In case you missed it, the New York Times published another story this weekend on attorneys general and, once again, it touched on Florida’s own Pam Bondi.
Sunday’s story by Times reporter Eric Lipton was the sixth he’s written about attorneys general since October. It spotlights Oklahoma Attorney Scott Pruitt to illustrate how energy industry lobbyists have enlisted the help of mostly Republican attorneys general in their legal battles against President Obama’s administration.
Bondi, who was a focus in two earlier stories, one published on Oct. 29 and a second on Nov. 9, played a supporting role in the latest article, getting quoted down in the story voicing support for taking the side of industry in so many legal battles.
“When the federal government oversteps its legal authority and takes actions that hurt our business and residents, it’s entirely appropriate for us to partner with adversely affected private entities in fighting back,” Lipton quotes Bondi as saying.
That’s a similar explanation that Bondi gave the Times/Herald when it wrote a story in October about her office’s numerous "friend-of-the-court" briefs and other letters or reports pertaining to an array of topics and issues, some of which don't directly involve the state.
No matter the cause -- showing support for the Keystone pipeline, objecting to the federal rejection of a coal mining permit in West Virginia, challenging a ban on some semiautomatic weapons in Connecticut or New York -- Bondi was usually joined by numerous fellow Republican attorneys generals from mostly southern and western states
Bondi’s office in October described her involvement in these out-of-state battles as way to protect the rights of Floridians, even if they weren’t directly affected by the specific case. In an e-mail, a spokeswoman, Jenn Meale, said no outside group influenced Bondi’s decision to get involved in these battles.
"The only consideration Attorney General Bondi gives to matters before her office, including decisions on whether to participate in amicus briefs, is what is best for Floridians," Meale wrote in October.
In almost every case, a few Democratic attorneys general would join in, allowing Bondi to characterize the briefs as “bipartisan.”
But Lipton's online version of Sunday's story included supporting documents that suggest Bondi's motives are a bit more complicated, and partisan.