Bloomberg "Special Assistant Attorneys General" Program Also Works...Gun Control - Climate Litigation Watch

Bloomberg “Special Assistant Attorneys General” Program Also Works…Gun Control

CLW has chronicled how the “State Energy & Environmental Impact Center” was created by activist billionaire Michael Bloomberg for the purpose of placing privately hired, activist attorneys in state AG offices as “Special Assistant Attorneys General” to pursue issues of concern to Bloomberg.

As CLW has also chronicled, Bloomberg first awarded two “SAAGs” to the New York Office of Attorney General, which had made a very clumsy appeal for Bloomberg resources that, being stretched so thin from “non-litigation advocacy” (political activism), it just didn’t have enough resources to do its actual job.

Relevant to today’s headlines, emails obtained under state open records laws show the group also worked the “gun control” issue.

Gun control is a Bloomberg issue, not quite an energy, environment or climate issue. But, the Bloomberg group is quite clearly a Bloomberg group.

The below email threads between the group’s then-Communications Director Chris Moyer and aides to AGs of California, the District of Columbia and Massachusetts, discuss a February 27, 2019 “pen-and-pad” session with the Director of Bloomberg’s NYU “climate” Center and four AGs. 

The agenda notes, “This gathering will drive the narrative about AGs leading the way in upholding progressive values on these issues and lead to positive press coverage for state attorneys general.”

This recalls the following excerpt from “Law Enforcement for Rent”:

Substituting Law Enforcement for a Failed Political Agenda

There should be little argument over whether substituting litigation for a failed policy campaign undermines democratic governance and representative government. Similarly, it seems beyond dispute that this is not a proper use of law enforcement. It seems fairly well understood even that government should not be rallying political forces to go after opponents in court. The Washington Post in a 1999 editorial condemned the Clinton administration’s Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo (now New York Governor) and his effort to use his position to sue gun manufacturers. The Post confronted the practice thus:

[I]t nonetheless seems wrong for an agency of the federal government to organize other plaintiffs to put pressure on an industry—even a distasteful industry—to achieve policy results the administration has not been able to achieve through normal legislation or regulation. It is an abuse of a valuable system, one that could make it less valuable as people come to view the legal system as nothing more than an arm of policymakers.

This aptly describes what is transpiring here [with “climate”], as state AGs use their offices to advance a failed political agenda. Before his role in the larger scheme was exposed, one of the plan’s key protagonists, plaintiffs’ lawyer Matt Pawa, admitted the campaign’s political nature in an interview with The Nation:

I’ve been hearing for twelve years or more that legislation is right around the corner that’s going to solve the global-warming problem, and that litigation is too long, difficult, and arduous a path. … Legislation is going nowhere, so litigation could potentially play an important role.

Birds of a feather, etc.