For Immediate Release:
October 25, 2016
Today, the Free Market Environment Law Clinic (FME Law) was forced to file suit (with exhibits), along with and on behalf of several New York citizens’ groups, against Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office for wrongfully withholding records responsive to a Freedom of Information Law request. FME Law represents the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) on its own various open records lawsuits also relating to the Schneiderman-led, now collapsed state attorneys general coalition to persecute political opponents of the “climate” agenda.
These groups filing suit today allege that the Attorney General has wrongfully denied them nearly all responsive records relating to the involvement in Schneiderman’s “Climate-RICO” scheme by a billionaire political donor, corporate interests, and environmental activists.
As background, New York AG Schneiderman organized a now largely aborted political coalition to abuse law enforcement offices to silence opposition to the “climate” agenda. In early May, FME Law and several New York citizens’ groups asked Schneiderman’s Office for records reflecting meetings it had beginning last Fall with corporate interests including Fahr LLC, billionaire donor Tom Steyer and his lawyer Ted White, and two radical Greenpeace activists turned consultants.
It took four months for NYOAG to respond to the records request, at which time it withheld almost the entire body of responsive records, producing 23 pages of press clippings while withholding all relevant correspondence as “privileged” from scrutiny by the public paying for, and in some cases targeted by, Schneiderman’s abusive inquest.
“We believe that the citizenry has a right to know whether political activist billionaires like Tom Steyer are setting the agenda of the New York Attorney General’s Office,” said David Schnare, E&E Legal General Counsel. “The public also has a right to know if indeed political donors arranged for AGs to work with activists they support to promote their agenda.”
Schnare also noted that the New York Attorney General’s Office only began issuing subpoenas against fossil fuel companies after meetings with wind energy executives and investors. An initial hearing is set in the matter of FME Law, et al. v. Attorney General of New York on December 6, 2016 at 9:30 a.m.
As part of the campaign Schneiderman organized in March 2016 with Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell, the politicians agreed to share strategy, information and green-group advisors to advance what other public records show was an expressly political coalition, seeking political ends but going around the proper democratic process. New York, and other states, are hiding the documents from public scrutiny behind a secrecy pactthat purports to be a “common interest agreement”, but in violation of their respective state open records laws.
This attempted Get Out of FOIA Free card these activist AGs claim to have given themselves promises to huddle up and consult over every open records request that might ‘out’ the scheme, actually polling political allies before deciding whether to comply with state transparency laws