Cuccinelli is Virginia’s wingnut attorney general, who has decided to make a name for himself by filing baseless lawsuits against climate scientists, running to the courthouse before the ink was even dry on the Affordable Care Act, and strongly suggesting — before walking it back — that President Obama was born outside the United States.
Today, for some reason, the New York Times has seen fit to profile Cuccinelli because of his lawsuits against climate scientists, and not until paragraph 24 do we find out that repeated investigations about the fake “Climategate” scandal have found absolutely no evidence of wrongdoing.Â Instead, we get puff piece paragraphs like this:
Although cast by his foes as an angry ideologue, Mr. Cuccinelli, 42, was amiable and upbeat in discussing the litigation. He ruefully acknowledged the backlash against his investigation of Dr. Mann. â€œI can tell you that out of all the things weâ€™ve done in this first year in office, none has attracted more vitriolic assault,â€ he said.
He described the inquiry as a legitimate function of his office. â€œI would expect any attorney general sitting in this chair to do the same thing,â€ he said.
Is what he says true?Â Well, Rudolf won’t tell us: he will, however, tell us that “critics say” that what Cuccinelli claims is untrue.Â And of course we get a whole lot of potted paragraphs speculating about the political impact of what he is doing.
He said, she said.Â Cuccinelli says that climate scientists are misusing money; “climate experts” say that they are not.Â Cuccinelli says that data from Russia concerning earth temperatures has been doctored; the head of the World Meterological organization says that this is wrong.Â Who is to know?
Meanwhile, the planet melts….
Author: Jonathan Zasloff
Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees.
Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses.
Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.
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