In Government Accountability & Oversight, P.C. v. Office of the Attorney General, Maryland AG Brian Frosh has asked a court to seal Frosh’s application seeking Michael Bloomberg underwriting for Frosh’s “climate” policy and ideological activism.
CLW readers know that Bloomberg created a group to place privately hired attorneys in AG offices “to advance the agenda represent by” Bloomberg’s group. Meaning, Bloomberg’s agenda.
Frosh has two Bloomberg-funded climate prosecutors. Frosh was Bloomberg’s lead recruiter of other AGs (a role assumed by Massachusetts AG Maura Healey precisely one year ago). Frosh used his GMail account to execute this action obviously performed in his official capacity as AG.
Frosh also is the only AG to hide his plea for Bloomberg largesse from the public. Only Frosh, Bloomberg’s people, and a judge know what Frosh promised the Bloomberg group.
Frosh’s filing came in response to GAO’s recent Motion for Summary Judgment.
“The gist is that Bloomberg is funding through NYU some fellowship positions for midcareer environmental litigators to be farmed out to State Attorneys General to join the fight against Trump ’s rollback of our environmental protection laws and regulations,” wrote Maryland’s Deputy Attorney General Carolyn Quattrocki in a November 2017 email to colleagues.
A recent filing against the US EPA to block a Trump regulatory reform was loaded with attorneys from Bloomberg’s squad.
But there’s more going on, as revealed by the AGs’ applications for this scheme as well as public litigation filings — that is, when the applications are unredacted, as every single other application has been: AGs NYU Applications (Zip compressed folder)
In addition to Virginia AG Mark Herring’s outrageous vow to use his office to advance Bloomberg’s agenda, New Mexico’s Hector Balderas promised his “Office would work with the NYU Law Fellow to identify ‘pressure points’ on which litigation can be used to most effectively influence policy.” As CLW posts have detailed, New York’s application laid out that the mercenaries would pursue the climate-liability litigation industry, and true to NY OAG’s word they have. Massachusetts’ application also specifically noted that its “Special Assistant AGs” would investigate private parties for supposed “climate offenses”. And they are.
That is, the Bloomberg program is part and parcel of the #ExxonKnew tort campaign, something the plaintiffs’ bar sought as long ago as 2012.
Mr. Frosh, whom Bloomberg supported in a 2013 primary race and who served as the Bloomberg group’s first lead recruiter, heavily redacted his office’s request for Bloomberg resources, forcing GAO to file suit to obtain the full application. The suit revealed that Mr. Frosh requested a $125,000 salary plus benefits for his Bloomberg-funded special assistant (his first of at least two, we now know). Then Mr. Frosh appointed the lawyer under his “pro bono special counsel” authority.
The scheme is more troubling the closer one looks. Mr. Bloomberg is a major donor to Democratic politicians and causes. He has made electing progressive attorneys general his priority. Two Bloomberg-funded groups, Independence USA PAC and Everytown USA for Gun Safety, put more than $2 million into electing and re-electing Virginia AG Mark Herring. Bloomberg picked Frosh from a three-way primary back in 2013, and has had a very good friend since. Mr. Frosh doesn’t want the public to know how close this relationship is.
Of course, this “application” is a public record, barring some reason it isn’t. Every other AG knows this and has produced theirs — if sometimes to great embarrassment, and always some element of ethical, political and legal risk.
Frosh’s effort is extraordinary, then the paper trail in what is clearly an effort to let out/rent law enforcement offices would not be the subject of such fevered efforts to hide them. It does raise the question why, if things really are so on the up-and-up as the AGs and Bloomberg’s group say — and if Frosh’s promises to the Bloomberg group were benign.