Bloomberg Spent Millions to Staff State AG Offices With Climate Radicals
Written by Luis Miguel
Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg is funding a program that pays the salaries of progressive lawyers who are installed at the offices of Democratic state attorneys general in order to pursue climate-related litigation, meaning the former New York mayor has essentially amassed an army of state law-enforcement employees.
Bloomberg’s current presidential bid has drawn attention to the arrangement, which currently pays the salaries of “Special Assistant Attorneys General” (SAAGs) in the offices of 10 Democratic AGs.
The program is known as the New York University School of Law’s State Energy & Environmental Impact Center. It hires mid-career lawyers as “research fellows,” then provides them to state AGs to help them score court wins for the progressive climate agenda.
Bloomberg Family Foundation Inc., informally known as “Bloomberg Philanthropies,” gave $5.6 million to start the State Impact Center. The funds came in the form of a $2.8 million payment in 2017 and another $2.8 million the next year.
Because the Bloomberg Family Foundation’s IRS 990 forms are not available for 2019 or 2020, it is not known whether the organization continued to fund the State Impact Center this year or last.
The arrangement has drawn criticism from Republicans, who say it crosses ethical boundaries.
“This is a fundamental question of ethics and who’s running our government,” said West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. “When you actually get to place someone in under a specific agenda and then pay them and they’re within the office, that starts to call into question whether there are multiple masters within an attorney general office and that starts to really stink.”
Another Republican state attorney general, Curtis Hill of Indiana, voiced his concern about the cooperation between Bloomberg Philanthropies, NYU, and state AG offices. “What’s problematic is the arrangement through which a private organization or individual can promote an overtly political agenda by paying the salaries of government employees.”
The NYU State Impact Center’s website says it presently has attorneys placed in the AG offices of Washington, D.C.; Delaware; Connecticut; Illinois; Massachusetts; Maryland; Minnesota; New Mexico; New York; and Oregon. Each of these offices is run by a Democrat attorney general.
The organization’s executive director, David Hayes, formerly served in both the Clinton and Obama administrations. In a 2017 e-mail to state attorneys general, Hayes set forth the qualifications for AGs seeking to hire SAAGs from the State Impact Center. “The opportunity to potentially hire an NYU Fellow is open to all state attorneys general who demonstrate a need and commitment to defending environmental values and advancing progressive clean energy, climate change, and environmental legal positions,” Hayes wrote.
In other words, the AGs must be actively pursuing policies that align with Michael Bloomberg’s climate ideology.
Hayes’ e-mail, obtained by the conservative nonprofit Energy Policy Advocates, continued: “State attorneys general should describe the particular scope of needs within their offices related to the advancement and defense of progressive clean energy, climate change, and environmental matters.”
Chris Horner, an attorney who worked with Energy Policy Advocates on public records request into the State Impact Center, called the program’s “nonpartisan” description a façade that hides its “progressive” goals.
“Nonpartisan, in that you need just promise to use the mercenaries to advance ‘progressive’ climate legal positions,” said Horner. “So, partisan? Perish the thought. It’s merely ideological.”
In public and in private, the State Impact Center and its associates show a bias against the Trump administration. For example, the organization’s website celebrates the fact that state AGs have taken more than 300 legal actions against this administration since President Trump took office.
Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, one of the most involved AGs during the group’s early stages, explicitly said he was using the attorneys contracted through the State Impact Center (whom he called “Bloomberg Fellows”) to fight the Trump administration.
“It turns out that our first Bloomberg Fellow, Josh Segal, was a student of yours at Harvard. He’s a big fan,” Frosh wrote in a 2018 e-mail to Yale Law School professor Heather Gerken. “We are looking to fill a second position…. Do you know anyone 5-10 years out of school who would be interested in saving the planet from the predations of [Trump EPA Chief] Scott Pruitt and [Trump Interior Secretary] Ryan Zinke?”
So-called Bloomberg Fellows remain employees of the State Impact Center even though they technically report to their respective AGs during the two years they are on loan.
“It’s also very clear that this is being used to attack the presidency of Donald Trump,” Morissey said. “And that raises other questions when the benefactor of this organization is running against the president.”
The West Virginia AG argued that Democrats would be quick to scrutinize such an arrangement if it took place on the other side. “Imagine if the shoe was on the other foot and if the Republican AGs were saying that ExxonMobil was going to be paying for 25 full-time lawyers to be working out of the office?” he asked.
“They’d be paying for them, they’d have to report back to them and talk about what their agenda is. I mean people would go crazy over that concept. Why is that any different? The reality is it’s not.”
Luis Miguel is a writer whose journalistic endeavors shed light on the Deep State, the immigration crisis, and the enemies of freedom. Follow his exploits on Facebook, Twitter, Bitchute, and at luisantoniomiguel.com.
Courtesy of The New American