Monday, June 14, 2010

Bad company -- Wyoming Rep. Cynthia Lummis and staffer Johnnie Burton

From today's Casper Star-Tribune:

CHEYENNE -- Wyoming's 2010 congressional race heated up recently, as Democratic candidate David Wendt blasted incumbent U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., for employing the controversial former director of the federal Minerals Management Service.

Lummis' campaign fiercely denounced the accusation, in what could be the start of a contentious election campaign for the state's lone U.S. House seat.

In a letter sent last week, Wendt demanded Lummis explain why she employs Johnnie Burton, who came under fire during her five years as head of the MMS, the federal agency that oversees offshore drilling and revenues from energy exploration on federal lands.

Burton, who served with Lummis in the state Legislature in the 1980s and was also director of the Wyoming Department of Revenue, serves as a Cheyenne-area field representative for the congresswoman, helping constituents with issues such as receiving veterans' benefits or obtaining travel visas.

As MMS director, Burton oversaw the agency plagued with what one federal investigator later called a "culture of ethical failure." Agency workers were caught taking bribes from, having sex with and using drugs with energy industry employees. Burton also promoted a now-defunct royalty-in-kind program that allowed energy companies to avoid making billions of dollars in payments to the government.

She also was criticized for not acting quickly enough to correct blunders on offshore energy leasing contracts that cost the federal government billions of dollars in royalty payments.

Read all about the scandals that plagued the MMS during Burton's tenure in the Denver Post's investigative report from September 2008 at

And read this scary post at emptywheel:

There's more. So much more. And you thought that the Gulf of Mexico was oily.


truthteller said...

Hummm.. Johnnie Burton replaced Kathy Karpen!! No mention of that. Also no mention that Ms Burton commissioned the IG report and then fired and disciplined the culprits in Denver. No mention that the faulty leases were all accomplished during the Clinton Administration. No mention that the latest problem in the Gulf was authorized by the Obama Administration. Now tell me again it was all Ms Burton's doing - the reality; she had to clean up the mess left to her!!!! Shame on you and Wendt for trashing an honest, decent person.

Michael Shay said...

Says you. There is plenty of evidence to the contrary. She carries with her the stink of the corruption that was MMS.