CWAG Roundup

October 15, 2015

Greetings! 

 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:
 
REGISTRATION OPEN FOR CWAG WINTER DINNER
 
CWAG's "Dinner with the Attorneys General," is set for Tuesday, December 1, 2015, at The Mills House in Charleston, South Carolina.  We invite your participation in this Endowment Dinner benefiting the programs and goals of CWAG.  Attached please find the sponsorship and registration information. This engaging dinner includes participation by approximately 25-30 Attorneys General and their top staff from across the country. We hope your schedule will allow you to attend this year's event and participate in this premier opportunity for exchanging views and forging relationships.  Please note that the cutoff date for our room block is Tuesday, November 10 so we encourage you to contact the Mills House reservations number at 800.874.9600 as soon as possible to secure your room.  Please contact CWAG Meeting Manager, Janine Knudsen, at 916.704.1057 or Janine.Knudsen@CWAGWeb.Org with any questions or to confirm your participation. 
 
SAVE THE DATE
 
CWAG Alliance Partnership Binational State Attorney General Exchange July 16-17, 2016
CWAG Annual Meeting July 17-20, 2016
Sun Valley Resort
Sun Valley, Idaho
 
The Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG) Alliance Partnership, CWAG Chair and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum along with Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden cordially invite you to attend the 2016 CWAG Alliance Partnership Binational State Attorneys General Exchange and CWAG Annual Meeting.  
 
The Binational State Attorneys General Exchange will be held from July 16 to July 17 at the Sun Valley Resort in Sun Valley, Idaho, immediately followed by the CWAG Annual Meeting which runs from July 17-20, 2016.  
 
CWAG anticipates the attendance of Mexico's Federal Attorney General Arely Gomez Gonzalez, as well as approximately 20 state Attorneys General from Mexico and the United States to be in attendance at the Binational Exchange, in addition to other federal and private partners.  We expect approximately 22-25 state Attorneys General along with their top staff along with other government and private sector partners in attendance at the CWAG Annual Meeting.
 
We also want to advise you that dates have been announced for the RNC and DNC which are in conflict with the CWAG Annual Meeting.  Due to meeting planning beginning years in advance, CWAG will keep our meeting dates and hope you are able to join us.
 
Please direct any questions regarding the Binational Exchange to Lauren Niehaus atlniehaus@cwagweb.org or the CWAG Annual Meeting to Janine Knudsen atjknudsen@cwagweb.org.

ATTORNEY GENERAL REYES HONORED
 
CWAG Attorney General Sean Reyes of Utah was honored as a 2015 STARBlazer by the Philippine American Business Improvement and Development Association (Phil-Am BID) at a ceremony in San Diego, the third highest Filipino-American populated city in the United States. The STARBlazer award recognizes members of the community for their integrity and professional accomplishments, and pays tribute to their selfless service in the true spirit of "giving back." "The lessons of my Filipino elders have made me a stronger American, husband and father," said General Reyes.  "Any success that I've been blessed with comes from God and my family. I am grateful to stand in such prestigious company not only to receive the STARBlazer honor - but also the support of the Fil-Am Community of San Diego." 
 
PROTECTING CHILDREN
 
CWAG Attorney General Doug Chin of Hawaii announced that a grand jury has charged David Sisombath with six counts of promoting child abuse in the second degree and one count of promoting child abuse in the third degree. The allegations against Mr. Sisombath are that he disseminated child pornography over a peer to peer file sharing network, and possessed over 384 images and videos of child sexual abuse with 44 of the files depicting children under the age of 12 on six separate computers and hard drives. General Chin said of the charges: "As our criminal laws recognize, child pornography is child abuse. These horrible images can only be created by abusing a child. Every time someone views or shares these images, the victim of that abuse is being abused again. Our department will prosecute these offenses to the fullest extent of the law."
 
The app-driven car-service company, Uber, has teamed up with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to implement the initiative in more than 180 American cities - potentially reaching about 75 percent of the country's population. A pilot program, launched a few months ago in Colorado, led to the nationwide expansion. Robert Hoever, a director of special programs in NCMEC's Missing Children Division, described the partnership as an "incredible asset" in a statement. "[We] are proud to team up with Uber to increase the reach of the Amber Alert program and help bring more missing children home safely."
 
CWAG Attorney General Sean Reyes of Utah delivered the keynote address at the National Association of Women Judges 2015 Conference in Salt Lake City. Approximately 150 women judges from throughout the country and world representing federal, state, tribal, military and administrative law courts at both the appellate and trial levels were in attendance - along with many local practicing attorneys and law students. "I want my little girl to grow up knowing she can achieve her dreams in part because you have pushed open many doors for generations of women behind you," noted General Reyes in his remarks. "And I want to thank you for making the fight against human trafficking, which ravages women and children worldwide, one of your organizational priorities."
 
WATERS OF THE US LITIGATION UPDATE
 
CWAG Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem of North Dakota announced that North Dakota's challenge to the EPA's Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule has met with success in another federal court. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued a unanimous order denying transfer of the district court cases that have been filed challenging the United States Environmental Protection Agency and United States Army Corps of Engineers' "Waters of the United States" Rule. The federal Agencies had asked the panel to transfer and centralize all of the pending cases - including the North Dakota case - to the federal district court in the District of Columbia. North Dakota opposed the request, arguing that its case was in a unique procedural position due to it being the only case with a preliminary injunction and that the federal Agencies had not met their burden to justify transfer. "We have a long way still to go but this is the state's third consecutive victory on the route. We will continue to press the matter until the WOTUS rule is invalidated," said General Stenehjem.
 
CWAG Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt of Nevada announced that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit issued an order staying the implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) new "Waters of the United States" rule nationwide. This is the second federal court to block the federal rule from being implemented in Nevada. Both courts found "a substantial possibility of success on the merits" of Nevada's arguments that the rule is unlawful. "In June, my office sued to invalidate an EPA rule that places unnecessary burdens on Nevada's landowners and puts their properties at risk," said General Laxalt. "Today's nationwide stay marks yet another victory for this state and the country at large, and expands on the earlier injunction granted by a U.S. District Court. As your attorney general, I will continue to advocate on behalf of Nevada to protect this state, its residents and its private property owners from this and future attempts at overreach by the federal government." 
 
PROTECTING TAXPAYER DOLLARS
 
CWAG Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum of Oregon announced that the Oregon Supreme Court denied a mandamus petition filed by Oracle's lawyers asking the Court to dismiss the five high-level Oracle executives named in Oregon's lawsuit against the company. The State of Oregon is suing Oracle over the debacle that was the Cover Oregon website. General Rosenblum filed the suit, seeking more than $200 million in damages. Rosenblum sued Oracle and some of its executives for fraud, racketeering and false claims of payment. General Rosenblum stated, "Today, the Oregon Supreme Court refused to let Oracle's executives off the hook. In August, these high-level executives complained to the court that they did not bear any personal responsibility for any misrepresentations they may have made to the state about Oracle's work product. Let me be clear: These people are high level executives who were integral to the misrepresentations made by Oracle to Oregon officials, and they should be held accountable."
 
CYBER EXPLOITATION LAWS
 
CWAG Attorney General Kamala D. Harris of California issued a statement in response to Governor Jerry Brown's signature of Assembly Bill 1310, one of two cyber exploitation bills sponsored by Attorney General Harris. "This new law gives law enforcement important tools necessary to hold cyber exploitation perpetrators accountable and bring justice to victims," said General Harris. "AB 1310 furthers the ability of law enforcement to gather evidence and prosecute these heinous cases." AB 1310 amends current law by allowing search warrants to be issued for cyber exploitation crimes, giving law enforcement the ability to search electronic databases and retrieve the victims' images.  AB 1310 also allows for the prosecution of cyber exploitation cases in the county where the victim resides or in the county where the images were posted. 
 
CAMPAIGN FINANCE
 
CWAG Attorney General Bob Ferguson of Washington announced that his office has filed a complaint alleging campaign finance violations by Service Employees International Union Local 925 (SEIU 925) and SEIU Local 925 Public Service PAC (SEIU 925 PAC).  Specifically, the complaint alleges that SEIU 925 and SEIU 925 PAC failed to timely and properly file reports of in-kind and monetary contributions as required under the state's campaign finance laws. "Transparency in elections is vital to the integrity of our democracy," General Ferguson said. "I am committed to holding all parties accountable for disclosing timely information, so voters can make fully informed decisions." In August, the Attorney General's Office received a Citizen Action Complaint from the Freedom Foundation against SEIU 925 alleging multiple violations of the state's public disclosure laws.


Chris Coppin

Legal Director

Conference of Western Attorneys General

111 Lomas, NW   Suite 300

Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102

505-222-9175

505-660-5901 (cell)

505-222-9183 (fax)

CCoppin@cwagweb.org