Do something, Virginia. Your attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, is on an absurd crusade against Michael Mann and the University of Virginia. His previous attempt to defame Mann with accusations of fraud was recently shot down in the courts, but now he has thrown another pile of accusations at him, all just as pointless.
The attorney general’s logic is so tenuous as to leave only one plausible explanation: that he is on a fishing expedition designed to intimidate and suppress honest research and the free exchange of ideas upon which science and academia both depend — all because he does not like what science says about climate change. Among other things, the attorney general demands that U-Va. turn over any correspondence it may have between Mr. Mann and 39 other scientists. Mr. Mann points out that among those Mr. Cuccinelli did not list by name are the two other researchers on the African savannah research grant that the attorney general is supposedly investigating.
What is this farce costing? To defend itself from Mr. Cuccinelli’s investigation into the distribution of a $214,700 research grant, the University of Virginia has spent $350,000, with more to come, and that doesn’t count the taxpayer funds Mr. Cuccinelli is devoting to this cause. Sadly, though, that’s the smallest of the costs. The damage to Virginia’s reputation, and to its universities’ ability to attract and retain top-notch faculty and students, will not be easily undone.
It seems to me that a recall is long past due, and that someone ought to sic an army of lawyers on the real phony here: Ken Cuccinelli.