing criticism because he has no experience with scientific research.

Grist, May 15, 2017 by Nathanael Johnson

Clovis was also a Trump campaign advisor and a conservative talk show radio host in Sioux City, Iowa. Surely that makes him qualified to be Chief Scientist for the USDA.

Trump’s New Bank Regulator: Lawyer Who Helped Banks Charge More Fees
Keith Noreika helped big banks avoid state laws protecting consumers. As head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, he now has the power to override those state laws.

ProPublica, May 15, 2017, by Cezary Podkul