“Attorneys general are now the object of aggressive pursuit by lobbyists and lawyers who use campaign contributions, personal appeals at lavish corporate-sponsored conferences and other means to push them to drop investigations, change policies, negotiate favorable settlements or pressure federal regulators, an investigation by The New York Times has found.
A result is that the routine lobbying and deal-making occur largely out of view. But the extent of the cause and effect is laid bare in The Times’s review of more than 6,000 emails obtained through open records laws in more than two dozen states, interviews with dozens of participants in cases and attendance at several conferences where corporate representatives had easy access to attorneys general. Often, the corporate representative is a former colleague.”
“The current and increasing level of the lobbying of attorneys general creates, at the minimum, the appearance of undue influence, and is therefore unseemly,” said James E. Tierney, a former attorney general of Maine, who now runs a program at Columbia University that studies state attorneys general. “It is undermining the credibility of the office of attorney general.”
“Mr. Tierney, the former Maine attorney general, said that lobbyists were entitled to set up a meeting with the attorneys general in their offices. But to write a check, for as much as $125,000, to gain days’ worth of private time with the attorneys general is another matter, he said. When you start to connect the actual access to money, and the access involves law enforcement officials, you have clearly crossed a line,” he said. “What is going on is shocking, terrible.”
“In an effort to make allies rather than adversaries, Bernard Nash, the head of the attorney general practice at Dickstein and the self-proclaimed “godfather” of the field, tells clients that it is essential to build a personal relationship with important attorneys general, part of what his firm boasts as “connections that count.”
“Through their interaction with A.G.s, these individuals will become the ‘face’ of the company to A.G.s, who are less likely to demagogue companies they know and respect,” said a confidential memo that Dickstein sent late last year to one prospective client, Caesars Entertainment.
Executing this strategy means targeting the attorneys general “front office,” a reference to the handful of important decision makers.”
“For the attorneys general, there is a personal benefit, too: Their airfare, meals and hotel bills at these elite resorts are generally covered, either by the corporate sponsors or state taxpayers.”
“The schedule of attorney general conferences for the coming year is laid out — after a pause for the elections — with events set for the Fontainebleau resort in Miami Beach, the Four Seasons Hotel at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas and the Grand Wailea resort on Maui, among many others. The invitations for corporate sponsorships are already being sent.”
Read more HERE.
James Tierney, a former attorney general of Maine, states “What is going on is shocking, terrible. It is undermining the credibility of the office of attorney general.” Oh really? Credibility?
Evidence proves a pattern of official corruption within Maine’s Attorney General’s Office since the days of Jim Tierney…nothing has changed!
How about some accountability within Maine’s government?
With the upcoming election, will the elected officials finally do the right thing….or will history repeat itself? Will credibility not only lack with the Attorney General?
MOST POWERFUL, REVEALING VIDEO BY TOM DUNN, click here.
List of Maine Attorneys General, click here.
List of Maine Lobbyists and Clients, click here.