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

Guest collusion 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.”

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33 thoughts on “Michael Bloomberg: Funding Environmental Mercenaries in Blue-State Attorneys General Offices

    • That uber-rich, Wall Street white guy has zero chance in the Party of Children.
      But hey, more power to him. Trump would eat his lunch in an election. But there’s no chance of him making past the early primaries with the screaming kiddies in his new party.

      They just want his money, like the spoiled kid with daddy’s credit card.

    • to answer question below:

      Aside from New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Virginia, the other states participating in the NYU program are Oregon, Maryland, Washington state and New Mexico.

  1. Wow! No doubt they’ll be taking legal action next to force the USA to join the EU (European socialist republic Union) in order to force Paris; and other agreements; to bankrupt all businesses with ‘climate change’ costs.

  2. Being partisan in application, I hope Trump admin doesnt allow tx deductions (which gets extracted out of the pockets of other tx payers.)

  3. How can you give the appearance of fairness if you are paid by a private body? Corrupt or what.

  4. What I wish the report did was specifically list the State’s AG offices with these moles.
    And the report needs to “name names.” I couldn’t find that info anywhere. If they have it (which apparently they do to make the claims), they need to make it public.

    – Give the state and the name of the Attorney General that has corrupted itself and allowed its office to be weaponized against political opponents.
    – They need to name the NYU fellow working in each state AG office and what legal actions and lawsuits they have brought.

    The voters in those states need to see what their AG is doing behind closed doors.

    • Your comment prompted some digging. The article references a report 2 months ago from Chris Horner, somehow I missed it. It provides a lot of detail but not the list you request as far as I can tell.
      So I searched what is happening in my state, Oregon. Interesting, I search the AGs website for “climate change” and found one link to the governors budget, where it is mentioned once stating federal litigation is included in the environmental section. I searched the entire DOJ site for “climate change, and found zero links. Then a google search “oregon state attorney general “climate change” turns up this announcement:
      https://www.doj.state.or.us/media-home/news-media-releases/ag-rosenblum-announces-appointment-of-steve-novick-as-nyu-state-impact-center-legal-fellow/
      AG Rosenblum Announces Appointment of Steve Novick as NYU State Impact Center Legal Fellow
      June 22, 2018
      • Posted in Media Release

      Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum today announced the appointment of former Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick as a Legal Fellow from the NYU State Impact Center. As a Legal Fellow, Novick will work as an Oregon Special Assistant Attorney General on legal cases related to clean energy, climate change and the environment. The position is funded through NYU’s State Impact Center, but the work will be overseen by the Oregon Department of Justice.
      “Steve comes with an incredible background in environmental work. For nearly 10 years, he worked as a Trial and Senior Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, representing the EPA in some of the most complex environmental litigation cases,” said Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. “The progress Oregon has made over the last several decades to protect and preserve our environment seems to be under attack every day. By adding one additional attorney to our team we are able to grow our environmental work, and focus more on many of the environmental issues that are so important to Oregonians.”

      The State Impact Center supports capacity-building within state attorney general offices through the hiring of a limited number of NYU Law Fellows with five to 10 years of experience in clean energy, climate change, and environmental issues as special assistant attorneys general (SAAGs). These SAAGs will be available for a two-year period to provide a supplemental, in-house resource to attorneys general and their senior staffs on clean energy, climate change and environmental matters of regional and national importance.

      Oregon DOJ was selected by the State Impact Center in December. More details of the announcement can be found here.
      http://www.law.nyu.edu/centers/state-impact/news/3-more-attorneysgeneral-selected-to-boost-legal-work-on-energy-environment-climate
      “Pennsylvania, Oregon and Virginia selected; 10 AG offices now participating in State Impact Center’s fellowship program “

      • An outside-funded state Special Attorney General, with the subpoena powers of the State, is probably an unconstitutional and an ethics violation in all 50 states and DC. The Unconstitutional reason is the Legislature power of the purse and legislative oversight is usurped. The reason it is legally unethical is the reporting requirement back to NYU and the private funding entity about what they are doing in the state AG office. That’s likely an Unethical ex parte communication as Wisconsin AG realized.

        But the Democrats don’t of course care about their ethics (the lack thereof), only those that they can pin on Republicans.

        • “An ex parte communication is a written or oral communication between a decisionmaker and an interested person concerning any issue in a formal proceeding, other than procedural matters that does not occur in a public forum established in the proceeding or on the record of the proceeding. Ex parte communications include communications that are one-way from a decisionmaker to an interested person”.
          http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/exparte_communications/
          In the strictest sense, most lawyers are familiar with ex parte communications not allowed by judges without both opposing counsels present or fully informed what the communication was. But there is a broader interpretation of ex parte (as above) that still applies to public officials as officers of the court when they seek subpeonas or other legal powers. Ex parte communications must be fully disclosed, other wise they are unethical.

          So unless the State AG’s with these NYU special deputy AG’s fully disclose what the special deputy AG’s under their supervision disclose to NYU and their outside paymasters, these communications are almost certainly unethical and violation of State Bar guidelines.

      • Kent,

        I read through the report:
        “STATE ATTORNEYS GENERAL:
        13 MONTHS OF CRITICAL ACTIONS
        February 2018”

        from The State Energy & Environmental Impact Center at NYU School of Law.
        https://gallery.mailchimp.com/8c3272f6ebbb6024dc1359725/files/fdbd6457-5cff-4672-8bd7-5cae63ba69aa/Web_Report_StateImpactCenter_Final.04.pdf

        I found it quite deceptive by omission of critical information. In all sections. Very one-sided application of information. It is Intentionally misleading.

        One glaring example was under the CPP implementation section and the fight SE&EIC are putting up against the Trump Admin and EPA’s killing of CPP. That sections discusses all legal actions back and forth over the years, but it utterly fails to even mention the historic STAY that SCOTUS imposed on the Obama EPA implementation of CPP in February 2016.

        ref: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2016/02/09/supreme-court-puts-the-brakes-on-the-epas-clean-power-plan/

        How convenient they ignore that CPP was not likely to pass Constitutional muster under the majority view of the then Supreme Court (with Antonin Scalia). Which of course is just one reason the Left is so livid about Justice Kavanaugh, ensuring their unconstitutional climate actions in the future get killed by SCOTUS. As Judge Kavanaugh said in one of his opinions from his DC Appellate Court rulings, “Climate Change is not a blank check for the President.”

  5. Not to mention Bloomberg News and Business, the media division. The Bloomberg business news has had mandatory reporting of ‘carbon’ related issues for quite some time and is really ramping this up throughout a lot of their normal reporting. This has led to the normalization in the wider business community that CO2 emissions are the evil culprit responsible for the coming end of the word as we know it in 19 years. So now, like Stockholm Syndrome , business leaders are paying homage to this new religion, and their patron saint. So now Bloomberg will be able to report directly (impartially?) on his own news and business channels their effectiveness in funding partisan interests in AG offices. Sounds like getting close to abusive monopolistic interference in democratic institutions.

  6. “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…” Makes sense to me. ‘Course the MSM would have a valvey.

    • Two wrongs don’t make a right.

      Besides which, do any of the organizations mentioned have a position on global warming/climate change? I doubt it. Just more polarization in an over-polarized society.

      • In a battle, if one side plays by the rules, and the other ignores the rules. The side that ignores the rules almost always wins.

      • It seems to be simply fundamentally wrong to allow ANYONE, especially lawyers, to be given ANY of the State’s authority and not be accountable to or through elected officials (who are, in theory, accountable to the electorate). To do otherwise is to pervert the constitution of the US and the one man, one vote rule. [It essentially means one man; no vote]

  7. I’m convinced that the Greens have usurped the Civil Service in the UK’s government, specifically in Claire Perry’s dept where she is Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. In all the correspondence I’ve had with her (dept) I detect the standard green baffle-gab in their responses.

    I once wrote to ask her about energy prices for off-shore wind, which she champions – that it will be three times as expensive as coal/gas generation – but all I got back in response was a letter that could have been written by the Green party. In my letter I pointed out that her Wiki entry says she was at Brasenose College, Oxford with George Monbiot and he claimed that she was: “a firebrand who wanted to nationalise the banks and overthrow capitalism”. In a childish scribble on the back of the letter she said to me she said: “Do not believe everything you read on Wiki”.

    I couldn’t be bothered to write back to her that, as a high-powered Government Minister, she was surrounded by capable assistants who would be able to go to Wiki and update her profile to correct the ‘mis-quote’. Yet, it exists to this day. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claire_Perry

    Later, I FOI’d the department to ask how many of the staff in it were declared on their CVs as members of the Green Party. The request was turned down on grounds of cost because TPTB thought a) it would be too expensive to trawl through all CVs (not digitised???); and b) applicants did not have to include such information. (for a job in a Government dept? Sure…).

  8. Take an egomaniac with lots of money, add vengeance for not being able to beat his opponent, simmer with socialist control freak tendencies, add a lack of physical stature and poof, you have a four foot tall Michael Bloomberg on a rant. Being the shortest guy in the room, particularly when you’re getting your ass handed to you by a tall guy.

  9. Let them fester in place.
    It’s corruption in action and they are not likely to do productive things.
    When 2020 comes around, they will not help get looney bloomyberg elected.

  10. Admittedly, I don’t understand the US justice system, but how is it possible for outside interests to insert people into government offices, who have not been hired or appointed in the regular way? Isn’t some law, regulation, or constitutional principle being violated by this?

    • It sure seems like it should be illegal… And at least one State, Wisconsin, says it violates their public official ethics laws.

  11. “The public’s expectation is that a state’s chief law enforcement official acts in an unbiased and objective manner
    This guy is living in a fantasy. State attorneys have never been that. 20 Texan attorneys caught doing prosecutorial misconduct only one punished by the bar association. Do anything to get suspect found guilty.

  12. I watched a video about 2 weeks ago on suing oil/energy companies (fossil energy companies) and during the conversation, I heard one of them say (I’m paraphrasing from memory) that the way to be successful is to keep bringing new lawsuits until one of them sticks. In other words, they are going to sue, sue, and sue and learn from their mistakes along the way until they are successful.

    I wonder if Bloomberg is invested and/or connected in any way to intermittent renewable energy companies/investments?

  13. I’d have more confidence in Mike Bloomberg’s environmental credentials if it wasn’t for the fact that he owns at least a dozen properties around the US and Europe and a fleet of aircraft to ferry him to each.

    If Bloomberg’s going to insist he’s an environmentalist shouldn’t he be selling off his properties and aircraft? Shouldn’t the MSM be asking him how he can consider himself an environmentalist when he has a carbon footprint the size of a few hundred American families?

  14. Why is there no surprise in this? None at all?

    I’d like to know how much whoever is in the Illinois AG’s office is getting from Bloomberg’s generous funding and whether or not this can be stopped. We’re already in a fight with Foxconn over its desire to construct a tech production plant in the Pleasant Prairie, WI, area, with the prospect of Foxconn’s using the Des Plaines watershed as a dump for their chemical waste. Since that affects not just the wildlife in the area but also the quality of water in general, whoever is Bloomberg’s plant should be on that like a bug on an empty dog food can, but I haven’t seen one single thing about it in the local newsrag or the Trib.

  15. YES, it IS worth repeating…so I’ll repeat it again:

    “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.”

    Well said and something that should be repeated loudly and often at every Climate Nazi Fest where the involved AGs celebrate their criminal dedication to advancing their agenda.

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