BOSTON (CBS) – When it comes to politics, sometimes it seems there are as many different opinions as there are people. But in my experience there’s one thing just about everybody agrees on – they don’t like politicians wasting public funds and exploiting their public positions for private gain.
And that fact should mean that Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt should be headed for the exit sooner rather than later.
In a city with a rich history of ethically-challenged people, Pruitt has surged to the head of the pack, most recently by having a top EPA aide write to the CEO of Chick-fil-A to pursue a franchising opportunity for his wife.
But that’s just the latest brazen act by Pruitt that has the spirit and/or the letter of ethics laws governing powerful public officials in dispute. He is currently the subject of 13 separate investigations for everything from misuse of public funds to inappropriate transactions with lobbyists to sketchy personnel practices. And he’s only been in office 16 months.
I don’t doubt there may be a handful of people who will prefer to ignore Pruitt’s sleazy behavior because the EPA is an unpopular agency in many circles, a poster child of sorts for what some see as overly aggressive regulation. And Pruitt’s efforts to dismantle the EPA fit neatly into President Trump’s campaign vow to “blow up” federal bureaucracies. But even conservative Republicans are balking at Pruitt’s conduct, like Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana, who claims Pruitt is hurting the president, and doesn’t sugarcoat his message:
“He is acting like a moron and he needs to stop it,” Kennedy said.