SCANDAL: EPA Official & Colorado Power Broker Resigns Following Transparency Inquiry

A huge story involving a key power broker in Colorado Democratic politics flew under the radar of the Colorado press last week – and ours too.  Jim Martin, formerly the head of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 8, which includes Colorado, resigned from his post last Friday.  According to Fox News, his resignation comes just three weeks after Louisiana’s Republican Senator David Vitter questioned his use of a personal email address to conduct official business.  An EPA spokesperson cited “personal reasons” for Martin’s resignation.

Vitter noted Martin may face a congressional probe for using his personal email address to circumnavigate disclosure laws, such as the Freedom of Information Act.  Vitter issued this statement about the resignation:

“Region 8 administrator Martin is likely resigning this week in part because of the open investigation about his use of a non-official email account to conduct official business,” Vitter said. “Now we know that Lisa Jackson’s acting replacement, Bob Perciasepe, appears to have been doing the same thing to dodge the agency’s mandatory record-keeping policy.”

According to a source, Martin has close ties with Governor John Hickenlooper, Bill Ritter, and U.S. Senator Mark Udall, which has been confirmed via his campaign donations.  In 2008, Martin donated $1,000 to Udall’s Senate campaign.  He gave the same amount to President Obama’s 2012 campaign.  He also gave $250 to Perlmutter’s campaign in 2006.

But, his ties don’t end with federal candidates.  Martin’s closest ties appear to be with former Governor Bill Ritter.  Martin’s alliance with Ritter goes back to at least 2007 when then-Governor Ritter appointed Martin the head of the State Department of Health.  In 2009, Martin again was tapped by Ritter to run the Department of Natural Resources, which “met with immediate approval from the state’s environmental advocates”, according to the Denver Post.  Martin donated $700 to Ritter’s 2006 election and gave $300 toward Ritter’s nonexistent 2010 campaign for Governor, according to TRACER.

Martin has led the Western Resource Advocates and the Natural Resources Law Center at the University of Colorado School of Law.  He also was a senior attorney and director of the energy program for Environmental Defense and worked for Democrat U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator Tim Wirth.

Despite Obama’s promises of the most transparent administration ever, Martin’s departure following an inquiry over disclosure skirting is just one example in the EPA alone of the great efforts administration officials have undertaken to block transparency.  If officials, like Martin, in Obama’s administration don’t play by the rules when transparency is the goal, what sort of rule bending occurred when transparency wasn’t such an explicit goal?  The unholy alliance between Democrats, big government, and green energy/environmentalism rears its ugly head once again.

 
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