New Publications, Posts, and Cases

Recent Updates

New Publications, Posts & Cases

President Biden has nominated former Massachusetts Undersecretary of Energy and Climate Solutions, Judy Chang, to be a FERC Commissioner. Ms. Chang is possibly best well-known for a 2018 comment staking out the position that because New England would move away from natural gas within the next five years it was irresponsible to invest in pipelines.…

With Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filing the “climate” lawsuit that campaign supporter Michigan LCV had lobbied her to file against energy companies, and the UM law school faculty putting the shoulder to the wheel as well, GAO recalls the recently unearthed record of just how occupied Michigan’s government is with donor-financed “climate staff”. First,…

Relevant to GAO’s recent item about the climate lobby’s Plan C—a “Climate Superfund”—and the increasing legislative interest in what progressive politicians knew and when they knew it about third-party underwriting of a climate-plaintiffs’ law firm (see here, and here), GAO has filed suit against the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General seeking withheld records involving the…

The case against this abuse has been building for some time. Following up on the details summarized in this Wall Street Journal editorial in the Spring of 2021, this op-ed last summer, and this post announcing GAO’s amicus brief in Kentucky et al. v. EPA et al., late last week the Journal ran an editorial by…

About Government Accountability & Oversight

At the beginning of 2018, after several successful years pursuing transparency among activist public servants, including office holders, academics and even law enforcement, experienced attorneys from the litigation, prosecutorial and classical liberal think tank worlds joined together to create the non-profit public interest group Government Accountability & Oversight.

GAO pursues and supports litigation that seeks to ensure that governmental entities at state, local, and federal levels comply with their sunshine and transparency obligations under open records acts. Institutions suffer from capture – including, increasingly, the public’s academic institutions, enlisted by donors and ideologues as weapons in legal, political and policy battles, almost universally on one side of the ideological divide. As New York University professor Jonathan Haidt argues, academia cannot be devoted to the search for truth if it also has a political agenda.

More broadly, all public institutions (including those under the control of political actors) must exercise public authority and conduct the public’s business objectively and according to the institution’s mission.

GAO works to lessen the burdens of government and defend human, civil and property rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and secured by law, through ensuring the public is aware of how government institutions operate, with whom, toward what ends.

State and federal laws require transparency in public institutions, to allow for an educated public to understand how their institutions are being used – whether in cultural and ideological battles, or simply in ways that the institutions. or certain individuals in those institutions, would prefer be kept from the taxpayer on whose incomes they depend and whom they serve.

GAO has research, litigation, investigative journalism and publication functions, all combining to seek and educate about public information showing how policymakers and activists in the tort bar and educational institutions use public resources to advance a shared agenda, and private interests, with an emphasis on environmental and energy policy. By broadly disseminating the public information it obtains under open records and freedom of information laws, other organizations and individuals can benefit from the knowledge GAO uncovers.

Please support GAO as it continues to shine light on these activities, what the revelations mean and how these play in the policy and legal world, as well as how the activities they detail impact your lives.

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Team Members

Gregory Garrison

Board of Directors

Famed trial lawyer and former legal analyst for CBS News, as well as twenty-year radio host on Indianapolis’s WIBC (where he replaced longtime friend Mike Pence), Garrison is best known as the prosecutor who convicted boxer Mike Tyson. Garrison spent years as a special prosecutor in Indiana for major drug and other high-priority cases. He has authored several books, and practices as a partner in the Garrison Law Firm, LLC.

Matthew Hardin

Board of Directors

Matt Hardin spent over three years litigating what proved to be highly significant open records cases in the New York and Vermont state courts, eliciting damning privilege logs, admissions by defense counsel in court, and of course key public records now housed in GAO’s Climate Litigation Watch documentary trove. After two years serving as chief prosecutor for a rural Virginia County, Hardin returned to transparency litigation in January 2020. He now serves as  Counsel for GAO, handling cases from coast to coast in both state and federal courts.

Joe Thomas

Board of Directors

Joe Thomas brings to Government Accountability & Oversight his background as a longtime good-government advocate and student of our Nation’s founding and history. A native New Yorker and broadcaster for over thirty-five years, Mr. Thomas is a popular weekday radio host in Virginia as well as host of a weekend statewide show, Freedom & Prosperity Radio. Mr. Thomas also created and hosted a weekly show dedicated to constitutional issues. On these and other platforms Thomas conveys his understanding of and passion for our system of governance, from its founding through its practice today. Mr. Thomas also has spent years addressing the importance of these issues through an active schedule of civic engagement.

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