CWAG Roundup


November 19, 2015


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 contact CWAG Meeting Manager, Janine Knudsen, at 916.704.1057 or [email protected] with any questions or to confirm your participation.  
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 at [email protected] or the CWAG Annual Meeting to Janine Knudsen at [email protected]
CWAG Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem of North Dakota says he will run for governor. General Stenehjem told reporters that he will formally announce his gubernatorial bid on November 24 in Grand Forks, Fargo and Bismarck. He plans to make the announcement the following day in Minot and Dickinson. General Stenehjem says he will make the announcement on November 30 in his hometown of Williston. General Stenehjem is running for the seat being vacated by Gov. Jack Dalrymple.
A national non-profit has ranked Montana as one of the top states in the country for its efforts to prevent child sex trafficking. Shared Hope International recently released its annual state report cards, and upgraded Montana to an "A" over last year's "D." The organization cited Montana's successful commitment to advancing legislation this spring to ensure that children are not for sale within its borders. During this year's legislative session, House Bill 89 was drafted by and introduced at the request of CWAG Attorney General Tim Fox. "The Montana Department of Justice is pleased and gratified that Shared Hope International has taken note of our ongoing legislative advocacy and outreach efforts over the last two years to fight modern-day slavery with a dual approach: To bring perpetrators to justice while taking a victim-centered approach to helping those whose lives have been destroyed by these heinous crimes. Montana's laws now have the clear definitions and penalties we need to protect our children and help sex trafficking victims on the road to recovery," General Fox said.
Shared Hope International, a Vancouver, Washington-based organization dedicated to preventing human trafficking, today recognized Texas as a top state in the fight against this brutal crime. Texas has long been a leader in such efforts and this year was one of only six states to receive the grade of "A" for 2015. The grades are based on state laws put into place to prevent trafficking, protect victims, and prosecute offenders. "Human trafficking is a horrific crime that targets vulnerable men, women, and children in our communities, and I'm proud Texas is a national leader in prosecuting offenders and assisting victims," said CWAG Associate Attorney General Ken Paxton. "The prevention task force led by my office has sent a clear message that human trafficking will not be tolerated in Texas, and I commend our legislature for passing laws to aggressively fight this inexcusable offense. I also commend the dedicated efforts of law enforcement in our office and across the state to help stop human trafficking."
CWAG Attorney General Marty Jackley of South Dakota has met with Flandreau Chairman Anthony Reider, Tribal Council members and leaders, regarding the marijuana operations of the Santee Sioux Tribe. As with the previous government-to-government meetings with tribal authorities, the meeting was both professional and important to gain each other's continued perspective. "As Attorney General, it remains my desire to work with Tribal authorities to avoid placing either Indian or non-Indian persons unnecessarily at risk from state or federal prosecution. The federal government has unnecessarily created uncertainty with its lack of uniformity with enforcement of existing law and its unresponsiveness to both State and Tribal authorities.  While it remains my belief that the Tribe's suspension of its grow operation is in the best interest of public health and safety, I will continue to work with Tribal leadership and the Flandreau community in order to ensure a mutual respect and compliance with both Tribal and State laws," said General Jackley.
CWAG Attorney General Craig Richards of Alaska announced that the State has joined the City of King Cove and other King Cove area residents in appealing the federal district court's decision preventing the land exchange necessary to build a road from King Cove to the Cold Bay Airport. Over the years, many residents of King Cove have lost their lives awaiting medical evacuation during the frequent severe winds and weather that make sea and air transport out of King Cove impossible. However, in nearby Cold Bay one of the longest runways in Alaska provides both scheduled airline service and emergency landing services for the largest commercial and military aircraft as they cross the Pacific. If patients from King Cove can get to Cold Bay, then they can reach Anchorage medical services by air. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has blocked this exchange. It is her opinion that the potential detrimental effects of the road on wildlife outweigh the impacts on the lives of King Cove residents.
An Illinois department head is suing Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and asking the court to remove the attorney general's office from certain workers compensation cases. The lawsuit was filed by Tom Tyrrell, director of the Illinois Department of Central Management Services, an executive branch agency answerable to the governor. The attorney general's office has yet to file its response with the court, but that response is coming, a spokeswoman said. "We strongly disagree with CMS' allegations and will be responding in court," said Annie Thompson, deputy press secretary. The governor's office and General Madigan's solicitor general also clashed recently on whether gubernatorial staff attorneys could file friend-of-the-court briefs on behalf of the governor in a U.S. Supreme Court case.
CWAG Attorney General Hector Balderas of New Mexico announced that a for-profit education company, Education Management Corporation (EDMC), will significantly reform its recruiting and enrollment practices, and forgive more than $632,000 in loans for approximately 553 New Mexico former students, through a qui tam settlement. "Over 550 students will have their student loans forgiven thanks to today's agreement for a total of $632,000 in loan forgiveness for New Mexicans," said General Balderas. "My office will continue to hold corporations accountable when they employ unfair tactics and prey on New Mexicans' desires to build better lives for their families. Today's agreement will not only have a great impact on former students, but on all New Mexico students going forward thanks to the changed business practices of EDMC."
CWAG Associate Attorney General Bill Sorrell of Vermont announced that he will hold three forums across Vermont in December to gather that feedback on whether Vermont should reduce its reliance on incarceration as a response to criminal conduct "Vermont leaders and legislators have taken many steps during the past two decades, both through policy and legislation, to ease prison overcrowding and minimize the need to send Vermont prisoners out of state," said General Sorrell. "I would like to hear whether Vermonters are ready to ask the Legislature to commit to a statewide policy that reduces reliance on incarceration or lengthy incarceration in response to criminal conduct at the prosecution and sentencing stages of a case."
CWAG Attorney General Marty Jackley of South Dakota released a statement on fantasy sports betting. Presently both the Nevada and New York Attorneys General have taken action to enforce their respective state laws. Federal law, the state in which a wager is made, and the state in which a wager is received, may have jurisdiction over the matter. "I recognize that fantasy sports betting has gained national attention due to its popularity and concerns about potential federal and state law violations.  In the hope of avoiding having South Dakotans placed into potential harm's way, I am taking this opportunity to provide a summary of our state gaming law.  It is also important to understand that fantasy sports that so many law abiding South Dakotans enjoy that do not involve exchanging money or items of value are not a violation of state law," said General Jackley. "Before taking any action as South Dakota's Attorney General, it will be my intent to await potential guidance from the South Dakota Gaming Commission that has placed the issue of fantasy sports betting on its November 18 Commission meeting agenda.  As the Chairman of the nation's Attorneys General, I supported forming the National Gaming Subcommittee that is chaired by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) and Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood (D) to provide guidance on Gaming Law issues.  I will also be looking to the insight of the Attorney General Gaming Committee to gain the collective experience of our nation's Attorneys General for potential guidance on how to best address this national issue."
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman of New York ordered the two biggest daily fantasy sports companies, DraftKings and FanDuel, to stop accepting bets from New York residents, saying their games constituted illegal gambling under state law. The cease-and-desist order is a major blow to a multibillion-dollar industry that introduced sports betting to legions of young sports fans and has formed partnerships with many of the nation's professional sports teams. Given the attorney general's historic role as a consumer-protection advocate, legal experts said the action was likely to reverberate in other states where legislators and investigators are increasingly questioning whether the industry should operate unfettered by regulations that govern legalized gambling. "It is clear that DraftKings and FanDuel are the leaders of a massive, multibillion-dollar scheme intended to evade the law and fleece sports fans across the country," General Schneiderman said.

Chris Coppin

Legal Director

Conference of Western Attorneys General

111 Lomas, NW   Suite 300

Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102


505-660-5901 (cell)

505-222-9183 (fax)

[email protected]