Can We Talk About Joe Balash?

Ass't Secretary of the Interior Joe Balash, smirking at Congress

Ass’t Secretary of the Interior Joe Balash, smirking at Congress

How can it even be legal, let alone ethical?

Up until a week ago, Joe Balash, Trump’s Assistant Secretary of the Interior, was overseeing oil, gas and mining activities on federal lands. Starting Monday, he is the Senior Vice President for External Affairs with Oil Search, a Papua New Guinea company with major projects under way on Alaska’s North Slope.

Until a week ago, Ass’t Secretary Balash was regulating Oil Search, including its five oil leases on federal lands; today he will start working for them.

As a high level appointee, Balash is barred from lobbying his former colleagues for five years. Instead, in his new capacity as Senior Vice President for External Affairs at Oil Search, Balash will supervise his subordinates in their lobbying efforts, advising them on the best way to approach Balash’s former colleagues and subordinates at the Department of the Interior. Isn’t that special?

Again, how can any of this be ethical, let alone legal?

It’s perfectly reasonable to conclude Balash was rewarded for his work at Interior with a higher paid position at Oil Search, a higher salary than the $155,000 he was pulling down at Interior.

WC has the lowest possible expectations for Trump appointees but this is is so raw, so transparent and so evil that as to be despicable. It appears that Balash has enriched himself – a much better paying job – at the expense of the American people, who he betrayed.

Joe Balash was an Alaskan. From North Pole. You’d think we’d raise them better. Apparently not.

Does the Trump Administration simply attract corrupt bureaucrats like Balash? Balash is hardly the first corrupt Trump bureaucrat to sell out the American people. Did Balash lose his moral compass working as Senator Dan Sullivan’s Chief of Staff? Did he never have one? Perhaps we will never know. But the thing about sucking the sugar tit is that once you have, you’re pwned, you owned. Pretty much forever.

No one ethical, no one scrupulous, will ever hire Joe Balash again. He has his 30 pieces of silver. WC hopes he chokes on them.