I’ll post up illustrated speaking notes in a day or two, as well as some comments. May 20 – Annotated version online here.
I’ve noticed two incomplete versions online.
One version is on Youtube in three parts here. It misses the last few minutes of the talk, but I prefer this version to the version on the Heartland website (which presently stalls at 20:46) because it includes some of the graphics – which were shown on a large screen to the audience and were an integral part of the presentation – and because it picks up audience reaction to the occasional ironic remark a little better.
Here is the Heartland version.
I’ll comment more on this later, but I’ll pick up on a couple of points that is occasioning blog discussion. These arise out of caveats at the beginning and end of my talk (the latter not online at present). In questions afterwards, people challenged me for not being angry, for discouraging angriness and for criticizing Cuccinelli. I received dozens of compliments from people at the conference.
Some blog characterization of my comments e.g. at Keith Kloor and Pielk Jr- somewhat mischaracterize my comments. Academics tend to be surprisingly poor listeners – all too often they fold people’s comments into their preconceived framework. Lawyers tend to be far better listeners.
CA readers know that I express myself carefully and try to make my opinions as narrow and precise as possible. As I previously stated in several CA posts, I disagree with Cuccinelli for a variety of reasons. Cuccinelli is seeking to establish an offence under section 8.01 -263.1 of Virginia act (here). I discussed this briefly in my speech as follows:
Despite the failures of the inquiries to do their job, I strongly disagree with Cuccinelli’s recent investigation of potential financial abuse. Regardless of what one may think of the quality of Mann’s work, he has published diligently. In my opinion, Cuccinelli’s actions are an abuse of administrative prerogative that on the one hand is unfair to Mann and on the other provides easy fodder for people to avoid dealing with the real issues.
All I’m saying here is that I do not think that there is prima facie evidence of a section 8.01 offence. I realize that Cuccinelli has the “right” to investigate section 8.01 offences, but I do not believe that his present interest in Mann arises out of search criteria arising out of section 8.01 – there must be hundreds, if not thousands, of government expenditures that would be on a short list generated by accounting criteria. This is too much like instigating out a tax audit on political enemies.
There are real issues in this file that should have been investigated by the appropriate inquiries. People who are worried about these things should complain to institutions responsible for the inquiries – not instigate section 8.01 investigations.