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Murphy DEP Acting Commissioner Abusing COVID As A Pretext To Hide His Ethics Disclosure And Recusal Documents

January 28th, 2021 No comments

Who Were LaTourette’s Former Corporate Clients?

Has He Recused Himself From Involvement In Their Interests?

DEP Denies Public Records Request For Ethics Documents

Shortly after Shawn LaTourette was appointed Acting DEP Commissioner by Gov. Murphy, I filed an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request for his ethics disclosure and recusal documents.

I filed this request because Mr. LaTourette previously worked for a private law firm and represented corporate clients in environmental regulatory compliance matters he now presides over as DEP Commissioner.

Under professional legal ethics and NJ ethics laws, Mr. LaTourette was obligated to disclose and recuse himself from matters he was previously involved in as a private corporate lawyer.

Mr. LaTourette should have filed a disclosure/recusal package when he first went to DEP as a high level manager (Deputy Commissioner and Chief of Staff) in January 2018 (fully disclosing his former legal clients and the matters he worked on and recusing himself from any involvement with them.)

He should have filed a more thorough disclosure/recusal package when he was appointed as Acting Commissioner in January 2021.

The DEP ethics Officer should have reviewed all this for compliance with NJ uniform ethics laws:

IX. RECUSAL ON OFFICIAL MATTERS

A State officer or employee or special State officer or employee is required to recuse him/herself on an official matter that involves any private sector individual, association, corporation or other entity that employed or did business with the State officer or employee or special State officer or employee during the one year prior to the employee’s commencement ofState service.

A State officer or employee or special State officer or employee is required to recuse him/herself on an official matter if he/she had any involvement in that matter, other than on behalf of the State, prior to commencement of his/her State service.

The DEP Ethics Officer also reviews for compliance with DEP’s Ethics Code (this may have been repealed) and issued LaTourette a Guidance memo memorializing the disclosure and recusals.

XV . RECUSAL

(a) A Department employee shall recuse himself or herself from a matter if he or she has:

1. Any financial interest, direct or indirect, that is incompatible with the discharge of his or her duties as a Department employee; or

2. Any personal interest, direct or indirect, that is incompatible with the discharge of his or her duties as a Department employee.

The State Uniform Ethics Code has a very broad standard regarding potential conflicting interests:

interest might reasonably be expected to impair a State official’s objectivity and independence of judgment in the exercise of his/her official duties or might reasonably be expected to create an impression or suspicion among the public having knowledge of his or her acts that he/she may be engaged in conduct violative of his/her trust as a State official.

The ethics review procedure is formal (and should be subject to OPRA):

Upon determining that a State official shall recuse him/herself on any matter, the State official shall execute the recusal in writing, and shall have no involvement with the subject matter of the recusal. If a State official cannot determine whether he/she should execute a letter of recusal in any matter, the State official shall contact his/her agency ELO or the Commission for guidance. A State official shall seek the advice of the State agency’s counsel, agency ELO or the Commission as to the propriety of participation in a matter if any person requests that a State official recuse him/herself from that matter. Oral advice, followed up by a writing, shall be provided by the agency’s counsel, the agency ELO or the Commission to avoid delay. Oral advice shall subsequently be memorialized by a writing or by inclusion in public minutes.

Why does Mr. LaTourette have time to prepare for and attend trivial matters, like the recent Rutgers panel (sponsored by PSE&G!!!) but no time to retrieve his ethics records, which are a very serious matter?

Will the NJ press corp ask him?

Below is DEP’s reply to my OPRA request, which I received earlier today. Note that DEP does not provide a deadline or even make a commitment to ever responding, i.e. “once resources allow”.

It is obviously lawyerly written, so I suspect that they are laying the groundwork for denial of records on the basis of “privilege/confidential concerns”.

That “privilege/confidential” information would likely be the corporate clients LaTourette represented and the cases and matters he represented them on. Of course, if DEP were to deny that information, it would defeat the whole purpose of ethics review and recusal, as well as the OPRA law.

Please be advised that at this time, due to the circumstances surrounding the on going COVID-19 pandemic and the direction of the Governor to strictly observe the practice of social distancing and directing State Employees to work remotely; the NJDEP is not able to fully respond to records requests within the prescribed timeframe under the Open Public Records Act, N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq (OPRA). The NJDEP work force has transitioned to work remotely from home, impacting the ability oof the NJDEP to access onsite and archived government records, review records for responsiveness and privilege/confidential concerns, conduct onsite inspections, and copy responsive records. In accordance with  N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5(i)(2), which state the the deadlines under OPRA, to grant or deny access t0 a government record shall not apply if no reasonable efforts are available based on the circumstances, and maintaining consistency with the social distancing directives of the Governor, the NJDEP is not able to complete the search f0r responsive records and respond to this request. Once resources allow, the NJDEP will complete and issue the final Government Records Request Form response to this request. We apologize for this inconvenience.

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Joe Biden Just Destroyed What Was Left Of EPA’s Independence And Integrity

January 26th, 2021 No comments

Executive Order Centralizes Control Of EPA Regulations In The White House

“Unitary Executive” On Steroids

[Update: 1/28/21 – Looks like I was wrong about the press ignoring this – the NY Times editorialized today:

Not surprisingly, NYT readers slammed it severely. But I agree with it, but for very different and far narrower reasons.~~~ end update

It’s Federalist Society legal radicals, recent Trump Supreme Court radical right wing appointees like Kavanaugh, and authoritarian Republicans (see Bush Justice Dept. “torture memo” John Yoo) who advocate the “unitary theory” of Executive Power.  (Annenberg):

This theory holds that Congress cannot limit the president’s control of the executive branch because the Constitution sets up a hierarchical system whereby the president has the most power. Supporters argue that Congress can’t set up independent executive agencies and counsels that aren’t controlled by the president.

That theory concentrates power in the President and thereby politicizes and destroys the integrity and independence of federal agencies, like the EPA.

Those agencies are supposed to follow the science and law in formulating regulatory policy, not diktat from the White House.

While some principled libertarians have warned about the risks of the “unitary executive” (see this Cato Institute piece), ironically, in an opportunistic and unprincipled attempt to ridicule Trump, so called progressives have foolishly backed this right wing theory of government, e.g. See this piece in The Atlantic.

Well, those “liberals” at The Atlantic have gotten what they asked for.

Just like Obama normalized much of the Bush war crimes and abuses of the national security surveillance state, ironically, it is Democrat Joe Biden who just has now normalized the unitary theory of Executive Power.

Biden did so in his highly praised Executive Order:

Biden’s executive order asserts complete White House control over EPA regulatory policy and specific regulations.

The Executive Order does so via subjecting specific EPA regulatory decisions to review and approval by his White House Office and Management and Budget (OMB) and Biden’s newly created “National Climate Advisor”.

Section 2.(b) reads: (emphases mine)

(b)  Within 30 days of the date of this order, heads of agencies shall submit to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a preliminary list of any actions being considered pursuant to section (2)(a) of this order that would be completed by December 31, 2021, and that would be subject to OMB review.  Within 90 days of the date of this order, heads of agencies shall submit to the Director of OMB an updated list of any actions being considered pursuant to section (2)(a) of this order that would be completed by December 31, 2025, and that would be subject to OMB review.  At the time of submission to the Director of OMB, heads of agencies shall also send each list to the National Climate Advisor.  In addition, and at the same time, heads of agencies shall send to the National Climate Advisor a list of additional actions being considered pursuant to section (2)(a) of this order that would not be subject to OMB review.

The EPA’s science and regulatory discretion – delegated by Congress to EPA via environmental laws, standards, and administrative procedures – has now been usurped by the Biden White House, who control both OMB and the National Climate Advisor.

The OMB review is not new – there are longstanding Executive Orders and OMB review policies and procedures in place. (OMB is a back door for special corporate interests to kill, weaken and delay regulations).

However, importantly, the National Climate Advisor White House review is new, and there are no regulations, standards, or formal policies and procedures that constrain that review.

[Obama had a climate czar in the White House, but I’m not aware if that office had a formal role in regulation or if Obama Ex. Orders targeted specific regulations).

Adding insult to injury,  Biden’s climate advisor  – Gina McCarthy – is Obama’s former EPA Administrator.

If I were the Biden’s EPA Administrator nominee, I’d resign.

Of course, all the liberals and Democrats and media pundits who were outraged over Bush, Yoo, Kavanaugh and Trump’s views and actions on the Unitary Executive will be silent in the face of Biden’s deployments of those same powers.

And don’t expect any criticism by media or political pundits or environmental groups.

I’m calling hypocrisy BS on all that.

[End Note:  There are legitimate ways to accomplish similar objectives without destroying EPA’s independence.

And I objected on similar grounds when Republican NJ Gov. Christie issued Executive Orders #2 and #3 and #4 that unilaterally imposed new standards for regulatory review that were not legislatively authorized and a new regulatory review role of the Lt. Governor and “Red Tape Review Commission.”

I criticized Democratic Gov. Murphy’s Executive Order #63 on regulatory policy as well.

 At least I’m consistent.

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Climate Questions For Gov. Murphy At Rutgers

January 22nd, 2021 No comments

A bait and switch at Rutgers to dodge tough critical questions for the Gov.

[Update below – favorable response from Rutgers on disabling YouTube comments]

I received an email last week on Friday from Rutgers that provided notice and requested that I submit questions for Gov. Murphy at Rutgers on a Jan 22 (today) webinar impressively titled:

  • What’s on the Horizon for Implementing New Jersey’s Climate Agenda?

I immediately sent Rutgers 18 questions for the Gov. I copied NJ Spotlight reporter Jon Hurdle in the hope that he would ask those kind of tough questions.

But, buried in my email this morning, I found this confusing and evasive email from Rutgers (sent late Wednesday afternoon) advising that my questions were not accepted and had to be resubmitted during the webinar!

Hi Bill,

Thank you for your interest in our upcoming webinar. I apologize for the confusion, the automatic confirmation that came from Zoom is intended for technical questions for help with accessing the webinar. The wording has since been clarified, but anyone who registered before a certain date received the less clear wording in their confirmation. Questions for panelists will need to be submitted during the webinar via the chat box.

Thanks, -Matt

I found the explanation, at best, sketchy and evasive. I received an email directly from Rutgers asking for questions, to which I replied. The email exchange had nothing to do with any Zoom invitation. So, the explanation is also factually false.

[*** and Rutgers turned off comments on the YouTube of the event. Obviously, that’s a way to suppress criticism and democratic dialogue. I also just learned that the event was sponsored by, among others, PSE&G! – See Update below]

Perhaps the folks at Rutgers didn’t want to be affiliated with these kind of critical questions. Or perhaps the Gov. Office changed the format for submitting questions to better control them.

So, here are the questions I posed which I hope someone asked – some of the questions explore important regulatory issues that the media and environmental groups have ignored: (those unasked questions are in boldface below)

Hi Matt – here are a few questions for Gov. Murphy and Acting DEP Commissioner Latourette off the top of my head. I’ll get a more through set to you on Monday:

1) Why did the “environmental justice” legislation you signed fail to include climate?

2) Why did your representative on the DRBC vote in favor of the LNG terminal on the Delaware River?

3) Why is DEP pushing out scores of major air pollution control permits for major sources of greenhouse gas emissions without any consideration of climate impacts?

4) Same question (#3) for fossil infrastructure projects and land use permits.

5) Given the fact that DEP regulations do not address climate, and that hundreds of DEP permits are being issued for major sources of greenhouse gas emissions and fossil infrastructure, why didn’t you impose a moratorium on such DEP approvals pending adoption of climate regulations? (e.g. like pending DEP Climate PACT)?

6) Have you read DEP’s “80/50″ Report pursuant to the Global Warming Response Act? If so, how, specifically, will you meet the science based GHG emissions reductions and timetables in that Report?

7) Have you read the Global Warming Response Act? Are you aware that the goals of the Act are aspirational and the Act does not provide regulatory authority to DEP to meet the goals of the Act or mandate that DEP does so?

8) Are you aware of the recent IPCC Report that suggested we have about a decade to make deep GHG emissions reductions to avoid potentially catastrophic warming in excess of Paris Accords 1.5 degree C?

If so, why is your Energy Master Plan based on and the DEP PACT regulatory initiative driven by the GWRA 2050 timeframe?

9) Why does BPU EMP postpone initiation of electrification of the building sector until 2030?

10) How will you ramp up the current paltry EV and others transportation sector programs to meet science based emissions reductions?

11) Do you support extension of the $300 million/year subsidy to PSEG nukes?

12) Do you support a new modular nuke plant at the Oyster Creek site in Lacey Township?

13) How will you deal with major fossil infrastructure projects in the DEP regulatory pipeline (pun intended?)

14) Do you support a “strategic retreat” from flood hazard and coast hazard zones? If not why not?

15) Do you support the current DEP regulatory policy that provides a “right to rebuild” storm damaged property?

That policy is one of the main reason why NJ is among the top 4 States for repeat flooding claims under the federal flood insurance program.

16) when will the DEP environmental justice regulations be proposed? Will they be adopted before the election?

17) Same question for climate PACT regulations.

18) What does an individual’s sexual preferences have to do with qualifications for a DEP Commissioner?

Why did you mention sexual preference in Acting Commissioner LaTourette’s press release?

All for now. Let me know if you need backup documentation for these questions.

Wolfe

[Update – 1/18/21 – I reached out to Rutgers to complain about the disabling of the YouTube comments. I just received this favorable reply:

Hi Bill,

Thanks for your feedback. When the channel was set up, I was concerned about spam and inappropriate comments, so I set the channel’s default to just disabling comments.

However, I see your point, and now that the channel has become more popular especially now that we host recordings for NJ Climate Change Alliance/NJ Climate Change Resource Center, I agree it would be productive to allow viewers to comment and discuss their views on the content.

I went ahead and enabled comments for all of the NJ Climate Change Alliance and NJ Climate Change Resource Center recordings, and will work through the older recordings as time permits.

-Matt

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Gov. Murphy Appoints Former Corporate Lawyer As DEP Commissioner, Hides His Record Behind LGBTQ Identity Politics

January 17th, 2021 No comments

A Classic Case of “Progressive Neoliberalism” In Action

Revolving Door Appointment Is Praised By “Progressives”

[Update: 2/2/21 – Chris Hedges writes powerfully on a similar topic:

Bill Clinton and his two treasury secretary enablers, Robert Rubin and Larry Summers, instituted a system of unregulated capitalism that has resulted in financial anarchy. This anarchic form of capitalism, where everything, including human beings and the natural world, is a commodity to exploit until exhaustion or collapse, is justified by identity politics. It is sold as “enlightened liberalism” as opposed to the old pro-union class politics that saw the Democrats heed the voices of the working class. Financial anarchy and short-term plunder have destroyed long-term financial and political stability. It has also pushed the human species, along with most other species, closer and closer towards extinction.  ~~~ end update]

Gov. Murphy once again has demonstrated that he fits the profile of what professor Nancy Fraser calls a “Progressive Neoliberal”.

Professor Fraser describes “progressive neoliberalism”:

This may sound to some like an oxymoron, but it is a real, if perverse, political alignment that holds the key to understanding the U.S. election results and perhaps some developments elsewhere too. In its U.S. form, progressive neoliberalism is an alliance of mainstream currents of new social movements (feminism, anti-racism, multiculturalism, and LGBTQ rights), on the one side, and high-end “symbolic” and service-based business sectors (Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and Hollywood), on the other. In this alliance, progressive forces are effectively joined with the forces of cognitive capitalism, especially financialization. However unwittingly, the former lend their charisma to the latter. Ideals like diversity and empowerment, which could in principle serve different ends, now gloss policies that have devastated manufacturing and what were once middle-class lives.

See also Fraser’s superb essay “From Progressive Neoliberalism To Trump – And Beyond”:

Progressive neoliberals did not dream up this political economy. That honor belongs to the Right: to its intellectual luminaries Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, and James Buchanan; to its visionary politicians, Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan; and to their deep-pocketed enablers, Charles and David Koch, among others. But the right-wing “fundamentalist” version of neoliberalism could not become hegemonic in a country whose common sense was still shaped by New Deal thinking, the “rights revolution,” and a slew of social movements descended from the New Left. For the neoliberal project to triumph, it had to be repackaged, given a broader appeal, linked to other, noneconomic aspirations for emancipation. Only when decked out as progressive could a deeply regressive political economy become the dynamic center of a new hegemonic bloc.

It fell, accordingly, to the “New Democrats” to contribute the essential ingredient: a progressive politics of recognition. Drawing on progressive forces from civil society, they diffused a recognition ethos that was superficially egalitarian and emancipatory. At the core of this ethos were ideals of “diversity,” women’s “empowerment,” and LGBTQ rights; post-racialism, multiculturalism, and environmentalism. These ideals were interpreted in a specific, limited way that was fully compatible with the Goldman Sachsification of the U.S. economy. Protecting the environment meant carbon trading. Promoting home ownership meant subprime loans bundled together and resold as mortgage-backed securities. Equality meant meritocracy.

Perfectly illustrating Fraser’s “progressive neoliberalism” paradigm, Gov. Murphy – a former Wall Street Goldman Sachs executive – just announced that Shawn LaTourette – a former corporate lawyer – will assume leadership of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in the wake of the retirement of DEP Commissioner McCabe.

Gov. Murphy’s press release that announced the appointment of LaTourette as Acting Commissioner downplayed his corporate legal background, instead creating the misleading impression that LaTourette was a public interest lawyer:

With twenty years of environmental experience, LaTourette began his career partnering with the Erin Brockovich law firm to organize and defend New Jersey communities whose drinking water was contaminated by petrochemicals. Born and raised in New Jersey, LaTourette graduated magna cum laude from Rutgers University and earned his law degree summa cum laude from Rutgers Law School, where he was the class salutatorian and the recipient of multiple environmental and governance awards, and published scholarship on environmental law, natural resource damage, and climate issues. Before entering public service, LaTourette specialized in protecting the rights of victims of toxic injuries while also advising infrastructure, transportation, energy, and other industries on compliance with state and federal environmental laws and policies. Prior to joining the Murphy Administration, he was most recently a Director of the Environmental Law Department at Gibbons PC, where he focused on brownfields redevelopment projects and litigated environmental cases in state and federal court.

Note that the Gov. fails to name LaTourette’s corporate clients or the projects he provided compliance assistance to.

 (which raises an important question for the intrepid journalists out there: Did LaTourette name these corporate clients in his ethics disclosure form and has he filed recusals? OPRA is your friend. So is Google of literature on “revolving door” and “corporate capture”. The story writes itself.)

Gov. Murphy went on to tout the fact thathe will be the first openly gay Commissioner of Environmental Protection in the nation”:

A devoted advocate for equality of all people, LaTourette was elected to serve as Chair of the LGBTQ Rights Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association, completing his term in 2020, and will be the first openly gay Commissioner of Environmental Protection in the nation.

We’ve called out LaTourette several times – on his record, not his sexual preference – particularly for his involvement and how he lied about the DEP’s role in a Trump EPA toxic experiment at the Union County incinerator in Rahway, a DEP designated EJ community.

In response to public outrage over this, DEP Commissioner McCabe and Mr. Latourette blamed the public. (NJ Spotlight)

LaTourette said protesters, particularly in New Jersey’s environmental justice communities, had “misperceptions” about what the incineration would consist of, and misplaced fears that the experiment posed a risk to public health.

“Bad information can sow mistrust, and it can sow a misunderstanding of the facts that can lead folks to think that they are in danger of being harmed, and that’s the last thing we want,” he told reporters.

Those lies were so serious that we documented them and called for his resignation, see:

LaTourette not only lied to cover his ass, he has attacked his critics and community activists, who correctly had criticized LaTourette’s misguided and ideological statements about DEP climate adaptation regulations, see:

LaTourette also revealed his corporate finance and real estate background and Neoliberal economic ideology in recent media coverage of upcoming DEP climate adaptation and environmental justice regulations, see:

LaTourette also proved his willingness to shamelessly spin to defend the Governor and mislead the public, see:

We hope that LaTourette’s Acting Commissioner tenure will be short and that Gov. Murphy is in the process of conducting a national search for a true environmental leader to take the helm at DEP.

[End Note #1: LaTourette’s appointment was praised by Garden State Equality – again validating Fraser’s “Progressive Neoliberalism” paradigm.

Which reminds me that Paul Street has a good essay running over at CounterPunch laying out his 9 reasons why the left fails. In addition to his point on “ excessive identitarianism “, I thought this point of critique about silos was also very relevant to the LaTourette situation:

No Real Left

Eighth, the continuing and longtime absence of any sophisticated, powerful, and relevant, many-sided Left of significance in late Neoliberal America is a significant part of the tragic equation. No such movement would have met the rise of Trump and Trumpism-fascism with four years of avoidance, denial, passivity, and diversion. There are many factors in play behind this pathetic portside weakness but two that have struck this writer and activist as particularly relevant alongside excessive localism and excessive identitarianism in the last four years are (i) the crippling holds of sectarianism (an almost pathological refusal to reach across tribal-ideological and organizational lines to form a united anti-fascist front) and (ii) single-issue silo politics whereby group A cares about the climate, group B cares about reproductive rights, group C cares about a higher minimum wages, group D cares about teachers’ working conditions and so on.

Someone’s gotta call out this bullshit.

[End Note #2 – Here’s the OPRA request to DEP I just filed – please file one yourself!

I request copies of the: 1) ethics disclosure forms, 2) ethics officer review guidance to LaTourette, and 3) recusals filed by Shawn LaTourette.

I request the initial disclosure, guidance, and recusals filed in 2018 and the updated disclosures, guidance, and recusals filed upon his appointment b y Gov. Murphy as Acting Commissioner on 1/16/21

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NJ Audubon Must Sever Ties With Trump And Refund Trump’s Financial Contributions

January 14th, 2021 No comments

The Conservation Community Should Have Zero Tolerance For A Racist, Fascist, Impeached Insurrectionist 

Screen-Shot-2017-03-23-at-1.21.58-PM

[Update #1 – 1/16/21 – Henry Giroux agrees and makes very similar arguments. ~~~ end update]

[Update #2 – 1/18/21 – We call on NJ Attorney General to investigate Trump’s tax avoidance and conservation fraud at Bedminster NJ golf course. The Hill reports:

People familiar with the investigation told CNN that the Trump Organization had also been subpoenaed for information on the property, including tax deductions the company took after donating a portion of the land to a public trust for conservation. …

By making a land donation for conservation, a property is able to take a tax deduction based on the value of the property. Vance’s investigation is looking into whether the value was inflated on the property to get a more beneficial tax deduction. ~~~ end update]

In the wake of Trump’s insurrection and impeachment, at this point, even corporate America is aggressively and swiftly moving to sever all ties with Donald Trump, see:

That sentiment is shared by NY City – the NY Times reported:

Yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio decided to take it a step further. He said that the city would terminate its contracts with Mr. Trump and his company because the president had incited violence at the Capitol.

“The contracts make it very clear if a company or the leadership of that company is engaged in criminal activity, we have the right to sever the contract,” Mr. de Blasio said on MSNBC. “Inciting an insurrection against the United States government clearly constitutes criminal activity.”

Even the Professional Golf Association gets it and has terminated the 2022 PGA tournament event at Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster NJ :

Yet, few people are aware of the fact that Donald Trump had a “partnership” with NJ Audubon Society at that same Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, see:

Check out how NJ Audubon CEO Eric Stiles praised Trump – it’s disgusting

“Trump National is demonstrating an outstanding commitment to sustaining native wildlife populations.” said Eric Stiles, President for New Jersey Audubon. “They are solidifying a symbiotic relationship with the surrounding community to foster environmental awareness and a conservation ethic while enhancing wildlife and natural systems in New Jersey.”We assume that the NJ Audubon Trump Partnership is a contract that also can be severed.

But that’s not all.

Trump has been a long time major financial contributor to NJ Audubon.

Based on NJ Audubon’s Annual Reports, Trump has donated “more than $1,000″ since 2015, as follows:

We do not know how much “over $1,000″ Trump donated or for how many years that these donations were made. The total contributions could the huge.

A previous report by The NY Times regarding Trump’s tax evasion did mention that Trump claimed huge tax benefits from “conservation easements” and his so called “conservation” work at the Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, during the same timeframe he was working in partnership with NJ Audubon:

Tax records do not have the specificity to evaluate the legitimacy of every business expense Mr. Trump claims to reduce his taxable income — for instance, without any explanation in his returns, the general and administrative expenses at his Bedminster golf club in New Jersey increased fivefold from 2016 to 2017.

Trump has also evading local property taxes at the golf course:

President Donald Trump is able to pay tens of thousands of dollars less in property taxes on his New Jersey golf courses because of a goat herd, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Is that an example of the “symbiotic” relationship Mr. Stiles of NJA referred to? It sounds like parasitism to me.

We call on NJ Audubon CEO Eric Stiles to immediately issue a public statement that severs all ties with Trump, including the following:

1) terminates the Trump Partnership;

2) discloses all Trump financial contributions to NJ Audubon, including any conservation easements and tax related benefits Trump generated via NJ Audubon work;

3) refunds all Trump financial contributions; and

4) apologizes to the public for supporting Trump

NJ media must hold NJ Audubon accountable and report on this issue.

We also call on all NJ conservation and environmental groups to shame NJ Audubon & refuse to work with them until they fully disclose, terminate, refund, and apologize for Trump partnerships.

We call on all Foundations that contribute to Trump to stop all financial support until this happens.

We call on the members on NJ Audubon to call CEO Eric Stiles TODAY and make that demand and if he refuses to resign.

Do it NOW!

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