CWAG Roundup

 January 21, 2016



CWAG Chair, Oregon Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum, announces that she will hold her CWAG Chair initiative on May 24, 2016, in Portland, Oregon. The one day conference will address the issue of education debt.
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and CWAG are proud to announce a Digital Currency Symposium open to all government and private sector attendees at the Montage Deer Valley in Park City, UT on February 4-5.  We encourage all interested parties to take advantage of the opportunity to meet with State Attorneys General to learn about and discuss important issues regarding the digital economy. The Digital Currency Symposium will work to foster relationships with responsible industry players, law enforcement officials and regulators to share information and exchange ideas which will assist policy makers in the development of appropriate regulations and legislation.
The draft agenda for this meeting is attached. Suggestions, questions or comments can be directed to CWAG Legal Director Chris Coppin, [email protected], or 505.589.5101. The agenda will be distributed to CWAG Roundup recipients or is available upon request from CWAG.                   
Space and attendance are limited.  We have had a great response and are still accepting registrations for the symposium however our room block is currently full.  The following link contains a large list of hotels to choose from in Park City - contact CWAG Meeting Planner Janine Knudsen, [email protected], or 916.704.1057 if you have any questions or to register for the symposium.
CWAG Attorney General Mark Brnovich of Arizona, will be hosting an International Cooperation Across the Border conference, in conjunction with the Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG) Alliance Partnership and the Southwest Border Anti-Money Laundering Alliance (SWBAML) February 29 to March 1, 2016 in Scottsdale, Arizona. This conference will provide an opportunity for US state Attorneys General, the state Attorneys General from Mexico and representatives from the PGR, CNVB, TRAC and other law enforcement agencies to meet and collaborate on topics surrounding transnational organized crime. For additional information on this conference, please contact Lauren Niehaus, Director of Program Coordination for the CWAG Alliance Partnership at: [email protected] or 303.827.9039.
The Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG), Oregon Attorney General and CWAG Chair Ellen Rosenblum along with Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden invite you to join your colleagues for the CWAG Annual Meeting, July 17-20, 2016 in Sun Valley, Idaho at the Sun Valley Resort. 
Please note the important dates and information below:
To register online or download and print the registration information in a PDF form to register manually use the following link:
If you have attended an annual meeting in the past few years your contact information has been saved in the registration system.  Please review your contact information during the registration process to make sure it is current.
To register, go to "Sign In" and enter the email address and password you or your assistant previously provided.  If you can't recall your password, click on the "Forgot Password" link and your password will be sent to the email that is saved in the system.
If you have not previously registered for the annual meeting go to "New Registration", enter your email and create a personal password to be used for future registrations.
Early Bird Registration:  The cutoff date for Early Bird registration is Friday, June 3, 2016 at 5:00p (PT).  Your online registration must be finalized or your manual registration form received via fax or email to the CWAG office by 5:00p (PT) on June 3.  All registrations received after this time and date will be charged the regular registration fee.
Onsite Registration:  Pre-registering for primary attendees and guests who would like to attend any of the substantive or social opportunities is required.  CWAG must make commitments to the hotel and activity vendors based on pre-registered guests prior to our arrival.  The registration fees cover the cost of activities and meals at the conference which have been pre-arranged.  Given the necessity of pre planning, we will not be accepting any onsite registrations.
Hotel Room Cut Cutoff:  The last day to reserve your room within the CWAG room block is Thursday, June 23, 2016.  If the room block sells out prior to that time, reservations will be accepted on a space available basis.  The reservation number for the Sun Valley Resort is 800.786.8259.  Ask for the CWAG room block to receive our discounted rates.
Two years ago, Mr. Hearn quit a cushy programming job at Google's Swiss headquarters to devote himself full time to what was his great passion: the virtual currency Bitcoin. He was one of a handful of developers around the world dedicated to maintaining the basic software that governs both the creation of new Bitcoins and the network on which the financial transactions take place. But a nasty fight has torn apart the small brotherhood of Bitcoin developers and raised questions about the survival of the virtual currency. Mr. Hearn, until recently one of the most prominent leaders of the Bitcoin project, became so disillusioned that in December he sold the few hundred Bitcoins he had left and quietly took a job at a new start-up.
CWAG Attorney General Hector Balderas of New Mexico announced the successful completion of a weeklong training and interdisciplinary exchange for Mexican prosecutors, investigators and forensic experts hosted by the Office of the New Mexico Attorney General. "Mexico and New Mexico share much more than a border, so it's critical for us to work together to attack the most violent, dangerous offenders who seek to harm New Mexicans," said General  Balderas. "Criminal enterprises do not recognize countries or borders, they only recognize opportunity for illicit profits. Late last year, I had the opportunity to collaborate with the state attorneys general from nearly every state in Mexico. Binational efforts such as these allow for the free exchange of critical information about criminal activities and increase safety for citizens on both sides of the border."
The federal administration is imposing a moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands, arguing that the $1 billion-a-year program must be modernized to ensure a fair financial return to taxpayers and address climate change. "It is abundantly clear that times are different than they were 30 years ago, and the time for review (of the coal leasing program) is now," Interior Secretary Jewell told reporters in a conference call. She called the moratorium, effective immediately and expected to last through the remainder of Obama's final year in office, a "prudent step to hit pause." At least 30 mining applications in nine states would be blocked under the directive, according to a Bureau of Land Management list obtained by The Associated Press. Some of the largest projects are in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana, the nation's top coal-producing region.
CWAG Associate Attorney General Bill Schuette of Michigan announced that he will investigate the water crisis currently affecting the City of Flint. The purpose of the investigation is to determine what, if any, Michigan laws were violated in the process that resulted in the contamination crisis currently forcing Flint residents to rely on bottled water for drinking, cooking and bathing as they fear for their health. "As attorney general, I will investigate this situation to determine if any Michigan laws have been broken," said General Schuette. "Without fear or favor, I will carry out my responsibility to enforce the laws meant to protect Michigan families, and represent the citizens of Flint. The situation in Flint is a human tragedy in which families are struggling with even the most basic parts of daily life. While everyone acknowledges that mistakes were made, my duty as attorney general requires that I conduct this investigation."
CWAG Attorney General Bob Ferguson of Washington has proposed a bill to establish a one-year lobbying prohibition for former high-ranking state officials. The update to state ethics laws would also require disclosure of where former officials are employed after state service. Under current law, many state officials and employees can leave a state job on Friday and start work on Monday as a lobbyist paid to influence former colleagues. "The revolving door from public to private sector employment undermines public trust by giving the appearance of special access, unfair advantage, and conflicts of interest," said General Ferguson. "This overdue reform will promote government integrity and deter improper influence."
CWAG Attorney General Hector Balderas of New Mexico announced that he filed suit on behalf of the State of New Mexico against Volkswagen, Porsche, Audi, and their U.S. subsidiaries for state air quality control act and deceptive trade practice act violations. The Attorney General's suit stems from Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche's admitted use of emissions-cheating software in diesel-powered vehicles delivered and sold throughout New Mexico, as well as from those companies' false advertisement portraying those diesel vehicles as being clean-running and eco-friendly. "It's not lawful to profiteer and breach the trust of New Mexico consumers, and Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche will be held accountable for their deceptions," said General Balderas. "Our Fraud Recovery Strike Force will work to ensure maximum financial return for New Mexico taxpayers and consumers for the unacceptable behavior by one of the world's largest automakers. Volkswagen preyed upon hard working New Mexicans who want to protect the environment or save money with fuel efficiency."
CWAG Attorney General Mark Brnovich of Arizona announced his office filed a Consumer Fraud Lawsuit against Sticks N Strings, Inc., a musical instrument shop in Tucson. The complaint alleges Sticks N Strings and its owner, Anthony Bernard, accepted thousands of dollars' worth of payments for musical instruments and failed to deliver those instruments to consumers. "Sticks N Strings should be held accountable for taking its customers hard-earned money and leaving them with nothing in return," said General Brnovich. "We filed this lawsuit to help these musicians get their money back." The Attorney General's Office received seven consumer complaints against Sticks N Strings. According to the Consumer Fraud Lawsuit, one consumer paid Sticks N Strings over $20,000.00 for several guitars and has not received any of the guitars ordered.
CWAG Associate Attorney General Ken Paxton of Texas issued an opinion in response to a legislative inquiry regarding the legality of online gaming. "It's my duty as Attorney General to look to the law, as passed by the people's representatives, to answer the questions put to this office," General Paxton said. "Paid daily 'fantasy sports' operators claim they can legally operate as an unregulated house, but none of their arguments square with existing Texas law. Simply put, it is prohibited gambling in Texas if you bet on the performance of a participant in a sporting event and the house takes a cut." These sites are also wrong in claiming an actual-contestant exception, which applies only to contestants in an actual skill or sporting event.  And unlike some other states, Texas law only requires "partial chance" for something to be gambling; it does not require that chance predominate. 
Chris Coppin
Legal Director
Conference of Western Attorneys General
1300 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
505-589-5101 (cell)
817-615-9335 (fax)

Conference of Western Attorneys General | 1300 I Street | Sacramento | CA | 95814