Gale Norton

Gale Norton Uses Extortion to Try to Keep Her Indian Royalty-Pilfering Website Online
Gale Norton

Boy, does ANYONE in the Bush administration ever tell the truth? Gale Norton is using an extortionary lie to keep the Dept. of Interior's fraud-riddled website online. A judge wants to pull the plug because the site was involved in the pilfering of millions in royalty payments to Indian tribes. This week, Norton said if the site goes down, she will be forced to withhold $90 million in funds due to states. But according to Judge Royce Lambeth, "only the sections of the system through which Indian accounts can be accessed will be shut down." Lambeth said this in July. But Norton has STILL failed to plug the security holes. What kind of scam is she running, anyway? http://www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2003/0728/web-inter-07-29-

Vanity Fair Exposes the Dark Reality of the Dept of Interior under Norton and Griles
Gale Norton

The current issue of "Vanity Fair" has a scathing, high-depth expose of the Bush Department of the Interior and its utter failure of America's people and environment. Author Michael Shnayerson exposes the horrifying reality of the Dept. under Norton (a misfit starved for the attention of powerful males, any way she can get it) and Stephen Griles (astoundingly indifferent to the public welfare, with fantasies of feudal power). Even the department's own employees are in despair and appealing for help. "The only body that stops [the Dept.] is Congress," laments one. "But now it's all in the same party, so...they are just getting away with it all." Jack Spadaro describes a Griles temper tantrum: His face got red, he was almost spitting...this was a different kind of animal." A MUST READ!! Available only on newsstands or by subscription.

Gale Norton's Bureau of Ego Management Diverts Thousands to Redecorate Office on Whim
Gale Norton

"Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) has asked the Department of Interior Office of the Inspector General to determine the source of funds for the 'purchase of matching furniture for the entire 120-person staff and whether employees improperly billed program accounts, such as fire control and range management, for the time they actually spent boxing files, moving furniture and otherwise facilitating the office makeover.' The BLM, a federal agency that controls 261 million acres of public land in 12 Western states, is part of the Interior Department. 'According to employees, this redecoration has diverted funds, disrupted operations and prevented people from doing their jobs in what is supposed to be a public agency,' said PEER executive director Jeff Ruch. 'While BLM employees deserve nice, functional furniture, employees say that what they had worked just fine - this makeover was apparently done for a manager's ego, not the office's efficiency.'"

Gale Norton Gets Break in Fraud Case
Gale Norton

WashPost writes: "A long-running battle between a federal judge and the Interior and Justice departments went before a federal appeals panel yesterday, as government lawyers sought the reversal of fraud and contempt rulings in the Indian trust fund case against Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton. Hours after the hearing, the three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit handed the government a significant victory when it ordered a halt to the work of a court-appointed special master, whose harshly critical evaluations of Interior's reform efforts laid the groundwork for some of the contempt findings."

Judge Royce Lamberth Holds Gale Norton in Contempt over Indian Funds
Gale Norton

Judge Royce Lamberth "held Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton and a senior aide in contempt of court for decieving him about the agency's failure to reform a trust fund for Native Americans... Lamberth said the Interior Department handled the case in the same manner as they managed hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties from Indian land: 'disgracefully.' He found four instances where Norton and Neal McCaleb, assistant secretary for Indian affairs, had committed fraud on the court, and the judge also held them in contempt for failing to abide by a three-year old court order to begin major reform of the trust... 'The department has now undeniably shown that it can no longer be trusted to state accurately the status of its trust reform efforts. In short, there is no longer any doubt that the secretary of Interior has been and continues to be an unfit trustee-delegate for the United States.'" Bush must fire Norton immediately!

Plaintiffs in Gale Norton's Contempt of Court Case Won't Call Her to Testify
Gale Norton

"Interior Secretary Gale Norton won't be called to testify in a hearing to determine if she should be held in contempt of court for allegations that she misled a judge on efforts to reform a multi-million-dollar Indian trust account. Attorneys for 300,000 Indians suing the government for squandering mining, oil and gas drilling, timber harvesting and other royalties from Indian land narrowed the field of people they planned to call, and neither Norton nor Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Neal McCaleb were on the list. Norton's predecessor, Bruce Babbitt, and his chief of staff, Anne Shields, are expected to be called to testify. Norton could still be called by the government attorneys or by the plaintiffs to rebut the government's case."

Gale Norton Must Stand Trial
Gale Norton

"Interior Secretary Gale Norton was ordered Wednesday to stand trial Dec. 3 for allegedly violating court orders she inherited and misleading a federal judge about billions of dollars of royalties from Indian land. U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth ordered the trial for Norton and Neal McCaleb, assistant secretary for Indian affairs and head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, to show why they shouldn't be held in contempt of court...Said Keith Harper, an attorney for the Boulder-based Native American Rights Fund that filed suit on behalf of the Indians, 'Once we have dealt with this, we can concentrate on the main issue of the royalties from Indian land, which our experts said will exceed $10 billion.' Norton also must prove that she did not commit 'a fraud on the court' by filing false or misleading reports about the status of the accounting and the department's current system of tracking the Indian royalties."

Tell Gail Norton To Resign! Sign The Petition!
Gale Norton

"At best, information you have provided to Congress about the effects of drilling on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was riddled with careless errors. At worst, the data you presented has, as some Fish and Wildlife officials have charged, been cherry-picked and distorted to support a pro-drilling stance. You have either irreparably erred, which shows a failure on your part to place enough importance on this matter to get the facts right, or you deliberately distorted the facts to egregiously cater to pro-drilling interests. In either case, you have failed to provide a balanced view on this issue and have seriously reneged upon your repeated promises during Senate confirmation to 'provide [Congress] the best scientific evaluation of the environmental consequences..[of] any exploration and production' in the Refuge. This is a clear violation of the public trust. Therefore, we call upon you to resign from your post as Secretary of the Interior."

Garbage in, Garbage Out: Gale Norton's National Monument Plan Scrapped
Gale Norton

Gale "I Love to Talk Trash" Norton took her love affair with "freemarket environmentalism" to an extreme that was a bit too kinky even for Christie Todd's darkly surrealistic EPA. In a truly bizarre move, Norton named the Fresno Sanitary Landfill a "National Historic Landmark." It certainly is a tribute to the freemarket mentality: the landfill was stuffed with toxic byproducts of mass production, threatened groundwater used by Fresno residents with a methane and vinyl chloride-laced plume, and is one helluva an ugly, lifeless place. In fact, the dump is so truly awful that it was, years ago, named a Superfund site. So far, it has cost Fresno about $38 million in cleanup costs. Of course, Norton didn't bother to obtain this basic information before making her outrageous announcement - info. that was posted in only about a dozen prominent places. Her sole criteria: it was the oldest (1935) sanitary landfill in the U.S. Which, of course, also means it was about the nastiest.

Gail 'Read My Lips But It Won't Help Much' Norton's PR (Personal Remediation) Program Continues on Its Shaky Uphill Climb
Gale Norton

The only role the public is likely to endorse for Secretary of the Interior Norton is Poster Girl for the Bush "Use It Up, Throw It Out" approach to wildlands "management." In addition to hiring obscure and dated celebrities for public service announcements, she is back to dropping regular taxpayer bucks (about $500 a pop) for press releases. This one (about the fifth in a few days) takes the cake: a press release refuting a press release. No, says Norton, the Bush Administration has not called for drilling in "Western lands" (by this vague geographic designation we assume she means they won't drill in Ronald Reagan's back yard or in Disneyland) or any of the national monuments set aside by Clinton (at least not this week). But then, this garbled release goes on to tout how the Interior Department manages energy production on all fed lands as well as the outer continental shelf (sure sounds threatening to us!). Anyway - here's yet another example of your tax dollars at work!

Gail Norton Spends Thousands of Taxpayer Dollars Each Week Just to See Her Own Name In Print
Gale Norton

After several weeks, we noticed a strange pattern in the U.S. Newswire Service. Each week, there were several press releases from Gail Norton - in fact, often, her releases outnumber those of any other single person, including Bush himself. For just the past two days (7/11-7/13), we counted FIFTEEN Norton releases, each one more inane than the one before…"Interior Secretary Praises Confirmation of Lynn Scarlett"…"Interior Secretary Joins Rep. Thune in S.D. for Town Hall Meeting on Bush Energy Plan" (even Thune himself didn't buy a release!)…"Remarks of Interior Secretary Norton to House Committee on Resources". Trouble is -- these babies are $395-550 a pop! That means in 48 hours, Norton spent between $6,000 - $7,500 of YOUR dollars on personal promotion - and that's just on ONE newswire service. No wonder she doesn't have time for constructive work - she's too busy poring through the papers looking for her own name! Here's one of the 15 tax-paid promos.

Gail Norton Should Be Indicted for Lying During Her Confirmation Hearings
Gale Norton

During her confirmation hearings, Gail Norton testified under oath that she would not pursue the same anti-environmental courses as the dreadful James Watt. She claimed she was a reasonable person seeking the middle ground, and that those nasty stories told about her were untrue or misinterpretations. Well, her frightening anti-environmental record so far as Secretary of the Interior presents compelling evidence that she committed blatant perjury on the stand during the hearings. We call for Norton's removal on the grounds of perjury and behavior that poses a clear and present danger to national security.

Gale Norton's Radical Legal Philosophy
Gale Norton

Gale Norton "is not only a long-time protégé of former President Reagan's controversial Interior Secretary James Watt ("We will mine more, drill more, cut more timber"), an advocate of self-regulation for polluters, and a former lead-industry lobbyist. She's also a leading "Property Rights" activist who favors a radical reinterpretation of the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution that could compel the government to pay billions to wealthy property owners and wreak havoc on the environment."

Say No To Norton!
Gale Norton

Gale Norton would be a disatrous Secretary of the Interior. Of all the many charges against her, this may be the most shocking: Norton is a registered lobbyist for NL Industries of Houston, formerly known as the National Lead Company, which has been sued for children's exposure to lead paint!