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Opinion
Opinion: Kempthorne gives industry what it wants


"After serving for five years as Interior Secretary in the Bush Cabinet, Gale Norton, prot�g� of James Watt, quietly stepped down from her post overseeing the ruination of the American West.

To replace Norton, Bush called upon his old pal Dirk Kempthorne, the Idaho governor and former US Senator, who once cherished notions, fantastical though they may have been, of the occupying the White House. In picking Kempthorne, Bush has once again demonstrated that mindless consistency which will be one of his hallmarks as president. Far from moving to clean up an office sullied by corruption and inside-dealing, Bush tapped a man, who has over the course of his 20 years in politics, taken more money from timber, big ag, mining and oil companies than any governor in the history of American politics.

Unlike many other western conservatives, Kempthorne doesn't hit up the religious right for money. He goes to straight to the corporations who want something done in Boise: JR Simplot, the potato king; Boise-Cascade, the timber giant; mining companies, such as ASARCO, Hecla, and FMC Gold; and the power companies. And Kempthorne gives them what they want. Kempthorne is Jack Abramoff without the middleman, decision-maker and lobbyist rolled into one."

Get the Story:
Jeffrey St. Clair: Gale Norton in Slacks (Counterpunch 5/31)

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