CHIEF OF STAFF SCOTT KENDALL USED SEAL ON NGO TALKING POINTS
CNN and Alaska blogger Dermot Cole are breathlessly pounding their chests because the Pebble Partnership gave the Dunleavy Administration suggested talking points about the history of the project — talking points that were then used to help inform the White House about progress made in the permitting process, and the steps yet to be taken.
“Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s office was given detailed talking points, ghostwritten letters and advice on lobbying strategies by Pebble Limited Partnership executives, emails show. Dunleavy and his office then used that material, sometimes adopting the company’s language word for word, in an effort that culminated in President Donald Trump promising favorable action on the mine, according to emails…” wrote CNN.
The headline said the collaboration was “secret.”
Except it wasn’t — the public records made by environmental groups and delivered to CNN reporters gave reporters all they felt they needed to know, because it was not secret to begin with. It was not redacted or withheld, but delivered upon request.
Why? Because Gov. Dunleavy has not been secret about his intent to stand up to the EPA about its unfair process under policy set by the Obama White House and the governorship of Bill Walker, who slow-rolled every state decision on Pebble.
If you read the mainstream media or D. Cole, a “resist” activist who writes regularly for the Fairbanks News Miner and other mainstream publications, you’d get the impression that using white-paper talking points is somehow a bad thing.
And yet, it’s quite common. Talking points are given to governors all the time from subject experts. It’s called information sharing. Gov. Walker used talking points provided to his office by Criminal Justice reform advocates when he signed SB 91 into law, for instance.
And that brings us back to Gov. Walker. What is uncommon is for a Governor’s Office to put a State Seal on a white paper written by environmental groups.
This is exactly what happened under the Walker Administration, yet the mainstream media — CNN, Dermot Cole, etc. — was dead silent.
The document that the former governor put the State Seal on? It was titled “Alaskans Celebrate: EPA Right to Keep Bristol Bay Protections in Place,” and was a clear message to the public that the State of Alaska had taken a position against the Pebble Mine and against allowing the company to apply for a permit.
It was not written by the Governor’s Office, but was provided to the Governor’s Office. And it was jointly issued with the State Seal affixed:
This use of the State Seal on an anti-Pebble Mine talking-point paper occurred under the guidance of former Chief of Staff Scott Kendall, who is now the lead attorney for Recall Dunleavy Committee, the group trying to get Gov. Mike Dunleavy recalled. Kendall will appear in court tomorrow in Anchorage to try to advance his group’s recall petition to a special election.
Kendall, who once again represents anti-Pebble organizations, had previously done extensive legal work for groups fighting the Pebble Project and had never recused himself in any decision making when he became chief of staff to the governor.
The talking points he approved is linked below:
In the Walker-Obama era, this was standard operating procedure. It was acceptable for environmental groups to collude behind the scenes with the EPA to disenfranchise the Pebble Partnership from being allowed to participate in the fair permitting process under the Clean Water Act. The EPA simply told Pebble that it could not even apply for a permit. It, alone among any projects in America, would not be allowed to approach the imperial throne.
Now, the Dunleavy Administration is simply requesting is that the EPA does what it says it would do under the Trump Administration, which is to remove the pre-emptive vetoes that circumvent the public process. Let the project advance or be denied on its merits.
What the public isn’t being told by CNN is that the news organization received this story, practically turnkey, from the National Resources Defense Council and that it has no intention of being fair in its reporting on Pebble, on the Trump Administration, or on America. CNN has revealed itself once again to be wedded to the Left and beholden to its talking points.