Cuccinelli says he is not "targeting scientific conclusions" in U-Va. demand
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) told Jay Warren, a reporter with the Roanoke television station WSLS, that he is not "targeting scientific conclusions" with his civil information demand to the University of Virginia, asking for documents from a global warming scientist on the faculty until 2005.
In an interview Wednesday, Cuccinelli expanded on remarks he made to us earlier this week, in which he said he was conducting an "open inquiry" into whether scientist Michael Mann had defrauded taxpayers when he sought public grants for his work.
You can watch the interview below and read a transcript of the relevent portion after the jump.
Warren writes that Cuccinelli would only participate in the interview if Warren agreed not to ask about the attorney general's use of a new, more modest, state seal on pins used by his office staffers. After criticism, Cuccinelli has since ditched the pins.
The same request was made of the Washington Post before an interview earlier this week, but we declined and the interview proceeded as scheduled. Asked about the pin, Cuccinelli told us, "You were told I wouldn't answer it, but I can give you this," and then handed over a copy of the statement his office had released on the issue that same day.
We tried a follow-up--about whether the pin had been inspired by a flag used by a Conferate army unit. He responded, "I told you I wasn't going to answer. The subject of that is just so a waste of time, giving any breath or time to it. It's a trinket."
Here's an excerpt from Cuccinelli's interview with Warren:
CUCCINELLI: "We have an obligation under the Fraud Against Taxpayers Act to police the use of state money. There's a half million dollars that went into some of these grants and the publicly available information at least leads us to say or ask if these grants were used for what they were requested for."
WARREN: "What gives your office the authority to interpret what is scientific data?"
CUCCINELLI: "That's a worthwhile question. We aren't targeting scientific conclusions. That's not the issue. It's the expenditure of taxpayer dollars."
WARREN: "Do you believe that manmade gases are actually warming the climate?"
CUCCINELLI: "I think the jury is still out." He went on to say, "I don't think the evidence at this moment as it's been presented would lead one to man-caused conclusion in that respect."
WARREN: "If you don't believe manmade gases are warming the earth, how can we trust what your office finds? In other words, politics could be at play here?"
CUCCINELLI: "There are some people who will never believe anything we do. But, for people who know me, I'm capable of being extremely objective."
May 6, 2010; 10:26 AM ET
Categories: Ken Cuccinelli , Rosalind Helderman | Tags: Climate Change Skeptics, Climate change, Environment, Ken Cuccinelli, University of Virginia
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