Salazar: National Park Service Criticism ‘Wrongheaded.’

Decision Makers 2009, Secretary of Interior Department, Ken Salazar 5/15/2009, 10:51:13 AM
©2007Richard A. Bloom
Alex Brown
Oct. 10, 2013, 11:30 a.m.

Former In­teri­or Sec­ret­ary Ken Salaz­ar took a swipe Thursday at Re­pub­lic­ans who have called out the Na­tion­al Park Ser­vice for shut­down clos­ures they claim are polit­ic­ally mo­tiv­ated. “It’s wrong­headed and un­fair that there are some Re­pub­lic­ans who are tar­get­ing the Na­tion­al Park Ser­vice,” Salaz­ar said. “The ap­proach that’s be­ing taken by cri­ti­ciz­ing the pub­lic ser­vants who are do­ing their jobs here is wrong­headed.”

Salaz­ar, who held the po­s­i­tion for four years un­der Pres­id­ent Obama, spoke on a Cen­ter for Amer­ic­an Pro­gress press call along with Lynn Scar­lett, deputy In­teri­or sec­ret­ary un­der Pres­id­ent George W. Bush. Scar­lett also offered sup­port to In­teri­or em­ploy­ees who have taken heat dur­ing the shut­down. “We need to hon­or the rules and give en­cour­age­ment to the fed­er­al em­ploy­ees who need to abide by the rules,” she said.

Two GOP-led House com­mit­tees are plan­ning a hear­ing next week to ques­tion the Na­tion­al Park Ser­vice on how the shut­down has been con­duc­ted.

Salaz­ar also re­jec­ted the piece­meal ap­proach put for­ward by Re­pub­lic­ans to fund some as­pects of gov­ern­ment, in­clud­ing the na­tion­al parks. Con­gress should fund “not some of it — all of it,” Salaz­ar said.

The shut­down is hav­ing an im­pact on en­ergy de­vel­op­ment, Salaz­ar said, es­pe­cially on the Gulf Coast. Some drilling per­mits have slowed, and leas­ing auc­tions have been can­celed. “The soon­er Con­gress moves to fund the gov­ern­ment, the bet­ter off it’s go­ing to be for the en­ergy fu­ture of the coun­try.”

The former of­fi­cials also lamen­ted set­backs to hunters, va­ca­tion­ers, and tri­bal com­munit­ies on fed­er­al land. “There’s a lot of frus­tra­tion among the pub­lic that many of their fa­vor­ite places are closed,” Scar­lett said.

What We're Following See More »
State Dept. Review Faults Clinton Email Management
22 minutes ago

"A State Department audit has faulted Hillary Clinton and previous secretaries of state for poorly managing email and other computer information and slowly responding to new cybersecurity risks. ... It cites 'longstanding, systemic weaknesses' related to communications. These started before Clinton's appointment as secretary of state, but her failures were singled out as more serious."

Trump Rolls in Washington Primary
39 minutes ago

Donald Trump "was on course to win more than three-quarters of the vote in Washington's primary" last night. Ted Cruz's defunct candidacy still pulled about 10 percent. "Cruz dropped out of the race on May 3, but won 40 of the state's 41 delegates up for grabs at last weekend's state GOP convention."

Trump Rally Turns Violent in New Mexico
1 hours ago

"What started as a calm protest outside Donald Trump’s rally Tuesday erupted into fiery violence as protesters jumped on police cars, smashed windows and fought with Trump supporters and police. Police faced such an angry crowd that they called in reinforcements from around the state, seeking to double their numbers to counter the protesters, whose numbers swelled beyond 600." Protesters threw rocks and bottles at police, who broke up several fights. 

Hill Dems Mull Dropping Wasserman Schultz
4 hours ago

Concerned that she's become too divisive, "Democrats on Capitol Hill are discussing whether Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz should step down as Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairwoman before the party’s national convention in July. ... Wasserman Schultz has had an increasingly acrimonious relationship with the party’s other presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, and his supporters, who argue she has tilted the scales in Clinton’s favor." The money quote, from a Democratic senator who backs Clinton: “There have been a lot of meetings over the past 48 hours about what color plate do we deliver Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s head on." Meanwhile, Newsweek takes a look at why no one seems to like Wasserman Schultz.

House Votes Today on Bill to Strip Budget Autonomy from DC
4 hours ago

"The U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote Wednesday on a Republican bill that would block the District of Columbia from spending locally raised tax revenue without congressional approval, prompting President Obama to pledge to veto it. In issuing the veto threat on Tuesday, the Obama White House made one of the strongest statements to date in support of the District’s attempt to win financial independence from Congress."