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News Wednesday, Oct 31 2018

BREAKING: Hawley Left Running Of His AG Office to DC Political Consultants

Oct 31, 2018

“Missourians already knew Hawley had abdicated his Attorney General responsibilities to climb the political ladder,” said American Bridge spokesperson Amelia Penniman. “Now it appears he outsourced the work of ‘Missouri’s chief law enforcement officer’ to a bunch of DC political consultants just TEN days after taking office. That’s disgraceful and irresponsible.”

The Kansas City Star/McClatchy: Out-of-state political consultants helped direct Josh Hawley’s Missouri AG office
By Lindsay Wise, Jason Hancock, and Steve Vockrodt | October 31, 2018

  • “Josh Hawley pledged to Missouri voters in 2016 that he was not the kind of career politician who would use ‘one office to get to another.'”
  • “But within weeks of Hawley’s swearing in as the state’s top law enforcement official, the high-powered political team that would go on to run his U.S. Senate campaign had stepped in to help direct the office of the Missouri attorney general — and raise his national profile.”
  • “Hawley’s out-of-state political consultants gave direct guidance and tasks to his taxpayer-funded staff, and followed up to ensure the tasks were completed, according to emails, text messages and other records obtained by The Kansas City Star.”
  • “As the months went on, Hawley’s political consultants flew to Missouri for official events and to meet with the attorney general’s staff during work hours in the state Supreme Court building, where the 38-year-old Republican’s official office is located.”
  • “The campaign-led strategy sessions, which began in January 2017, raised legal and ethical concerns at the time among some of Hawley’s employees, who worried about mixing politics with public business. The situation also left them confused about the chain of command.”
  • “‘The idea that Hawley would turn over his attorney general’s office to D.C. campaign consultants strikes me as very problematic,’said Brendan Fischer, director of the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center’s federal reform program. ‘The attorney general’s office has an enormous amount of responsibility for protecting the health and welfare of citizens of the state.'”
  • “The arrangement left some state-paid staffers confused about whether they answered to political consultants…or to the attorney general’s chief of staff.”
  • “Some of the agenda items discussed in later correspondence included Missouri’s lawsuit against opioid manufacturers, which Hawley announced in June 2017, and a state effort to target human traffickers, an initiative Hawley unveiled in April 2017.”
  • “Hawley also does not use his government email account. Had the attorney general or his staff used their official government email addresses to discuss the meetings and calls with Hawley’s campaign, their correspondence would automatically have been subject to public release through the state’s open records laws, also known as the Sunshine Laws.”

Read the full story here.

Published: Oct 31, 2018

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