But when the people are this colorful you got to focus a little on the people if only to keep reader numbers up.
So this weekend post is to put the color back into the story.
You see Northern and its sister company Voyager Oil are run by boys straight out of central casting. Northern is the larger cap of the two companies – Voyager the later edition. But they are run by brothers had overlapping people involved in their foundation and assets that are core to Voyager were once owned by Northern. They really are sister companies.
Some photos and a good story
The first photo is of Michael Reger (the CEO of Northern Oil) with Shawn Vasell. Vasell shot the deer.
It's a great photo of a fine kill – but the details behind the photo are a much better story. Vasell was at the time a Washington identity. Maybe an identity known only to the most ardent Washington watchers – but still interesting. You see he was a staffer to Conrad Burns and then Porter Goss and then Spencer Abraham – all well known Republicans. He then went to work for Jack Abramoff the lobbyist who plead guilty to defrauding Indian tribes and corrupting public officials. Vasell took the fifth in the Congressional inquiries into the activities of Team Abramoff.
The photo also caused ructions. The deer it seems was shot out of the window of a pick-up (illegal unless you are disabled), on private land without the landholder's permission and the Regers and Vasell trespassed to claim the kill. Poaching charges were laid. JR Reger (now the CEO of Voyager Oil) plead guilty and received fines and a six month suspended sentence. Vasell admitted to one count of hunting without a license and another count of hunting on private property without permission. In his plea agreement, two other charges of violations of big game laws were dropped and he avoided possible jail time. The charges against Michael Reger (now the CEO of Northern Oil) were dropped as part of the plea agreement made by his brother.
All this came about because of a boasting article about the hunt on James R Reger's personal website (once at www.jrreger.com). You can find a copy of the hunting article here. The website has now been scrubbed but some political junkies kept a copy just because well – it was so funny. (Unless you were the judge who described it as “disgusting”.)
And so it is that generally James Reger is more colourful of the Reger boys. I mean what other oil company CEO keeps a Facebook fan's page which consists mostly of tales of him doing non-CEO type things. This is his profile picture:
But its the old jrreger.com website that is most amusing. After all he accuses his brother of misleading people about game he has killed. See this photo.
James captioned the photo as follows: “Pictured above is Michael Lewis Reger posing before some game that our Cousin Trisha shot. Personally, I have a problem with people who take pictures in front of game other people have killed, he does this a lot.” I will let you decide the ethics.
But hey – as far as I know claiming Cousin Trisha's kill is not illegal. Poaching is. And there is a reason why JR Reger got a suspended sentence – which is that it was not a first offence and he was so blatant about law breaking. His old website carried the following paragraph:
Every Monday morning I look forward to reading the paper. Moreover, I look forward to reading about one of my delinquent friends or acquaintances getting into trouble with the Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department. For the fine amount paid, and trust me on this one, the amount of good press you get from doing something wrong is totally worth it. I highly recommend poaching a little or doing something minor to get your name in the paper at least once a year.You can understand the judge – probably a stickler for the law – didn't much like it. Also the same page boasted about prior offences (both his and offences of friends). This was my favorite:
James R. Reger, 27, October 6, 2001. Guiding two out of state hunters on an Owl hunt. $250.00 bond forfeited. Lying to the game warden by saying slain Owls were actually wild turkeys. $125.00 bond forfeited. Hunting and trapping privileges suspended until the cows come home.
Commentary: I'm an Owl hunter, what can I say?
So now we got it straight: convicted criminal (poaching, suspended sentence), lies to government officials (game wardens), hangs around with suspect lobbyists (Vasell and others on Team Abramoff), owl hunter and public company CEO.
Oh, and accuses his brother (also a public company CEO) of misleading people about big game he shot.
And that is your weekend postcard from the boys running Northern and Voyager.