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Law Enforcement for Rent

August 29, 2018

Details how environmental lobbyists and green special interests are corrupting state Attorney's General offices to encourage, inform and file climate lawsuits.

“This paper details an extensive and elaborate campaign using elective law enforcement offices, in coordination with major donors and activist pressure groups, to attain a policy agenda that failed through the democratic process. Beginning in 2012 activists agreed to seek ‘a single sympathetic attorney general’ to assist their cause. AGs began subpoenaing private parties’ records in service of a campaign of litigation against opponents of their climate policy agenda. Public records show: (a) donors introduced plaintiffs’ lawyers to AG offices (OAGs), (b) a slideshow tour by plaintiffs’ lawyers recruiting OAGs to the effort, and (c) senior attorneys from OAGs flying in—some at taxpayer expense and others on the donors’ tab, which had been run through a pressure group— for a briefing with ‘prospective funders’ about ‘potential state causes of action against major carbon producers.’ AG’s offices attempted to suppress but were forced by courts to release public records revealing the anatomy of what began as an ‘informal coalition’ of AGs to use the legal system in pursuit of an overtly political agenda in coordination with activists and plaintiffs’ lawyers. That coalition disbanded under open records and media scrutiny, but it has now reconstituted through a program by which donors fund, privately hire, and place investigators and prosecutors in AG offices. It uses a nonprofit organization to pass the funding through and to provide the OAGs with a network of ‘pro bono’ attorneys and public relations services. In return, OAGs provide office activist ‘Special Assistant Attorneys General.’”