Gary Trauner Should Be Best Skier in Congress (Now Only the Election Stands in His Way)


Shortly after I wrote this post yesterday, I received a note from Gary Trauner, whose campaign for Wyoming’s at-large seat in Congress fell 500 votes short in 2006. Gary is a regular TWN reader and offered to take a few turns with me down the mountain.
TWN readers will probably be interested in Gary’s policy outlook. There are obvious limits on how deep political conversations can become on freezing cold chairlifts, but a few things became immediately clear. Gary is strongly committed to accountability in government and he takes a non-ideological approach to policy decisions. He is refreshingly in touch with happenings around Wyoming and equally interested in how America’s role in the world has changed.
These talks took up very little of our day today — and I hope there will be time for more such conversations in the future. Today was about skiing, so I should pass along sincere thanks to Gary and his friends Ruby and Andrew — fantastic skiers all — for showing this Yankee around Wyoming’s biggest, baddest mountain on a fantastic powder day.
Gary’s 2008 run for the House is going to heat up relatively soon. Should he win, he would not only bring a rational and down-to-earth perspective to Washington, he would almost certainly be the best skier in the House of Representatives (Mark Udall, running for the Senate this year, would apparently offer the stiffest competition).
— Scott Paul


6 comments on “Gary Trauner Should Be Best Skier in Congress (Now Only the Election Stands in His Way)

  1. Ilene says:

    Oops! Here’s the link to the story about Gary Trauner, Wyoming ski hero and Congressional candidate.


  2. Ilene says:

    I was greatly amused to see your post about Gary Trauner as potentially the best skier in Congress. I actually wrote a story on my website about a ski adventure with Gary, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, many years ago. He is one seriously good skier alright, as is evident in this anectdote.


  3. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Yep, by golly, Bush flips us all the bird, politicizing the various branches of our government to the advantage of the global corporations, flaunting the law in extreme abuses of Executive power.
    But hey, the powder is great on the mountain, Trauner is Congress’ best skier. So be sure to cast your pretend vote in the primaries, kiddies.
    EPA Turns Over Limited Documents
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Invoking executive privilege, the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday refused to provide lawmakers with a full explanation of why it rejected California’s greenhouse gas regulations.
    The EPA informed Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., that many of the documents she had requested contained internal deliberations or attorney-client communications that would not be shared now with Congress.
    “EPA is concerned about the chilling effect that would occur if agency employees believed their frank and honest opinions and analysis expressed as part of assessing California’s waiver request were to be disclosed in a broad setting,” EPA’s associate administrator Christopher P. Bliley wrote.
    More than a week after a deadline set by Boxer, the agency gave her environmental committee a box of documents with numerous pages left almost entirely blank and others with key information redacted, Boxer said.
    The documents provided Friday by the EPA omitted key details, including a presentation that Senate aides said predicted EPA would lose a lawsuit if it went to court for denying California’s waiver.
    The refusal to provide a full explanation is the latest twist in a congressional investigation into why the agency denied California permission to impose what would have been the country’s toughest greenhouse gas standards on cars, trucks and sports utility vehicles.
    Sixteen states were ready to adopt the California rules or were considering doing so had the EPA approved the state’s request for a waiver under the state Clean Air Act.
    In denying California’s waiver last month, EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson told Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger that the federal government is implementing its own national fuel efficiency standard.
    Johnson’s decision spurred several congressional investigations and a legal appeal earlier this month by California and 15 other states.
    Boxer and Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., for weeks have asked the agency for more information about why it denied California’s plan.
    She called the agency’s failure to comply with a legitimate congressional request “an insult to the American people and a dereliction of duty.”
    Boxer had threatened to subpoena the agency if it did not turn over the waiver documents. She said she would continue her quest for all the information. Boxer aides said the agency’s offer to show her the redacted information privately was not satisfactory.
    EPA spokesman Jonathan Shradar said Boxer and her aides were welcome to view and take notes on all the documents.
    “The documents are going to show the decision remained the responsibility of the administrator,” Shradar said. “He stands by his decision.”
    Everything except the titles was omitted from 16 pages of a 43-page Power Point presentation, according to copy of the document e-mailed to The Associated Press.
    California needs a federal waiver under the Clean Air Act to implement its tailpipe rules, which would force automakers to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent in new cars and light trucks by 2016, with reductions starting in the 2009 model year.
    At least 16 other state also want to implement the regulations.
    Earlier this month, California and 15 other states sued the EPA in a bid to force the agency to review its decision. The lawsuit was another reason cited by the agency Friday for keeping its decision-making documents private.
    “Further disclosure of this type of confidential information could jeopardize the agency’s ability to effectively litigate claims related to California’s waiver request,” the EPA’s Bliley wrote.


  4. Scott Paul says:

    Thanks for the heads up, Matt – I had forgotten. I’ll make that correction ASAP.


  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Best skier in Congress?
    Gads, Scott. Its all, a big effin’ game to you, isn’t it?
    January 20, 2008
    FBI denies file exposing nuclear secrets theft
    The FBI has been accused of covering up a file detailing government dealings with a network stealing nuclear secretsINSIGHT
    THE FBI has been accused of covering up a key case file detailing evidence against corrupt government officials and their dealings with a network stealing nuclear secrets.
    The assertion follows allegations made in The Sunday Times two weeks ago by Sibel Edmonds, an FBI whistleblower, who worked on the agency’s investigation of the network.
    Edmonds, a 37-year-old former Turkish language translator, listened into hundreds of sensitive intercepted conversations while based at the agency’s Washington field office.
    She says the FBI was investigating a Turkish and Israeli-run network that paid high-ranking American officials to steal nuclear weapons secrets. These were then sold on the international black market to countries such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
    One of the documents relating to the case was marked 203A-WF-210023. Last week, however, the FBI responded to a freedom of information request for a file of exactly the same number by claiming that it did not exist. But The Sunday Times has obtained a document signed by an FBI official showing the existence of the file.
    Edmonds believes the crucial file is being deliberately covered up by the FBI because its contents are explosive. She accuses the agency of an “outright lie”.
    “I can tell you that that file and the operations it refers to did exist from 1996 to February 2002. The file refers to the counterintelligence programme that the Department of Justice has declared to be a state secret to protect sensitive diplomatic relations,” she said.
    The freedom of information request had not been initiated by Edmonds. It was made quite separately by an American human rights group called the Liberty Coalition, acting on a tip-off it received from an anonymous correspondent.
    The letter says: “You may wish to request pertinent audio tapes and documents under FOIA from the Department of Justice, FBI-HQ and the FBI Washington field office.”
    It then makes a series of allegations about the contents of the file – many of which corroborate the information that Edmonds later made public.
    Edmonds had told this newspaper that members of the Turkish political and diplomatic community in the US had been actively acquiring nuclear secrets. They often acted as a conduit, she said, for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s spy agency, because they attracted less suspicion.
    She claimed corrupt government officials helped the network, and venues such as the American-Turkish Council (ATC) in Washington were used as drop-off points.
    The anonymous letter names a high-level government official who was allegedly secretly recorded speaking to an official at the Turkish embassy between August and December 2001.
    It claims the government official warned a Turkish member of the network that they should not deal with a company called Brewster Jennings because it was a CIA front company investigating the nuclear black market. The official’s warning came two years before Brewster Jennings was publicly outed when one of its staff, Valerie Plame, was revealed to be a CIA agent in a case that became a cause célèbre in the US.
    The letter also makes reference to wiretaps of Turkish “targets” talking to ISI intelligence agents at the Pakistani embassy in Washington and recordings of “operatives” at the ATC.
    Edmonds is the subject of a number of state secret gags preventing her from talking further about the investigation she witnessed.
    “I cannot discuss the details considering the gag orders,” she said, “but I reported all these activities to the US Congress, the inspector general of the justice department and the 9/11 commission. I told them all about what was contained in this case file number, which the FBI is now denying exists.
    “This gag was invoked not to protect sensitive diplomatic relations but criminal activities involving US officials who were endangering US national security.”


Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *