Bizarrely heavy-handed redactions proved to be improper by colleague’s own calendar
SALEM, OR – The public interest law firm Government Accountability & Oversight, P.C. (GAO) has filed suit under Oregon’s Public Records Law against Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and the State Department of Justice (DoJ), on behalf of the nonprofit transparency group Energy Policy Advocates, seeking to compel release of scores of hidden calendar entries of “Special Assistant Attorney General” (or SAAG) Steve Novick.
Mr. Novick was hired and provided to DoJ as a “SAAG” by a group created by billionaire, major Democratic party donor and climate activist Michael Bloomberg to support AGs to pursue a political agenda — “advancing progressive clean energy, climate change, and environmental legal positions”.
Novick’s calendar details the progression of several initiatives being advanced by the Bloomberg “SAAGs” and relate to coordination with outside parties on certain partisan matters which the public have a right to know about. Yet DoJ and AG Rosenblum are improperly shielding them from public scrutiny, and clumsily so. As the complaint notes:
These heavily redacted records are records of a precise class that the Department of Justice has previously released with few redactions. Indeed, cross-referencing the Department of Justice’s release of, e.g., Mr. Novick’s colleague Paul Garrahan’s calendar plainly documents the improper withholding and secrecy with which the Department of Justice treats this privately hired attorney’s calendar, both generally and regarding specific withholdings (Ex. E)
As revealed in a recent suit also filed on EPA’s behalf by GAO, and Shawn Lindsay of Harris Berne Christiansen, the privately hired and Bloomberg-funded “SAAG” Novick has the lead among a group of progressive AG Offices in liaising with outside parties on coming litigation against the Biden-Harris Environmental Protection Agency to impose the “climate” agenda. These parties include former EPA attorneys and other officials turned (outside) activists, and one political appointee from the Obama-Biden EPA – now on the Biden-Harris EPA transition team – all of whom are now working with environmental activist organizations.
As EPA has suggested, there are indications this long-planned litigation is intended to revive the discredited practice of “sue-and-settle”.
These calendar entries relate to that and other coordination of public interest.
GAO attorney Matt Hardin said about the findings to date, and AGs’ efforts to hide the rest, “When law enforcement turns partisan and puts its power to work for political agenda, the people have a right to know. Who is Oregon’s ‘Special Assistant AG’ meeting with behind closed doors?”
Government Accountability & Oversight is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to transparency in public officials’ dealings on matters of energy, environment and law enforcement