Moore and former state Supreme Court Justice Reuben Anderson - both campaign contributors - to handle the state's litigation against BP over the Gulf oil disaster. And he apparently hires them in some open-ended arrangement where they'll put together a team of lawyers and get a cut of what the state gets, details to be worked out later.
And while he's claiming he's been voluntarily transparent with his big lawyer contracts, Hood's crack communications team appeared loath to let any of the Moore contract out of the bag. Intrepid political blogger Frank Corder of Y'all Politics broke the news in a brief blurb, but when media, including the Associated Press and Sun Herald, began calling for details, Hood was unavailable and his spokeswoman tersely refused for days to even answer yea or nay whether Moore had been hired.
Here's a snippet of email correspondence between the Sun Herald and Hood's spokeswoman which went on for days:
Spokeswoman: "... he's still out of town, and there's nothing to report. Hope you have a good weekend."
Sun Herald: "So, ‘nothing to report' means he hasn't hired Moore's firm? I'm sure you've seen there have been a couple of reports saying that recently."
Spokeswoman: "It simply means we have no answer for you right now."
Ah, the transparency and warm glow of sunshine. And get this, the last lines of the BP litigation contract place a gag order on attorneys working the case: "The Attorney General shall maintain responsibility for the public distribution of information concerning the matter. All press inquiries shall be referred to the Attorney General for comment or response."
Now, Hood's office appears to have a habit of taking journalists off its press release email list if they write things he doesn't like. But I've been off that list for years, so what the heck. From a conversation I had with some fellow journalists the other day, pretty soon there won't be anyone left to receive his "distribution of information."
Moore and Anderson are fine attorneys. But in the case of Moore, I can't think of another lawyer buddy Hood could hire that would more enrage the legislative leadership, shy of some that have been disbarred and/or jailed for judge bribing.
Hood has had some high ground to which he could cleave in the legislative "Sunshine Act of 2012" battle. It is a partisan move to strip power from the state's top, elected, legal officer and transfer it to agency bureaucrats.
But it appears he's instead stayed down in the ditch, taken off his shoe and whipped out the hammer.
By Geoff Pender, The Sun Herald, (228) 896-2329, firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: The Sun Herald