By: Mark Glennon*

UPDATE 2/22/20: This article was updated to reflect a recent report by WLDS/WEAI respecting Illinois participation in the program. 

And see our call for this program to be terminated immediately linked here. What follows is a factual description only of a program we believe is exceptionally dangerous.

Billionaire presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg is paying salaries of lawyers who promote his agenda in attorney general offices in liberal leaning states.

Bloomberg money currently funds the salaries of Special Assistant Attorneys General (SAAGs) in 10 Democratic AG offices, according to Fox News. That list included Illinois, but according to a more recent report by WLDS/WEAI, “Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office responded to an inquiry about any lawyers connected to Environmental Impact Center saying that they have employed fellows to New York University’s School of Law in the past, but none were currently working in the department.”

“What’s problematic is the arrangement through which a private organization or individual can promote an overtly political agenda by paying the salaries of government employees,” said Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill. “They want to put their special-interest lawyers in place to drive a very radical agenda,” said West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

Funding runs through the State Energy & Environmental Impact Center at New York University School of Law. That center, according to Fox, was started in 2017 with $5.6 million from Bloomberg’s nonprofit. It hires mid-career lawyers as “research fellows” before providing them to state AGs — where they assist in pursuing “progressive” environmental policy goals through the courts.

Michael Bloomberg campaigning

State Impact Center spokesman Tom Lalley, according to the Washington Times, responded by saying nonpartisan program “brings academic rigor and independence to its mission of supporting state attorneys general who are protecting existing environmental regulations, addressing climate change and respecting the law.”

But the Times quotes Chris Horner of the public interest law firm Government Accountability & Oversight saying this:

This scheme by an activist donor [Bloomberg] to place attorneys in AG offices to advance his priorities is on its face staggering. That the activist developed it while more broadly cultivating support among elected officials at all levels through his foundation, and apparently with a run for the White House also in mind, makes it simply unbelievable.

A separate opinion piece by the Times describes the arrangement as “buying up law enforcement.”

Another Washington Times article quotes Adam Piper, executive director of the Republican Attorneys General Association, who said “These folks are being funded as mercenaries, liberal mercenaries, not just on a climate issue but other issues near and dear to Mike Bloomberg’s radical liberalism. And they’re doing everything from filing suits to writing comment letters to testifying at Trump administration hearings.”

Other states where SAAGs are implanted include the Delaware, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York and Oregon, according to Fox News and other sources.

We have seen no comment yet from Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul.

*Mark Glennon is founder of Wirepoints.

 

Read more from Wirepoints about the crises in Illinois:

16 Comments
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Kim Gladden
8 months ago

Illinois will take money from anyone as long as it benefits them. All a bunch of corrupt deplorables.

James
8 months ago

Hello, paranoia! It’s unreal alright, fear without truth.

Kim Gladden
8 months ago
Reply to  James

Corruption in the State of Illinois Goverment is REAL

Mike Mike
8 months ago

A FOIA request can be submitted for documents pertaining to the number of such SAAG’s, their names, start date etc.

William W Kimball
8 months ago

Is there any evidence that this program is promoting a “radical agenda”? These attys almost sound like interns or clerks. Is there a problem with “State Impact Center spokesman Tom Lalley, according to the Washington Times, responded by saying nonpartisan program “brings academic rigor and independence to its mission of supporting state attorneys general who are protecting existing environmental regulations, addressing climate change and respecting the law.”?

debtsor
8 months ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

This is a function of the billionaire class. I’m all for people being successful and earning their money. But the rules, as they are, allow for billionaires to exist and allows for further concentration of wealth. Bloomberg, just like Jabba, have insane amounts of wealth that allow them to spend ridiculous amounts of money to essentially buy votes to purchase their office. No sane person would spend hundreds of millions of their own money to purchase an office, yet here we are, with the ninth richest man in the world buying office. Even Romney was a multimillionaire who needed party… Read more »

William W Kimball
8 months ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

It may be more of a staffing issue for states that want to do more for the public good, if these things are viewed as a good thing by the states that utilize these programs. I see your point, Mike, but I think you’re selling the AGs short if you think these interns have that much influence. Remember these are optional programs. Soros, the NRA, et al have to be invited and if a state needs help due to “tight budgets” let them get the help that supports the state’s goals.

TBS
8 months ago

So, if the bribe is invited by their superior it is okay? Wow!

“If you elect me I promise to make sure that public employees shall depend on income from the groups that funded my campaign!”.

The sophistry of the modern liberal – justifying the creation of a new apparatchik class to establish a new American Marxist collective.

William is probably an ethics professor at UC.

Mateo
8 months ago

Climate change is a hoax dumbass… Take ur socialist ass and GTFOH

TBS
8 months ago

Something tells me William would feel differently if the NRA were paying these attorneys…

These attorneys shouldn’t be paid by any special interest to promote ANY agenda while working as servants to ALL of the public. Does public service even exist in Illinois anymore (aside from first responders)?

How long are we going to tolerate this corruption?

William W Kimball
8 months ago
Reply to  TBS

The NRA wouldn’t be invited to Illinois but if the people of Texas want help in fostering more/better pro-guns laws, and need the staff to do so, again due to “tight budgets”, why shouldn’t they be allowed to take advantage of a program like this? There must be wealthy conservatives out there that would fund this program

Gary McDonald
8 months ago
Reply to  TBS

as long as it takes for the next CIVIL WAR to break out