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‘Far-right ideology’ of Trump’s newest nominee why Senate must reject him: advocacy organizations

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Environmental advocacy groups are decrying President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Bureau of Land Management and urging the Senate to reject the nomination.

“William Pendley is uniquely unqualified for this position,” Accountable.US spokesperson Chris Saeger said in a statement. “He has spent his career fighting for a far-right ideology that puts the wishes of extractive industries ahead of the needs of communities that rely on our public lands.”

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“We urge the Senate to reject him,” Saeger added.

Pendley, who has run the bureau in an acting capacity as deputy director since July 2019, has extreme anti-science and anti-public land views.

According to HuffPost:

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Pendley, a native of Wyoming, is the former longtime president of Mountain States Legal Foundation, a conservative nonprofit that has pushed for the government to sell off millions of federal acres. He’s written several books about Western land issues, including one titled “Sagebrush Rebel,” a reference to the Sagebrush Rebellion movement of the 1970s and ’80s that sought to remove lands from federal control. In a January 2016 op-ed published by The National Review, he wrote: “Founding Fathers intended all lands owned by the federal government to be sold.”

[…]

Along with extreme views on federal land policy, Pendley detests the Endangered Species Act, once writing the conservation law seeks “to kill or prevent anybody from making a living on federal land.” He has sued the federal government numerous times in the last three decades, railed often against environmental “terrorists” and “eco-fascists,” and compared the climate crisis to a “unicorn” because “neither exists.”

Pendley also has multiple conflicts of interest which, as Western Values Project director Jayson O’Neill pointed out in May, make the deputy director practically “unconfirmable” in the Senate.

“Since he is too extreme to pass muster in this Senate, it’s time for the Trump administration to end this unconstitutional charade and finally reject him,” said O’Neill. “Pendley already has a laundry list of conflicts, extremist views, and an industry-favored bent that should have disqualified him from government employment but he just squatted down on his spurs with these discrepancies despite his already terrible track record.”

Despite his views, Pendley has been in charge of the bureau for nearly a year.

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As CNN explained:

If confirmed, Pendley would head an agency with wide authority over fossil fuel extraction on federal land.

Because of the long-standing vacancy in the top Bureau of Land Management post, Pendley has effectively led the agency since he was appointed deputy director last year. That position did not require Senate confirmation, but the directorship does.

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Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), the ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Interior and the Environment, told HuffPost in an email Saturday that he hoped the administration would see sense.

“The Trump Administration should nominate someone who believes in the agency’s mission and supports protecting our thriving outdoor recreation economy and iconic wildlife,” said Udall, “not a longtime advocate of selling off U.S. public lands to the highest bidder.”


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2020 Election

Bill Barr stunt was an ‘in-kind contribution to the Trump campaign’ by DOJ: election law expert

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The scandal over the Department of Justice hyping 9 ballots in Pennsylvania as proof of Donald Trump's conspiracy theories about voting by mail was an Bill Barr stunt was an "in-kind contribution" an election law expert explained in the Los Angeles Times on Friday.

UC Irvine law and political science professor Rick Hasen explained the scandal in Pennsylvania in a new op-ed.

"The controversy that bubbled up on Thursday over nine mishandled ballots in Luzerne County, Pa., illustrates the danger ahead. Even before the Department of Justice issued its announcement, President Trump and his team were complaining that mail-in ballots from military voters cast for him were being thrown into the trash, a claim fitting into his narrative — unsupported by the facts — that massive voter fraud will be used to take a November victory away from him. ABC News reported that Atty. Gen. William Barr briefed Trump on the case before it was publicly announced," Hasen explained.

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2020 Election

Trump official removed after illegally serving 424 days as head of the Bureau of Land Management: report

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Yet another Donald Trump official has found himself in trouble with the law for running a federal agency without Senate confirmation.

"federal judge ruled Friday that the Trump administration's leading steward of public lands has been serving unlawfully and has blocked him from continuing in the position. U.S. District Judge Brian Morris said U.S. Bureau of Land Management acting director William Perry Pendley served unlawfully for 424 days without being confirmed to the post by the U.S. Senate," the Associated Press reported Friday.

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Dennis Quaid to star in Trump’s $300 million ad campaign against COVID ‘despair’: report

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Americans should expect to see more of actor Dennis Quaid during television commercial breaks, according to a new report by Politico.

"The health department is moving quickly on a highly unusual advertising campaign to 'defeat despair' about the coronavirus, a $300 million-plus effort that was shaped by a political appointee close to President Donald Trump and executed in part by close allies of the official, using taxpayer funds," Politico's Dan Diamond reported Friday.

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