|VandenHeuvel & Foster at Anti LNG Rally|
After receiving a stinging letter from Rep Mike Schauffler, D, Happy Valley (story here), now Republican House Minority Leader Bruce Hanna, R, Roseburg, has followed up with a letter (here) to Oregon Attorney General John Kroger demanding the full disclosure of all emails pertaining ousted environmental lawyer, Brent Foster (see previous backgrounder here). The emails were requested by a reporter for North Coast Oregon, a news web site. Sixty nine emails in question were redacted by the AG’s office. The emails may flesh out the story of whether Oregon’s Attorney General, John Kroger, has intentionally withheld information damning to his office’s handling of a case against a supposed corporate polluter and allegedly one of his key aides to run out of the AG’s office a political campaign against the LNG Terminal at Bradwood Landing.
Kroger has made government transparency a major issue since taking office.
Hanna took particular umbrage at the failure to disclose the emails saying,
“I am particularly troubled by your office’s unwillingness to disclose documents relating to interactions between your office, various state agencies and various special interest groups. If you are a true advocate of making government records more accessible, why are you refusing to disclose 69 emails from an inquiring citizen?”
|Foster was a busy political speaker. Look at the third item down.|
Hanna also took a swipe at the request by Attorney General Kroger to allow Foster a conflict of interest waiver, considering Foster’s advocacy for and against issues he would confront while with the AG’s office.
Mr. Foster’s involvement in the LNG issue, as well as recent revelations regarding Hood River Juice, leads me to question your commitment to promoting a positive business climate and to defending the rights of all Oregonians
|Kroger asks for waivers for Foster to work on cases he’d worked on as an activist|
((The emails you see on this blog are the result of the public records request made by the North Coast Oregon website. Thank you. The reporter following this story, Carrie Bartoldus, told me she’s especially galled by the lack of, er, intellectual curiosity by the mainstream media on this issue. ))
Some of the emails that have been released (featured nearby) are from now ousted counsel, Brent Foster, to others including the current head of the Columbia Riverkeeper (a left environmental group–see previous post), Brett VandenHeuvel, discussing writing legislation to undermine the Bradwood Landing LNG terminal. Others referenced are Portland elections and environmental attorney Dan Meek and AFL-CIO, SEIU union boss Tim Nesbitt. In one email, Kroger’s name is mentioned when Foster informs Riverkeeper’s VandenHeuvel of his intention to make changes to a document, “…so Kroger can say this is legal.”
|Foster appears here to be helping fight a political battle from his AG office|
|Kroger asks for waivers so Foster can work cases he worked as an activist|
|The Governor’s Office gives Foster Approval to waive conflicts|
|Foster wrote legislation to kill LNG with outsiders from his AG’s Office|
Did the Attorney General of Oregon knowingly allow a campaign against the LNG terminal proposal in Bradwood Landing to be run out of the AG’s office? Did John Kroger know about and allow former Columbia Riverkeeper chief turned AG Environmental Counsel, Brent Foster, to write legislation from his office which would serve to kill the project? Did the AG allow Brent Foster the latitude in his job so he believed he could phony up a water sample from a company and use it to prosecute them for pollution? And now that the AG’s office is fighting disclosure of 69 emails by Foster to others, is a coverup underway? There are a lot of questions and what we know so far is making a lot of people nervous.
As reporter Carrie Bartoldus notes, on Thursday she put in a public records request for information on Foster. By Tuesday Foster was fired.