Scott Pruitt Running For​ Senate, Hopes You Forgot About His One Million Ethics Scandals
Original pic by Gage Skidmore (Flickr)

Scott Pruitt is back, baby, and he's running to be the next senator from Oklahoma!

There were many corrupt Trump cabinet officials, but the prize for pissant venality goes to the former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, whose scandals provided us countless hours of LULZ. Who can forget Pruitt's use of government resources to track down a used mattress from the Trump Hotel, presumably for its unrivaled back support and unique Trumpenspunkenfunken, as the Germans might say. (Or maybe not, who knows?)

It's illegal for federal employees to perform personal tasks for their bosses, but that never stopped Pruitt, who dispatched his staff to procure that special Ritz-Carlton lotion he liked to lube himself up with. Also he had EPA employees pressure Chick-Fil-A's CEO Dan Cathy to grant Pruitt's wife Marlyn a chicken franchise so she could get a job and start kicking up for all the expenses they couldn't figure out a way to fob off onto taxpayers. And even if you say, "Oh, but my employees love me because I brought them from Oklahoma to DC and got them these sweet gigs, plus I raided funds earmarked for clean water experts to give them raises, and I let them take weeks and weeks of personal days at a time," it's still illegal for government workers to "volunteer" for their boss during off hours. See, 5 CFR 2635.203(b).

Nonetheless, Pruitt got his staff to find him a new home after his lobbyist apartment scam fell through. See, Pruitt was "renting" a spare bedroom in a townhouse belonging to an energy lobbyist with business before the EPA. His daughter was using another room gratis, but that wouldn't be right for daddy, so the lobbyist charged him $50 for every night he stayed there. Pruitt was apparently not much for taking out the trash, and often fell behind on this laughable "rent," which he got his ethics chief to bless, despite the fact that it was far below market rate for Capitol Hill.

But Pruitt had a way of convincing his staff to give him what he wanted, mostly by threatening to fire them and replace them if they wouldn't greenlight his grift. Which is how he wound up with hundreds of thousands of dollars in first-class airfare, which he needed for "security" reasons; a 19-person, 24/7 security detail with 19 tricked out vehicles; a $43,000 cone of silence in his office, which necessitated pouring a new, two-foot thick concrete slab, so he could have discreet phone sex with Big Oil without having to schlep down to the dedicated EPA SCIF in the basement; the use of flashing lights and sirens so Pruitt's motorcade could cut through DC traffic and get to dinner on time; and the mother of all boondoggle trips for Pruitt and the Oklahoma Posse to Paris and Morocco for a little EPA-sponsored sightseeing and natural gas lobbying.

Here's how Rachel Maddow described it at the time.

And not for nothing, among the many "threats" cited by this grasping little weenus to justify his travel expenses and security detail was a picture of his face on the cover of Newsweek, which someone had drawn a mustache on and taped up in a hallway at the EPA. Scary stuff!

Who better to be the next senator from Oklahoma, filling out the four years remaining on retiring Sen. James Inhofe's term?

Pruitt, who once served as Oklahoma's attorney general, joins a crowded field. To win the Republican nomination, he'll have to beat out Inhofe's chief of staff Luke Holland, who has his boss's endorsement, as well as former state House speaker T.W. Shannon, and retired MMA fighter turned US congressman Markwayne Mullin. Mullin was last seen on these pages LARPing as Rambo by attempting to fly into Tajikistan with pallets of cash to rescue Americans trying to flee Afghanistan. Pruitt will have to get up pretty early in the morning to out-crazy that dude.

But let's not underestimate this guy. We are, after all, talking about someone who managed to be too corrupt even for the Trump administration. Shoot your shot, Scotty! We know you will.


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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.


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