Michael Bloomberg: Funding Environmental Mercenaries in Blue-State Attorneys General Offices

Michael Bloomberg: Funding Environmental Mercenaries in Blue-State Attorneys General Offices

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Guest whatever by David Middleton

From RealClearInvestigations:

How Bloomberg Embeds Green Warriors in Blue-State Governments

By Jeff Patch, Real Clear Investigations
October 10, 2018

A New York University School of Law program funded by billionaire Michael Bloomberg is placing lawyers in the offices of Democratic state attorneys general and paying them to prosecute energy companies and challenge Trump administration policies on energy and the environment.

Nine states and Washington, D.C., including New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania, are participating in the multimillion-dollar program funded by the media magnate and ex-New York City mayor, who re-registered as a Democrat this week amid expectations of a run for president in 2020.

The 14 current fellows in the program report to the attorneys general, but they are paid by NYU’s Bloomberg-funded State Energy & Environmental Impact Center. State AG offices hire these trained lawyers – who are not students but seasoned professionals with years of experience – as special assistant attorneys general. Under terms of the arrangement, the fellows work solely to advance progressive climate change policy at a time when Democratic state attorneys general have investigated and sued ExxonMobil and other energy companies over alleged damages due to climate change.

[…]

The center was launched in mid-August 2017 with a reported grant of nearly $6 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the charitable entity controlled by the billionaire. It is billed as a non-partisan project to help “state attorneys general fight against regulatory rollbacks and advance clean energy, climate change [responses], and environmental values and protections.”

[…]

The full extent of the attorneys’ participation in many cases is veiled by attorney-client confidentiality. In an email last year to Democratic-held offices, Hayes wrote that “we are engaged with ethics experts and individuals in some of your offices to ensure confidentiality” of the program’s work. The email was provided to RealClearInvestigations by the office of Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, a Democrat.

The center’s staff has made virtually no effort to engage Republican offices.

[…]

“The public’s expectation is that a state’s chief law enforcement official acts in an unbiased and objective manner,” said Harold Kim, the executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform. “Regardless of the underlying issue, when political interest groups participate in embedding paid staff in a state attorney general’s office, that credibility is called into question.”

Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute suggested the NYU center is less likely to spur reform than an ideological arms race.

“It seems the only way to wake our usual constitutional watchdogs to the abuse is for conservative AGs to accept Federalist Society, National Rifle Association and National Right-to-Life chaired prosecutor positions to investigate those groups’ political opponents and advance their agendas,” he said.

RealClearInvestigations

Worth repeating…

“The public’s expectation is that a state’s chief law enforcement official acts in an unbiased and objective manner,” said Harold Kim, the executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform. “Regardless of the underlying issue, when political interest groups participate in embedding paid staff in a state attorney general’s office, that credibility is called into question.”

Superforest,Climate Change

via Watts Up With That? https://ift.tt/1Viafi3

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