A shadow government made up of former Obama climate change aides and funded by wealthy environmental advocates is supplementing liberal governors in an “off-the-books” operation to help them win approval of sweeping global warming changes and defy President Trump, according to a new investigative report.
In it’s “Government for Rent” report, the Competitive Enterprise Institute published dozens of emails detailing the scheme and the efforts by governments to have the activists draw up official state climate change agenda paid for by private donations.
The report, written by Christopher C. Horner, a senior fellow CEI, focuses on this week’s Global Climate Action Summit hosted by California Gov. Jerry Brown and co-chaired by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, United Nations representatives, and others, that is being produced by outside interests.
“The summit is part of a larger scheme, in which governors’ offices are coordinating with activists and donors, who in turn are underwriting a massive, off-the-books campaign to provide staff and other resources to elected officials,” said CEI.
Emails in the report reveal that the national effort has a potential $50 million pricetag to be paid by wealthy environmentalists such as Bloomberg and Tom Steyer.
What’s more, it is staffed by a “kitchen cabinet’ of environmental advocates and ex-Obama aides who worked on international climate change policies for the State Department and White House national security agency and are miffed at Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate change deal orchestrated by former President Obama.
“The modus operandi revealed in the documents excerpted in this report entails seeding local and statewide elected offices with privately funded in-house staff members (governors’ staffs called them ‘refugees’ from the Obama administration). The objective is to house former National Security Council and State Department appointees to, as one email put it, ‘resume shaping the U.S. position on’ the energy and climate change agenda,” said the report.
And the goal is to make the issue, which has dropped in voter interest since Obama left office, a top priority in the 2018 and 2020 elections and one that liberals can use to attack Trump on.
“The documents, obtained through open records requests, show non-profit groups acting as well-compensated pass-through entities for donors to fund climate change work, directly hiring staff and providing other assets, in governors’ offices in California, New York, and Washington,” said CEI.
In some cases, the shadow cabinet is run in offices directly next to state offices in Washington’s Hall of States complex three blocks from the Capitol.
“Public records reveal a sprawling dark money enterprise to underwrite governors’ political advocacy for implementing the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement and the climate change agenda more broadly, because as some staffers said, ‘it can’t always be us staff,’” said Horner. “This unprecedented scheme of activist donors bankrolling governors committed to advancing their climate agenda is very concerning. It raises serious questions about the use of public offices to serve private interests, transparency and the reporting of these dollars, compliance with gift laws applying to elected officials, and restrictions on private financing of official activities.”