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Lobbyists, Bearing Gifts, Pursue Attorneys General
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times


New York Times, October 28, 2014
Posted: November 3rd, 2014
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/29/us/lobbyists-bearing-gifts...

Attorneys general are now the object of aggressive pursuit by lobbyists and lawyers who use ... lavish corporate-sponsored conferences and other means to push them to drop investigations, change policies, negotiate favorable settlements or pressure federal regulators, an investigation by The New York Times has found. A robust industry of lobbyists and lawyers has blossomed as attorneys general have joined to conduct multistate investigations. But unlike the lobbying rules covering other elected officials, there are few revolving-door restrictions or disclosure requirements governing state attorneys general. The routine lobbying and deal-making occur largely out of view. The current and increasing level of the lobbying of attorneys general creates, at the minimum, the appearance of undue influence, said James E. Tierney, a former attorney general of Maine. It is undermining the credibility of the office of attorney general. Giant energy producers and service companies ... have retained their own teams of attorney general specialists, including Andrew P. Miller, a former attorney general of Virginia. An attorney general is entrusted with the power to decide which lawsuits to file and how to settle them, and they have great discretion in their work, said Anthony Johnstone, a former assistant attorney general in Montana. Its vitally important that people can trust that those judgements are not subject to undue influence because of outside forces. And from what I have seen ... those forces have intensified.

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