Salazar to inherit lavish Interior office bathroom

It’s no “Bridge to Nowhere” but budget hawks may have needed a cold shower after The Washington Post reported that Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne renovated his private office bathroom to the tune of $235,000 courtesy of U.S. taxpayers. Talk about trickle down economics.

And incoming secretary-nominee, Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar, is in for a tinkling treat in a tricked-out washroom that features:

• a new shower
• monogrammed towels
• floor-to-ceiling wainscot wood panels
• a hidden refrigerator and freezer unit ensconced in wood cabinetry
• lavish tile work

A career Interior employee told the Post of Kempthorne’s predecessor, “If Gale Norton needed to shower, at least she was conservative enough to go to the gym in the basement of the building.”

When a staffer recalls the good ol’ days of embattled former Interior Secretary Norton you know the department is in the crapper. Norton’s tenure was marked by land use controversies, the Minerals Management Service’s Denver office sex, drugs and oil scandal while her top deputy Steven Griles and close aide Italia Federici were convicted of multiple federal crimes for their roles in the Jack Abramoff bribery scandal.

The former Denver resident resigned in disgrace from Interior and now works as a legal adviser for Royal Dutch Shell on oil-shale projects — further sullying her reputation with environmentalists.

Good luck, Sen. Salazar.

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Wendy Norris

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