Just in time for the November elections, Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli has rolled out another grandstanding play.
After a local judge tossed out his five civil investigative demands regarding the global warming research of a former University of Virginia professor, Cuccinelli has returned with a new CID, this one limited to one research grant involving only state money.
He is alleging that scientist Michael Mann misused state money by falsifying data to buttress his opinion that global warming is resulting from human activity, such as industrial air pollution.
U.Va. officials are understandably upset that Cuccinelli just won't go away. Fighting the first round of CIDs cost $352,874.76 in legal fees that were covered by alumni and other donors. How much the attorney general's office is paying isn't clear.
The university has better things to do with its money than defend itself against such obviously political legal actions. Problem is, as he has with a number of other attention-grabbing legal pursuits, Cuccinelli enjoys the media coverage, especially as he positions himself to take on Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling for the Republican nomination for governor in 2013.
Virginia taxpayers, and U.Va. alumni, are footing the bill. Strange doings for a supposedly cost-conscious Republican.
| October 5, 2010; 11:33 AM ET
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