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Your scandal of the week, this time with S-E-X

By Amanda Marcotte
Wednesday, September 10, 2008 23:56 EDT
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I hope someone’s actually collecting all the Bush administration scandals and crimes, because it would be awesome to publish a report of it and send it out to the media a week before the election as a reminder of what we can expect 4 more years of if we elect McCain. Now some more has been added to the rap sheet, including felony-level kickback consumption. This time, it’s the Department of the Interior, and as you can imagine, it’s a flood of bribes and hiring cronies briefly only to streamline them into expensive (for the taxpayer) “consulting” gigs doing the same half-assed work they were doing on the federal employee payroll.

But, my friends, the people who write these reports have learned that people are tired of reading about the same old Abramoff-level corruption. Sure, Interior officials were accepting gifts well beyond the federal limits from oil and gas lobbyists. And sure, the guilty parties are getting off because their bodies in the Justice Department refuse to prosecute. And sure, there’s the sense that our entire system of government is now being run by graft. But people are scandal-fatigued by these money and corruption charges. Luckily, this report has the sort of scandal in it that people never get tired of hearing about, Sex & Drugs.

Really, it’s full of win:

Two other reports focus on “a culture of substance abuse and promiscuity” and unethical behavior in the service’s royalty-in-kind program…..

The investigation also concluded that several of the officials “frequently consumed alcohol at industry functions, had used cocaine and marijuana, and had sexual relationships with oil and gas company representatives.”

The investigation separately found that the program’s manager mixed official and personal business, and took money from a technical services firm in exchange for urging oil companies to hire the firm. In sometimes lurid detail, the report accuses him of having intimate relations with two subordinates, one of whom regularly sold him cocaine.

Some call it a boring bureaucratic job. And maybe under anyone else, it is. But under the moral scolds of the Bush administration? Coke orgy!

Do we have a name for the scandalous wag fucking secretaries and no doubt doing piles of blow mid blow job? Why, yes. As you can imagine, his punishment will be….nothing. See, you or I, if caught snorting cocaine off the ass of a subordinate, would be financially ruined and probably tossed in prison. But do it under the Bush administration, and it’s high-paying consulting and lobbyist gigs for the rest of your life!

The other high-ranking official the Justice Department has declined to prosecute is Gregory W. Smith, the former program director of the royalty-in-kind program. Mr. Smith worked in Colorado and reported directly to Ms. Denett, who was based in Washington, D.C.

The report said that from April 2002 to June 2003, Mr. Smith improperly used his position with the royalty program to help a technical services firm seek deals with the same oil and gas companies. The services firm paid Mr. Smith more than $30,000 for asking the oil companies to hire it, the report said.

Mr. Smith requested and received approval to take on the outside work, but the report says he misled the office into thinking he would be performing technical consulting, rather than marketing the firm to companies with which he also conducted official business

The report accuses Mr. Smith of improperly accepting gifts from the oil and gas industry, of engaging in sex with two subordinates, and of using cocaine that he purchased from his secretary or her boyfriend several times a year between 2002 and 2005. He sometimes asked for the drugs and received them in his office during work hours, the report alleges.

The report also says that Mr. Smith lied to investigators about these and other incidents, and that he urged the two women subordinates to mislead the investigators as well.

In discussions with investigators, the report said, Mr. Smith acknowledged buying cocaine from his secretary and having a sexual encounter with her at her home, but denied discussing drugs at work. He also denied telling anyone to lie, saying that he only told people that “no one has a right to know what I do on my personal time.”

Unlike, say, you or me. We don’t get to do cocaine and call it our “personal time”, and if the Republicans have our way, nor will we get that ring of privacy around our sex lives.

Okay, really the problem isn’t so much the drug use and the sex, at least if it didn’t interfere with their work performance. In all fairness, I would say that’s a decent standard that should be applied to all citizens, not just those who know who to work their graft muscles for Republican administrations. The real problem is the stream of pay-offs from oil and gas companies into the department that should be working to preserve our nation’s beauty and resources, not sell off our country for golf games, sports tickets and drunken sexual encounters. But it’s admittedly hard for anyone to keep all these kickback scandals straight, you know, so it’s nice to have one laced with a little memorable S-E-X.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
 
 
 
 
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