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November 11, 2004


State AGs under fire

Two new papers are highly critical of a group of officials who are unused to getting bad press:

* For Capital Research Center, Martin Morse Wooster has written a paper entitled "State Attorneys General: Policing or Politicizing Private Philanthropy" (Oct.). While much of the paper consists of a skeptical evaluation of recent initiatives by AGs in their capacity as primary regulators of nonprofits, charities and foundations, Wooster also extensively criticizes activist state AGs who seek to use expansive powers and stretched legal interpretations to impose an "extreme makeover" on sectors of the economy, with particular attention to an undercovered aspect of the tobacco settlement, its establishment of the "American Legacy Foundation" to use legally driven funds to propagandize against the tobacco industry.

* At the U.S. Chamber's Legal Reform Now site, Wall Street Journal editorialist John Fund has a paper whose name says it all (PDF): "Cash In, Contracts Out: The Relationship Between State Attorneys General and the Plaintiffs’ Bar". In addition to a detailed roundup of pay-to-play revelations concerning the tobacco caper, Fund compiles a wealth of information about donations to AGs by law firms angling for work on environmental and other lawsuits in New Mexico, Louisiana and elsewhere.

Posted by Walter Olson at 09:57 AM | TrackBack (0)



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