EPA chief Scott Pruitt likes to live well. Some might say he enjoys having a checkbook that taxpayers’ bankroll for him. His corruption is so obscene it embarrasses the people who fund his obscenity. His attempts at defending his exorbitant taxpayer-funded, and lobbyist bankrolled lifestyle choices are so weak it is almost as if he has never been called on it before now. As Sharon Lerner over at The Intercept reports, that’s because he really hasn’t had to think too hard about having any ethics for a long time. According to Lerner, when Pruitt was the attorney general of Oklahoma, his budget exceeded his predecessor’s by a couple dozen million dollars.
With fewer than 4 million people living in Oklahoma, Pruitt’s 2014 expenditures amounted to more than $14 per state resident. The 2014 budget for the Oklahoma attorney general’s office, which totaled $55.7 million, was more than double the $23.6 million spent that year by the attorney general of Arkansas, a neighboring state with a similar population. (In 2015, Pruitt’s office spent a total of $48.6 million.)
Of course, most of that was for “administrative expenses.” I guess he must have had big time printer-problems? Maybe “World’s Greatest Attorney General” mugs cost more than we thought?
Pruitt’s administrative costs for 2014 came in more than $10 million over the budgeted amount for administrative expenses that year and $16 million over what his office spent in the same category the following year. The Intercept contacted the attorney general’s office and the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, neither of which could clarify exactly what fell under the category of administrative expenses. “I do not know if we drill down to that level of detail in the budget system,” said Shelley Zumwalt, a public affairs director.
That’s one of the great things about these “fiscal conservative,” “anti-bureaucracy,” types. They love to spend money and just have it stuck under the clumsiest pile of accounting; but when teachers ask for money for books and pencils—state legislators want them to become top-level CPAs.
The Intercept report breaks down how Pruitt “upgraded” his vehicle while working for Oklahomans, and how he added 58 new staff members, after campaigning on the bogus Republican “small government” ideals that no Republican once in office cares about. Lord knows AG Pruitt didn’t hire all of that staff to look into the state’s earthquake-causing fossil fuel industry.
As it has been reported, Pruitt will punish anyone that even suggests that the emperor has no clothes, and this makes him a top choice of our current white supremacist in chief.