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February 22, 2024

KJ Boyle

Blog Post ClimateIndependent AgenciesState Attorneys General

Trump Judge And Louisiana AG Fight To Maintain Environmental Racism

In 2022, Biden’s EPA opened an investigation into Louisiana’s Departments of Health (LDH) and Environmental Quality (LDQ) for failing to sufficiently protect residents of “Cancer Alley”—a strip of predominantly poor, Black communities suffering the dire effects of pollutants spewed from nearby petrochemical plants. To their credit, LDH and LDQ cooperated with the investigation and worked to craft more stringent standards and oversight protocols. Former Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, however, had other ideas. His office filed a lawsuit challenging the EPA’s (clear) authority to pursue its investigation under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which allows the government to terminate federal funding for an agency found to have engaged in discrimination. Liz Murrill, Landry’s successor, is picking up the torch to carry on his malevolent agenda. 

February 21, 2024

Henry Burke

Blog Post Economic PolicyFintechLarry Summers

Larry Summers Resigned Just Days  Before Block Inc.’s Alleged Inadequate Practices Made Public

Once Again Summers Has Resigned Just Before A Company Became Embroiled In Scandal. Will Anyone Ask Him What Role He Had In This Scandal? When Will His Silent Resignations Begin To Raise Red Flags? If The Former Treasury Secretary Has Concerns, Shouldn’t He Be Bringing Attention To The Issue Rather Than Attempting To Protect His Reputation?

February 20, 2024

Toni Aguilar Rosenthal

Blog Post Ethics in GovernmentState Attorneys General

RAGA Leadership, A Fraught History: Jeff Landry

Jeff Landry’s time spent helming Louisiana’s Attorney General office was defined by a litany of ethical failings. Over the course of 15 years spent running for public office, Landry funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars of campaign dollars back into the coffers of his own staffing company – whose staff lists are not public – in an apparent circumvention of standard public transparency practices. During his time at the AG, Landry was also accused of giving preferential treatment to a pedophile with political connections, which ultimately led a former prosecutor to sue the Attorney General.

February 20, 2024

Toni Aguilar Rosenthal

Blog Post Ethics in GovernmentState Attorneys General

RAGA Leadership, A Fraught History: Steve Marshall

Alabama’s Attorney General, Steve Marshall, has spent his time in office funneling tens of millions of dollars to outside counsel in order to defend the state’s litany of laws prohibiting gender affirming care and Alabama’s notoriously violent prisons. Alabama, under Marshall’s stewardship, earmarked no less than $14.9 million to a single attorney to represent the state against DOJ prison suits over the next two years, even though that same attorney has already received $17.8 million from state coffers over the past five. That single attorney, Bill Lunsford, also donated $1000 to Marshall’s campaign in 2018. 

February 19, 2024

Toni Aguilar Rosenthal

Blog Post Ethics in GovernmentState Attorneys General

RAGA Leadership, A Fraught History: Chris Carr

Chris Carr, while unique amongst Republicans for his notable lack of participation in Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 Presidential election, is also not immune to responsibility for and complicity in it. Carr did resign from his Chairmanship of RAGA over the group’s role in fomenting the insurrection, but he took three months following the events of January 6 to do so. Additionally, critics argued that RAGA “became even more anti-democratic” under Carr’s leadership and that his resignation represented little more than a convenient political stunt. 

February 16, 2024

Toni Aguilar Rosenthal

Blog Post Ethics in GovernmentState Attorneys General

RAGA Leadership, A Fraught History: Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been scandal-plagued for years. Paxton’s most recent slate of scandals include his impeachment in May of 2023 – which resulted in his removal from office for more than three months – due to alleged bribe-taking and Paxton’s questionable relationship to Texas GOP mega-donor Nate Paul. Paxton was ultimately acquitted by the Texas State Senate, after his billionaire backers threatened to primary anyone who voted against him, leading to none of his impeachment articles receiving the 21 votes required to convict. Relatedly, Paxton was also previously accused of retaliatory firings relating to FBI whistleblowers, and the resulting $3.3 million settlement from that inquiry (a number that Paxton wanted Texas taxpayers to foot for him) is what triggered the impeachment inquiry in the first place. That money has not yet been approved by the Texas legislature, and its withholding re-sparked whistleblowers’ lawsuit against Paxton to continue in November 2023. 

February 09, 2024 | The American Prospect

Max Moran

Op-Ed Congressional OversightEthics in GovernmentJudiciarySupreme Court

Durbin Must Enforce His SCOTUS Investigation Subpoenas

Uncovering Crow’s and Leo’s full relationships with the Court is precisely the sort of scenario for which Congress has subpoena powers in the first place. As of now, these plutocrats have been able to scoff at the will of elected leaders. Durbin’s actions, or lack thereof, will inform whether history remembers this Congress as stepping up or shrugging off one of the greatest threats to the American legal system in our lifetimes.

February 08, 2024

KJ Boyle Toni Aguilar Rosenthal

Blog Post Ethics in GovernmentFederal ReserveFOIA

The Fed's FOIA Office Is Obscuring Its Trading Scandals

In October of 2021, the Federal Reserve was embroiled in scandal. The heads of the Boston and Dallas Feds resigned following personal trading scandals that raised concerns about conflicts of interest and lax ethics guidelines. Further reports of potentially inappropriate trading by Chair Jerome Powell and Vice Chair Clarida rocketed across the business media due to these officials’ immense access to sensitive financial information and influence on monetary policy. Despite their decidedly questionable profiteering off pandemic panic, Powell and Clarida have since had their reputations effectively laundered by the media in a whitewashing effort that has attempted to clear them of all wrongdoing. To make matters worse, the Fed’s FOIA office is doing everything in its power to prevent internal documents relating to the scandals from reaching the light of day.