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Drain the Swamp

Bloomberg Buying State AG Jobs to Launch Anti-Trump Enviro, Energy Lawsuits

Stealth program turns staffs of chief law enforcement officials into courtroom weapons to block president's policies

Liberal billionaire Michael Bloomberg (pictured above left) is funding a program that pays for global warming activist lawyers as “fellows” on the attorney general staffs in nine states and the District of Columbia to use litigation to block President Donald Trump’s environmental reforms.

“The 14 current fellows in the program report to the attorneys general, but they are paid by New York University’s Bloomberg-funded State Energy & Environmental Impact Center,” according to RealClearInvestigations’ Jeff Patch.

“State AG offices hire these trained lawyers — who are not students but seasoned professionals with years of experience — as special assistant attorneys general. Under terms of the arrangement, the fellows work solely to advance progressive climate change policy at a time when Democratic state attorneys general have investigated and sued ExxonMobil and other energy companies over alleged damages due to climate change,” Patch said.

Many of the fellows’ backgrounds include working for the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, and other major liberal nonprofit advocate groups that oppose Trump’s (above right) environmental policies.

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David Hayes, the NYU center’s executive director, was a senior executive at the Department of the Interior during the administrations of Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. He was also an adviser to 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Bloomberg, whose net worth is estimated to be in excess of $50 billion, was mayor of New York City from 2001 to 2013. He recently changed his party registration back to Democrat after flirting for several years with the idea of running for president in 2012 or 2016 as an independent.

Although previously registered as a Democrat, Bloomberg was elected mayor as a Republican but did so to avoid having to compete in the fractious Democratic primary in the deep-blue metropolis.

Bloomberg pledged to donate up to $80 million to Democratic candidates competing in the 2018 midterm elections. The New York Times said Bloomberg is “bankrolling advertising on television, online and in the mail for Democratic candidates in a dozen or more congressional districts, chiefly in moderate suburban areas where Trump is unpopular. Democrats need to gain 23 congressional seats to win a majority.”

“When political-interest groups participate in embedding paid staff in a state attorney general’s office, its credibility is called into question.”

The AG offices participating in the Bloomberg-funded program include Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington state. The District of Columbia also participates.

Conservative legal experts told Patch the Bloomberg program undermines the nonpartisan credibility of law enforcement in the participating states.

“The public’s expectation is that a state’s chief law enforcement official acts in an unbiased and objective manner,” said Harold Kim, the executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.

“Regardless of the underlying issue, when political-interest groups participate in embedding paid staff in a state attorney general’s office, that credibility is called into question,” Kim told Patch.