"Just the sheer lobbying firepower Rocky Mountain Resources is bringing to the project may be enough to pressure Interior employees, said Daniel Stevens, executive director at the watchdog group Campaign for Accountability."
"Galindo-Marrone’s letter to the Campaign for Accountability, which had filed the Hatch Act complaint against Zinke, was issued shortly after Zinke’s announcement in December that he would resign amid several ongoing ethics investigations."
"'Secretary Zinke engaged in political activity when he wore the above-referenced socks,' Ana Galindo-Marrone, chief of the Hatch Act Unit at the Office of the Special Counsel, wrote in a Dec. 20 letter to Campaign for Accountability"
Watchdog Again Calls for Investigation of David Bernhardt’s Former Lobbying Firm for Lobbying Disclosure Violations
On May 14, 2019, CfA called on the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives to investigate the lobbying firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP and one of its lobbyists, Luke Johnson, for possible violations of the Lobbying Disclosure Act in connection with their representation of Northeast Maglev, a company seeking to build a high-speed train along the Northeast Corridor.
Interior IG to Review CfA’s Request for Investigation into Acting Secretary Bernhardt’s Relationship with Former Client
On April 2, 2019, CfA announced that the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of the Interior confirmed it is reviewing CfA’s request for investigation into Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and his relationship with his former lobbying client, Westlands Water District, an agricultural conglomerate in California.
"In a letter to the executive director of one of the groups, the Campaign for Accountability, Inspector General Mary L. Kendall wrote that her office 'received seven complaints, including yours, from a wide assortment of complainants alleging various conflict of interest and other violations by then deputy secretary of the interior, David Bernhardt.'"
"In 2017, [...] Campaign for Accountability filed a complaint with the Department of Justice, asking for an investigation into whether Bernhardt had violated the Lobbying Disclosure Act by continuing to work on behalf of Westlands, despite having formally ended his lobbying activity. According to the group’s executive director, Daniel Stevens, it never got a response."
Watchdog Again Calls for Investigation of Interior Nominee David Bernhardt for Lobbying Disclosure Violations
On April 5, 2019, CfA again called on federal officials to investigate whether Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt and his former lobbying firm, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, violated the Lobbying Disclosure Act and the False Statements Act by failing to disclose Mr. Bernhardt’s apparent lobbying in connection with Westlands Water District (Westlands), an agricultural conglomerate in California. New documents indicate that Mr. Bernhardt continued to work for Westlands through April 2017 despite formally withdrawing his lobbying registration on November 18, 2016.
"Bernhardt's ethics memo yesterday also happened to come on the same day the Campaign for Accountability, a nonprofit watchdog group, announced that Interior's Office of Inspector General confirmed it is reviewing a request for investigation into Bernhardt and his relationship with his former lobbying client, Westlands Water District in California."