Pruitt lands Rose Bowl tickets for family, thanks to an energy company PR firm

Ted Eytan/Flickr

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s industry connections seem to have landed him yet another perk—highly sought-after Rose Bowl tickets on New Year’s Day, courtesy of a PR firm that specializes in “crisis management” for energy companies. (Perhaps they also specialize in crisis management for beleaguered EPA administrators? Asking for a friend.) Maryland representative Elijah Cummings detailed the controversy in a letter on Friday, asking Renzi Stone, the head of the Oklahoma-based communications firm Saxum and a University of Oklahoma regent, to explain the exchange, which was initially recounted by Pruitt’s former director of scheduling in a testimony before the House Oversight Committee. Stone apparently connected Pruitt with the school's athletics department, which keeps a special allotment of tickets for bigwigs and alums, and Pruitt then purchased the Rose Bowl sets at the supposed market value of $175 per ticket. (Though similar seats were going for as much as seven times that amount in secondary markets.) In his letter, Cummings noted that one of Saxum’s clients is currently petitioning the EPA, although Stone said the client’s contract had ended. Like in the recently reported case of courtside basketball tickets snagged from a coal baron, Pruitt paying money for these insider experiences doesn’t change the fact that his coziness with industry pals—and his comfort with consistently towing the ethical line—has been going on for far too long.

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