December 28, 2005

AG System Eats Self; inside, penguins.

posted by Will Wilson @ 8:01 pm

“The Court rejects the Attorney General’s argument that the Settlement Agreement unconstitutionally inhibits the power of the Legislature.”—Minnesota v. Philip Morris

Whoa! Stop the train! Lemme read that one more time…

Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch argued that the Master Settlement Agreement is (1) unconstitutional, and (2) usurps state legislative authority? Have I got that right? ‘Cause it sounds terribly familiar. As if we’ve been making that argument for seven years.

Ramsey County (MN) District Court Judge Michael Fetsch ruled that Minnesota cannot slam cigarettes with another health fee. Fetsch oh-so-sensibly says, “The state is bound, like any other party is bound, to the contracts to which it freely and knowingly enters, and from which it benefits.”

This really shouldn’t be news. It is preposterous that Minnesota rested $400M worth of budgetary hopes on this chicanery. Are the full implications of the MSA just now dawning on everyone not working for Big Tobacco? Are state officials (including the AGs themselves) only at this late moment realizing that AGs effectively commandeered state governments in the service of Philip Morris and Co.?

It has taken seven years for AGs to turn against their masterpiece MSA. Perhaps it will take less time for them to comprehend their other errors…

Oh, who are we kidding…

AG Watch would be more ecstatic about this decision, but the states’ Little Smokin’ Dutch Boy budget plans—plugging holes with cigarettes—will undoubtedly adopt a new face. AGs and other tax-hungry cratocrats will tinker with words long before they will change tactics: “taxes” will replace “fees,” “vitality” will supplant “health,” resiliant wills will be immobilized, and the nation perfectly demoralized.

December 23, 2005


posted by Will Wilson @ 1:37 pm

December 19, 2005

Corporate Farms Come to Nebraska…

posted by Will Wilson @ 5:47 pm

December 7, 2005

Greve v. Tierney: The Melee in the Beltway

posted by Will Wilson @ 4:43 pm

December 2, 2005

AG Antitrust

posted by Will Wilson @ 4:07 pm