by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Todd Shepherd reports for the Washington Free Beacon on a new wrinkle in the politics surrounding state-level attorneys general.
Washington, D.C.’s attorney general brought in a 527 political group, the Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA), to help manage media outreach when the office joined with the Maryland AG to sue President Donald Trump for violating the “emoluments clause” of the Constitution last June, emails show.
DAGA and its Republican counterpart, the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), have largely been used as campaign tools to fundraise and promote candidates and their campaigns. However, as emails sent by the attorney general’s office in Washington, D.C., and obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request show, DAGA is becoming involved and integrated in the day-to-day operations of some elected officials.
“527” organizations such as RAGA and DAGA “are typically parties, candidates, committees, or associations organized for the purpose of influencing an issue, policy, appointment, or election, be it federal, state or local,” according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Several emails showed DAGA officials setting a conference call with a subject line, “Emoluments Case Comms Coordination.” The emails were sent to members of DAGA and the D.C. attorney general’s office, as well as employees of the PR firm BerlinRosen, which has offices in Los Angeles, D.C., and New York. DAGA also brought in a political consultant for these conversations as well, the emails show and DAGA confirmed.
Another email string showed the D.C. AG’s office declining a request for Attorney General Karl Racine to appear on MSNBC. As a result, communications officials in the office decided “to pass this along to BerlinRosen” to handle.
BerlinRosen, a progressive firm, has done millions worth of public relations work for political pushes to boost the minimum wage to $15 an hour.