Oregon Senator Ron Wyden’s hold on Lyle Laverty’s appointment as assistant Interior secretary for fish, wildlife and parks was broken when Senator Harry Reid pushed the confirmation through while Wyden was away from the Senate welcoming the arrival of his newborn twins.
“Salvador” at the DailyKos points out that Wyden’s hold was intended to prevent another MacDonald at Interior :
According to a former Director [pdf] of the Endangered Species program at the Department of Fish and Wildlife, McDonald “harassed, bullied, and insulted employees” of the ES program “to ignore good science” and consistently rejected staff recommendations to classify plants and animals as endangered under the Endagered Species Act.McDonald “did not want to accept petitions to list species as endangered, and she did not want to designate critical habitats. The net effect was to minimize the Endangered Species Act (ESA), or to ensnare it in litigation where possible”, and her activities included leaking documents to entities opposed to implementation of the ESA.
Wyden was holding up the nomination of Laverty until he could get an agreement from the Bush administration not to engage in similar transgressions.
From the AP article cited above:
A spokesman for Reid, D-Nev., declined to comment Tuesday. Reid had been pushing for a vote on Laverty’s nomination, citing pressure from the Bush administration and senators in Colorado and other states.
Laverty had Salazar’s support. So the Bush Administration was doling out pressure to confirm Laverty but refused to assure the Senate that his conduct would be unlike Julie MacDonald’s ? Reid doesn’t just roll over – he cheap shots Wyden’s responsible exercise of legislative oversight aimed at protecting the public environmental interest while Wyden’s twins are being born…