A half million dollar coverup – and going
Posted by Jeff Condon on January 6, 2011
SPPI sent me their press release on Cuccinelli’s efforts to make Michael Mann’s email public. I don’t for a minute believe that Cuccinelli is interested in protecting government money already spent – which is what the law is supposed to protect – he’s trying to make public Mann’s emails. This story is getting more interesting because anyone who has payed attention understands that Mann’s emails are probably so full of advocacy and underhanded dealings with the climate science community that it will make climategate look like a junior high love letter. It seems that the university is highly aware of the problems these emails will create as apparently they have spent over a half million making sure they don’t become public.
In response to a previous FOIA request, UVA had denied these records existed. But during the course of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s pre-investigation under the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act (“FATA”), a 2007 law passed unanimously by Virginia’s legislature that clearly covers the work of taxpayer-funded academics, UVA dropped this stance. Court records reveal that counsel for the University has indicated instead that the Mann-related records do in fact exist, on a backup server. To avoid University delay or claims for huge search fees, today’s request specifically directs the school to search that server.
While the school has spent upwards of half a million dollars to date fighting Cuccinelli’s pursuit, now before the Virginia Supreme Court, under FOIA it has one week to produce the documents, with no exemption for UVA’s arguments used to block Cuccinelli. These records address one of the highest-profile claims used to advance massive economic interventions policies in the name of ‘global warming.’
In my experience, corporations don’t spend that kind of cash unless they are facing the loss of greater money somewhere else.