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Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Interior at United States Department of the Interior

John R. Tanner is the Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Interior at United States Department of the Interior. He was previously on “the Legislative Affairs team at the Department of the Interior” after working as a longtime congressional staffer in Washington, D.C. Tanner, “a native of Brigham City,” Utah, previously worked as Senator Orrin Hatch’s Legislative Director—Tanner had worked in Hatch’s Washington D.C. office since 2010, working his way up from Legislative Policy Advisor. He worked previously for Rep. Rob Bishop in Utah, first as Constituent Services Representative/Field Representative from 2003 to 2007, then as Salt Lake Area Director from 2008 to 2010. In 2003, he also worked as an Escrow Assistant at Pinnacle Title Company. Tanner holds a B.A. in Spanish/Business from Utah State University.

Sources: [Orrin Hatch, Press Release, 11/13/17, Orrin Hatch, Press Release, 01/13/17, LinkedIn Profile for John Tanner, accessed 11/15/17, and Legistorm Profile for John Tanner, accessed 11/15/17]

Background Information

Previous Employers

Sen. Orrin Hatch

Rep. Rob Bishop

Pinnacle Title Company

Political Connections

John Tanner was a longtime congressional staffer; he has worked for both Representative Rob Bishop and Senator Orrin Hatch.  

Tanner worked previously for Representative Rob Bishop in Utah, first as Constituent Services Representative/Field Representative from 2003 to 2007, then as Salt Lake Area Director from 2008 to 2010.

Tanner worked in Senator Orrin Hatch’s office as a Legislative Policy Adviser from June 1010 to June 2014, as Hatch’s Deputy Legislative Director from June 2014 to June 2017, and most recently as Hatch’s Legislative Director from February 2017 to November 2017. [LinkedIn Profile for John Tanner, accessed 11/15/17, and Legistorm Profile for John Tanner, accessed 11/15/17]

Financials

Financial Disclosure

[Office of Government Ethics]

Department of the Interior salary: $168,000

[John Tanner, ProPublica’s Trump Town, accessed 03/14/18]

 

Other Information

John Tanner worked for years in the district office of Rep. Rob Bishop, who even “taught Tanner government and American history in high school.” Bishop has repeatedly introduced legislation that threatens the protection of public lands.

John Tanner worked for Rep. Rob Bishop in Utah, first as Constituent Services Representative/Field Representative from 2003 to 2007, then as Salt Lake Area Director from 2008 to 2010. Bishop even “taught Tanner government and American history in high school.” Tanner said of working for Bishop that “‘It was kind of fun to continue my education with him.'” [LinkedIn Profile for John Tanner, accessed 11/15/17, and “Hatch Staffers Value Their Beehive State Roots,” Congressional Quarterly News, 07/07/14]

Rob Bishop has repeatedly “introduced legislation to overhaul the Antiquities Act,” which has “been used to protect a broad range of areas for a broad range of purposes.” [Rebecca Worby, “In Congress, an effort to curtail national monuments,” High Country News, 10/18/17]

John Tanner supports rescinding Bears Ears National Monument, claiming that its monument status has only “astroturf support, not real grassroots support.”

John Tanner opposed the designation of Bears Ears National Monument, and supports rescinding its monument status. Tanner wrote, “I have been to the Bears Ears twice to help with the study. It is a beautiful place that deserves protection. But a national monument designation is not the way to do it. The President can only create the boundaries of the monument. His agencies can develop a land management plan but they can’t give management authority to the Native Americans who hold these lands sacred. That is something that needs to happen and it is something only Congress can do. The area within the Bears Ears boundaries is too big to be managed as a national monument. The current designation doesn’t have much support from the local people – there is broad support from people who will have no involvement in the management of the Monument but it is astroturf support, not real grassroots support. Zinke should tell Trump to should rescind the Monument and urge Congress to put better protections on the lands and the Indian ruins in the area.” [LinkedIn Post by John R. Tanner, accessed 11/14/17]

John Tanner supported a 2012 bill demanding the federal government transfer public lands to the State of Utah. The bill was sponsored by Utah State Rep. Ken Ivory, the founder of the American Lands Council, an organization that advocates for the transfer of federal public lands.

John Tanner re-tweeted a tweet by former Utah Attorney General John Swallow that said, “How cool it was to see months of work culminate in the signing of HB 148 on pub lands  Kudos to Ivory, Barrus, Lee, Herbert, Hatch & team UT.” [Tweet by John Swallow, 03/23/12, accessed 11/15/17]

Utah House Bill 148, signed into law by Governor Gary Herbert in 2012, “asks the federal government, which owns a majority of the land in the state, to give back more than 20 million acres.” The bill was sponsored by Utah State Rep. Ken Ivory, the founder of the American Lands Council, an organization that advocates for the transfer of federal public lands. [Kirk Johnson, “Utah Asks U.S. to Return 20 Million Acres of Land,” The New York Times, 03/24/12]

John Tanner has raked in more than $1 million from the federal government.

Since FY 2004, John Tanner has made $1,047,451 in salary working for Utah Republicans Rep. Rob Bishop and Sen. Orrin Hatch. [Legistorm Salary Data for John R. Tanner, accessed 11/15/17]