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Alabama becomes first state to leave National Association of Attorneys General — ‘Going further and further left’

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has formally cut ties with the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), his office confirmed to Yellowhammer News.

According to the association’s website, NAAG “is the nonpartisan national forum for the 56 state and territory attorneys general and their staff.”

Currently chaired by Attorney General Karl Racine of the District of Columbia, membership in the association comes at a high cost to member offices nationwide. States pay nearly $70,000 annually to participate in the organization, which in turn hosts trainings and conferences originally designed to be bipartisan in nature.

Lately, however, some attorneys general have begun to question both the organization’s wealth and its emerging ideological bent.

Take, for instance, a recent multistate settlement with the global consulting firm McKinsey & Co. for its alleged role in exacerbating the opioid epidemic. As part of the California-led negotiations, NAAG is set to receive $15 million — nearly double the amount that most smaller states received, including Alabama. Questions have also been raised about the group’s close ties to left-leaning plaintiffs’ firms that are receiving massive payouts in attorneys’ fees from opioid-related litigation.

Notably, the last Republican attorney general to serve as NAAG president, Tim Fox of Montana, went on to join the plaintiffs’ firm of Morgan & Morgan — major bankrollers of Democratic politicians — in early 2021.

NAAG has more than $138 million in net assets — or almost $242 million if accounting for its Mission Foundation assets.

Republican members have privately grumbled over the association’s platform regularly being used to encourage increased spending from Congress on a variety of initiatives, to promote consumer protection efforts that necessitate outsourcing work to plaintiffs’ firms, and to support seemingly heavy-handed government regulation of a variety of business and industry sectors.

Now, the Marshall-led Alabama Attorney General’s Office appears to be the first in the nation to formally break ties with NAAG.

“I can’t justify spending taxpayer dollars to fund an organization that seems to be going further and further left,” Marshall commented. “With the money we will save, I can add a young lawyer to my consumer protection division and yield a far better return on the taxpayer’s investment.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn