Environmentalists And Government Officials: Who Else Is Being Bought And Paid For?

Related articles

Competitive Enterprise Institute discovered that radical environmental groups are paying the salaries and expenses of staffers in Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s office. As is well known, Governor Inslee and his political allies have engaged in a number of tactics to undermine both evidence-based science and the federal government, and not just in relation to their political disagreements.

Okay, politics is dirty but everyone can play that game, states can obviously sue if they don't like what the federal government is doing, even about science. If they don't believe emissions rules from EPA are strong enough, they can institute their own and incur whatever benefits or consequences that brings them in the free market. And we will know about it. Government is transparent, if you can cut your way through the jungle of bureaucracy.

Unless it isn't. 

And in Washington state, it isn't. Washington was certainly not being transparent when not telling its taxpayers that the World Resources Institute hired the state as a contractor, that the state agreed to perform a “scope of work” for WRI, itemizing “activities and deliverables” and in turn it funded the position of Reed Schuler, Governor Inslee’s senior policy adviser for climate and sustainability. Under its contract, "Washington State sends progress reports alongside its $33,210 quarterly invoices to the nonprofit.”

Schuler's duties? He “prepare[s] letters, executive orders, and other directives for the Governor’s signature.”

So the state is working for the non-profit and the non-profit is paying for a staffer who is creating legislation. The Governor does not seem to believe this creates any conflict at all, saying Schuler is “a Washington state employee with the same scope of work, review process and accountability as any other state employee. The only difference is the funding source.” 

WRI activists agree with him and also claim that what they do is common.

Oh, it is? Maybe in Washington state but if it is common in my home I am going to be outraged. But it was no secret in Washington government. An email obtained by CEI read, “Reed’s position is being supported by the Hewlett Foundation and the World Resources Institute."

Imagine the outrage from progressive organizations like Natural Resources Defense Council or Union of Concerned Scientists if they discovered a Republican governor had staffers on the payroll of a pro-science group who was writing legislation - and that internal memos made it seem routine. There would be lawsuits flying everywhere.

Instead, the pro-science side gets a heaping dose of hypocrisy from activists. If a science or non-profit group has ever gotten a tiny grant from a corporation in their history, all of them in the future are labeled  "shills" and smeared across the Internet despite the science being absolutely solid regardless of who donates. Meanwhile, prominent environmental groups haven't been critical of WRI or Washington state at all.

What dark money funds WRI? The money trail leads to the Hewlett Foundation, and the Hewlett Foundation is run by Jonathan Pershing, who is a close friend of Schuler. They worked together in President Obama’s State Department. Obviously former Obama staffers are now found everywhere in politically allied states, like New York and California, too. Is this same sort of thing happening elsewhere and being hidden from voters?

CEI President Kent Lassman had a very good question in a recent email; who else is being bought off?

Science and health are intertwined with politics in 2018, so if anyone else has an agenda that isn't for the benefit of the American public we deserve to know.