The Associated Press dug into that new batch of emails released by the Center for Media and Democracy. The reporters’ conclusion: the “emails underscore just how closely Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt coordinated with fossil fuel companies while serving as Oklahoma’s state attorney general.”
Democratic senators fought unsuccessfully to get copies of Pruitt’s emails from Oklahoma prior to his February confirmation vote. Shortly after Pruitt was sworn in as EPA administrator, an Oklahoma judge ruled that Pruitt had been violating the state’s public records law by withholding his correspondence for at least two years. The judge ordered their release following a lawsuit filed by the Center for Media and Democracy, a left-leaning advocacy group.
Ever since then, Oklahoma’s Office of the Attorney General has been tightfisted when it comes to open-records request. Following that reporting, the Center for Media and Democracy first submitted an open-records request in January 2015 for Pruitt’s records. It took over two years — and a judge’s order — for the office to cough up any documents to CMD.
A batch of emails recently acquired by a watchdog group, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), shows that Pruitt used two addresses out of the Oklahoma attorney general’s office: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Documents the nonprofit watchdog received through an open-records request show Pruitt’s name associated with both the “scott.pruitt” and “esp” handles, the latter being initials for the former Oklahoma attorney general’s full name, Edward Scott Pruitt.
According to the Center for Media and Democracy, Koch-linked groups have donated nearly $5.4 million to Citizens for Self-Government between 2011, when the group was founded, until 2015, the last year tax records are available. IRS filings show Citizens for Self-Government funding increased from $1.8 million to $5.7 million over that period.
“Convention of States is a much more radical approach to a constitutional convention” than earlier efforts, Arn Pearson, General Counsel at the Center for Media and Democracy, told Fusion. “Their budget has increased dramatically. This is their effort to push the state agenda as far as they can while they hold peak power.”
The fracking letter interested Devon Energy. Allen Wright, the company’s vice president for government affairs, contacted a top Pruitt aide for a copy of the letter, according to emails published by the Center for Media and Democracy. “Good to see you this week,” Wright wrote. “Can you send me a copy of Scott’s letter regarding the EPA [inspector general’s] inquiry into state regulation of O&G?”
The Bradley Foundation donated almost $3 million to the Ethics and Public Policy Center between 2001 and 2010, according the Madison-based Center for Media and Democracy. And the Goldwater Institute has received significant amounts of funding from sources with close ties to David and Charles Koch, leading funders in conservative politics and policy, the center reported.
Beyond the obvious links through senior White House advisors Steve Bannon (former Breitbart chairman), Jared Kushner (former New York Observer owner) and campaign advisor Roger Ailes (former Fox News CEO), a recent investigation by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) reveals the Trump campaign gave about $150,000 to conservative outlet The Daily Caller.
As reported by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), “Carlson never disclosed the Trump campaign cash to his viewers on Fox News, even as he analyzed the presidential race. Meanwhile, as a Fox News headliner, Carlson has attacked news outlets like the New York Times, claiming they are biased against Trump.”