ETHICS/INTERIOR/RYAN ZINKE: “The Interior Department’s inspector general said it would investigate a reported threat by the agency’s head, Ryan Zinke, against Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski’s state of Alaska last week over her opposition to her party’s efforts to repeal Obamacare.
Zinke called Murkowski and Alaska’s other U.S. senator, Republican Dan Sullivan, on July 26, the day after Murkowski’s crucial vote against a motion to begin debate on the healthcare overhaul, the Alaska Dispatch News reported.
The interior secretary warned the two senators that Murkowski’s vote could have negative consequences for energy and land use in Alaska, the newspaper said. Murkowski spokeswoman Karina Peterson confirmed that Zinke had called the senator.
The Interior Department deals with policies crucial to the state’s economy such as drilling and mining on federal and tribal land and control of wildlife areas.
The inspector general’s office sent a letter to Democratic U.S. Representatives Frank Pallone and Raul Grijalva, the top Democrats on the House committees on energy and natural resources, respectively, on Thursday [8-3-17] evening, saying it would start a preliminary investigation into the matter…
Zinke’s office and the GAO did not immediately respond to requests for comment.”

-Valerie Volcovici, “Senate confirms two FERC commissioners, restoring its quorum,” Retuers, Aug. 4, 2017 09:42am