Minnesota AG Race Becomes Interesting Thanks to Participation in Bloomberg "SAAGs" Scheme - Climate Litigation Watch

Minnesota AG Race Becomes Interesting Thanks to Participation in Bloomberg “SAAGs” Scheme

Minnesota AG Keith Ellison, a bit less popular now in that rather chaotic state than four years ago, has three Republicans vying for their party’s nomination to take him on. Apparently all of them are committed, if elected, to firing the “Special Assistant Attorneys General” provided Ellison by billionaire climate activist Michael Bloomberg (chronicled in detail at CLW here, and the dirtiest of the laundry of this office, about which the public no knows the most among the several on Team Bloomberg, here).

Those two “SAAGs” filed Ellison’s lawsuit against energy interests, a suit that public records show was orchestrated by the Rockefeller Family Foundation and “attorneys advising Rockefeller family foundation”, the latter of whom ghost co-wrote a “University of Minnesota Law School” memo to Ellison laying out the desired suit…a suit that, according to emails, was held unless and until Bloomberg’s group provided Ellison the lawyers to file it.

The anatomy of this rather breathtaking use of public office, detailed in the principals’ own hand, is set forth in this paper.

The Republicans’ unity on the matter emerged in last week’s candidates’ debate, the relevant discussion tidily packaged for one’s viewing enjoyment here. CLW was heartened to hear all three candidates aware of and knowledgable about the scheme in Ellison’s office despite the Minnesota media blackout (until a recent, pleasant surprise in the least-expected venue, begins at :32).

The one exception to this omertà was the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s effort to provide advance air cover for Ellison several days after he met with the editorial board. This, we now know, came mere days after Ellison submitted his application to Bloomberg’s group seeking the in-kind gifts to his office and their shared cause. In hindsight, this appears to have been a “you might hear some things”-type session.

And the paper complied, bemoaning the poor gent’s financial situation what with a mean legislature and all, followed by a lid on news coverage of what Ellison did to circumvent the elected representatives’ wishes and on the subsequent, unfolding scandal.

Brazenly, after all that has been pried out of that Office and the state Senate having recently advanced a bill to make this inarguably illegal, Ellison is now advertising to take on another Bloomberg SAAG, with one of his two heading for the exit.

The SAAGs are of course under contract with Bloomberg’s group housed at New York University Law School, which in turn contracts with OAG to plant them in the Office. The terms of said planting allow for the promised termination, and also for the Bloomberg group to put up a fight over whether the Office sought to resolve differences first (inadvisable in CLW’s mind, though a delightful prospect):

6. The Office of the Minnesota Attorney General may terminate the services of the Legal Fellow at its discretion for any reason upon seven (7) days’ written notice to the State Impact Center, provided that the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General will attempt to resolve any performance or other issues involving the Legal Fellow with the Legal Fellow and the State Impact Center before terminating the services of the Legal Fellow. The State Impact Center may terminate this Agreement for any reason upon seven (7) days’ written notice to the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General.

Of course, the clever Republican candidate promising to fire the Bloomberg SAAGs might promise, in the alternative, that he would assign the environmental activist attorneys to work on getting those stalled nickel and copper mining operations in the northern part of the state permitted. That might quickly inform the question of who the SAAGs really worked for.