Friday's WaPo reports that Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, following up on his efforts to end efforts by state universities and colleges to avoid discriminating against GLBT folks, has decided to interfere directly in scientific research in a criminal way, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/06/AR2010050605936.html. In particular, Cuccinelli is claiming that climate scientist, Michael Mann of hockey stick fame, engaged in billing fraud with the state while working on this subject while a professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, where he has not been located for some years (now at Penn State). Cuccinelli is demanding all kinds of emails and other materials from the university, apparently attempting to imitate the climategate gang that did this over at East Anglia, only to end up with no fraud being discovered.
I think that some of the critics of Mann's work were correct, but this is an outrage. There is no evidence at all of fraud (and those claiming the email in which he spoke of using a "trick" as evidence for this do not understand or are wilfully misrepresenting how this term is used in these situations) on his part, whatever errors he may have made in his study of the hockey stick (and it really does not matter exactly what the temperature was 1000 years ago; I have posted on this here previously). As it is, Cuccinelli is trying to justify his money and time wasting lawsuit against the federal government for trying to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. Maybe Cuccinelli is trying to replace Sarah Palin as the tea party's fave pol, now that she has annoyed some of them by endorsing Carly Fiorina for governor in California?