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Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 12/ 2/2010

Marshall files first bill related to U-Va. clash with Cuccinelli

By Rosalind S. Helderman
Rosalind S. Helderman

Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William) is sponsoring a bill that would allow public employees to be terminated or otherwise disciplined if they knowingly violate public information laws.

Behind the proposed legislation, which he has filed for consideration when the General Assembly convenes next month, is the now hotly contested events surrounding the tenure of climate researcher Michael Mann at the University of Virginia.

Mann left the university in 2005 and is now a professor at Penn State University.

It's a good bet Marshall's won't be the only bill related to Mann's work that legislators consider next year. Democrats have been incensed by an effort by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to use the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act to compel the university to turn over documents related to Mann's work.

Cuccinelli has said he wants to see whether a fraud investigation would be warranted into Mann's work, which showed that the earth has experienced a rapid, recent warming. The university is fighting the subpoena in court and there's a good chance Democrats could file legislation to curb the attorney general's powers of subpoena under the act.

At issue for Marshall is a request he made to the University of Virginia prior to Cuccinell's subpoena, in which he asked for some of the same documents using the Freedom of Information Act.

The university at first told Marshall it no longer had access to the documents he sought. But in response to Cuccinelli's subpoena, it has acknowledged that it has a backup server that contains some of the records. The university has now told Marshall that the costs of preparing the documents he seeks would total $8,000.

"When a public institution says they don't have any documents and they do, that's wrong," Marshall said.

As for the $8,000 price tag, Marshall said, "it's ridiculous that they would tell the public, whom they're supposed to work for, that they have to pay to get public information -- and pay through the nose."

He said he'll be filing a second bill that requires that all documents created by any public official be labeled as subject to public information laws or shielded from them at the time of their creation. That way, he argued, it would be easier and cheaper to compile documents when citizens request them.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | December 2, 2010; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Ken Cuccinelli, Rosalind Helderman  
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A witch hunt orchestrated by Koch industries.

Koch controls, GMU's Mercatus, CATO, Americans for Prosperity and they now control Cuccinelli.

What an embarrassment to Italian American's. I'm ashamed to be of Italian decent when I see individuals like Cuccinnelli. They are akin to those who wanted to persecute Aristotle and others that determines we weren't the center of the Universe and that our planet wasn't round.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | December 2, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Are there any documents that Bob Marshall created that could be requested under FOIA? Would he gladly allow them to be published? As to the $8,000 fee, perhaps Marshall can introduce legislation for financing a FOIA request fund at UVA?

Posted by: BookGuy | December 2, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

What's wrong with seeing what's in those emails? There is compelling evidence of questionable ethics regarding the hockey stick if you read the M&M account of this. In addition, AGW solutions will involve massive restructuring of our economy and a lowering of our standard of living. As such, it is imperative we know all of what's in those emails. Asking us to accept these massive changes in our way of living based on what we've seen in climategate and with M&M is unacceptable if we can't see Mann's emails. If he has nothing to hide, open them to the public. Sounds to me like his afraid of something.

Posted by: SoCal_Mark | December 2, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

The only "compelling evidence of questionable ethics" is that regarding Cuccinelli.

He is abusing the powers of his office.

Posted by: Tim_G | December 3, 2010 2:44 AM | Report abuse

Some more "compelling evidence of questionable ethics":

'Plagiarized' GOP-Commissioned Climate Change Report Laid Groundwork For Climate-Gate"

Posted by: Tim_G | December 3, 2010 3:10 AM | Report abuse

I voted for Cuccinelli, but I think we should have transparency to see if he is getting paid by energy interests to persecute climate scientists.

Can the Post investigate?

Cuccinelli's dad is a career gas lobbyist with "European" clients. The father's firm gave 96,000 to his son's campaign.

I am wondering if these "European" clients are Russian gas companies, but Cuccinelli's aid W. Russell never responds to questions about this.

I want everyone to know that Cuccinelli doesn't answer questions about his family's connections to the gas industry.
Why is that? It's a reasonable surmise based on his father's business and the son's aggressive persecution of Dr. Mann.

This is not partisan politics. I voted for Cuccinelli, but now I think he is getting paid by energy interests to persecute scientists.

In his brief to the EPA, Cuccinelli is using an article that originally appeared in the Russian paper Kommersant to "prove" that British scientists were not honest about recording Russian land temperature stations.

Since when do Americans believe the "science" dished up by a Kremlin mouthpiece?

Kommersant's owner Alisher Usmanov has an education and career that strongly suggests he is affiliated with the Russian security agencies, and he definately is a Gazprom operative.

In his EPA brief, Cuccinelli dishonestly mischaracterizes the article he cites because the ignorant Russian journalist made a really stupid mistake that Cuccinelli had to "fix" before he could use it.

The Russian journalist accused the Hadley Center of fudging land temperatures. The Hadley does sea-surface temperatures, so in his brief Cuccinelli changed Hadley to CRU, the people whose e-mails were stolen in "Climategate."

Kommersant is owned by Gazprom's Alisher Usmanov, a very sinister person. This newspaper publishes the Kremlin's propaganda, not science. USmanov is tight with Putin.

Politicians and journalists who deny global warming are shamelessly quoting Russian newspapers that belong to Gazprom and the Russian government. They are a quoting the Russian economist Andrei Illarionov who has worked for Gazprom and Putin.

I wonder if Cuccinelli's family is getting rich because he is persecuting climate scientists.

I think we should be able to know if Cuccinelli's family is getting rich from "European" clients that pay him to attack global warming.

"Moscow has operated by making lucrative arrangements with foreign energy companies that become de facto lobbyists for the Kremlin within their own countries."---"Why The Russia Spy Story Really Matters" (RFE/RL, 7-9-10)

I think there is enough evidence to warrant an investigation to see if Cuccinelli is corrupt in the same way.

Our AG shouldn't be on the take from mysterious "Europeans."

Evidence here

Posted by: crascal | December 5, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

The U.K. Guardian (12-2-10) is reporting that the stolen State Department cables irresponsibly released by Wikileaks suggest that Russia's Prime Minister Putin may be bribing Italy's leader with kickbacks on energy contracts. According to a leaked cable, Berlusconi also "appears increasingly to be the mouthpiece of Putin."

I hope all those American politicians who persecute climate scientists are paying attention: agencies of the U.S. government probably know a lot more about 'mouthpieces" who are being bribed by the Russian petrostate's gangster-operatives than the suspicions expressed in a few State Department cables. These cables are probably the tip of the iceberg.

People in Berlusconi's OWN PARTY are raising questions.

Posted by: crascal | December 5, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

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