Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and other prominent Democrats have made a career out of criticizing the influence of ALEC — the American Legislative Exchange Commission.
“ALEC is backed by special interests and writes model legislation that Republicans introduce and pass across the nation in a coordinated effort!” they screamed. Ellison said as much in this interview when he was still a member of Congress:
So let me get this straight: coordinated efforts, across many states, to influence policy, backed by special interests, with no transparency, is bad. Got it.
Then how does Ellison explain the fact that two lawyers paid for by a powerful special interest are embedded into the official office of the attorney general?
Two lawyers paid for by billionaire Michael Bloomberg are working on lawsuits advancing his liberal agenda. Read the whole story here.
Ellison lost in court this week in a battle with the Upper Midwest Law Center to hand over documents detailing the arrangement with these embedded lawyers. As the press release below says, the Minnesota Court of Appeals instructed Ellison to hand over the documents requested by UMWLC on behalf of their client.
Watch this space for updates on what those documents tell us about special interests funding staff in Minnesota state government.
Minnesota Court of Appeals Tells Attorney General Ellison To Hand Over Documents Related to Bloomberg Lawyers Embedded In His Office
(Golden Valley, MN) Today, Energy Policy Advocates, a public interest group seeking transparency in nationwide energy policy, represented by Upper Midwest Law Center, secured a major victory against Attorney General Keith Ellison at the Minnesota Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals issued a precedential decision that requires Attorney General Keith Ellison to support his attempts to withhold data from the public with real descriptions and evidence, and not broad and general claims of privilege.
The Court of Appeals reversed the Ramsey County District Court and held that the Attorney General could not rely on a broad and vague “common interest doctrine” to shield documents related to discussions with other attorneys general around the country from discovery by the public. To review the decision click here.
Importantly, the attorney general has been withholding documents related to his discussions with other states’ attorneys general in his war on traditional energy sources. In addition, Ellison has allowed outside special interests to embed attorneys in the Minnesota Attorney General‘s office to work on their agenda. This lawsuit and others filed by Upper Midwest Law Center and Energy Policy Advocates seek to shine light on this dubious practice, which they believe violates state law and ethical requirements.
Doug Seaton, President of Upper Midwest Law Center, stated as follows: “this major decision upholds transparency and requires Attorney General Ellison and his team to operate in the public view, and not behind a shroud of secrecy. We are confident that the attorney general will now be held accountable to the public for renting out the constitutional office of the attorney general to extremist climate change activists.”
Chris Horner of Energy Policy Advocates also said: “Keith Ellison has been the most secretive and anti-transparency Attorney General that our group has sought documents from in the entire nation. We are grateful that the Court of Appeals has rejected his attempt to conceal his office’s activities, and we look forward to getting the documents we asked for more than two years ago. Hopefully after this decision, we won’t have to file lawsuits to get documents about which the public has a right to know.”
About Upper Midwest Law Center
Upper Midwest Law Center is a non-profit, public interest law firm with the mission to initiate pro-freedom litigation to protect against constitutional violations, government overreach, special interest agendas and public union corruption and abuses. UMLC is a 501(c)(3) organization.
To learn more about Upper Midwest Law Center, click here.