Trading a few road projects for some tickets to Disney on Ice? Just one of the many acts outlined in the indictment this week of lobbyist Kevin Ring. The recipient of the tickets, as we learned in June, was John Albaugh, chief of staff to former Oklahoma Congressman Ernest Istook (Representative 4 in the indictment and the Justice Department press release).
But reports from the Department of Interior’s Inspector General gave a whole new definition to cozy relationships. Seems some federal employees in the Denver office that oversees an oil and gas royalty program were very friendly with the oil and gas industry folks they worked with.
Capitol Hill Democrats have been a bit touchy about oil and gas royalties anyway since it was revealed that many leases in the Gulf of Mexico didn’t contain mechanisms for collecting royalty payments after oil and gas prices reached certain levels.