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Why Is a 'Nonpartisan' Group of AGs Cozying Up With Woke BlackRock?

In the last year, Townhall has reported extensively on the left's attempts to force ESG — environmental, social and governance — standards to force radical changes without having to secure the support of Americans' elected representatives, as well as on the significant victories and pushback achieved by those who oppose ESG.


A major source of victories rolling back ESG's corrosive effects? State attorneys general and treasurers who've successfully directed their states to divest from ESG-obsessed asset managers such as BlackRock, State Street, and Vanguard to protect retirees and their jurisdictions' bottom lines. 

The success of groups such as Consumers' Research and GOP leaders in states has not gone unnoticed by those who were apparently hoping to put ESG standards into practice without notice or opposition, and it seems like now the pro-ESG wing has gotten caught trying to co-opt what is supposed to be a nonpartisan association of state attorneys general. 

According to documents reported first by Breitbart, the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) — supposedly a "nonpartisan national forum" — has continued to cozy up with BlackRock at official gatherings as the largest asset manager in the world scrambles to push back on evidence it is putting woke priorities ahead of investors' financial return and longterm success. 

As Breitbart explained in its exclusive:

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink best described the ESG movement in 2019 when he wrote, “Society is increasingly looking to companies, both public and private, to address pressing social and economic issues. These issues range from protecting the environment to retirement to gender and racial inequality.” In another instance, Fink also stated that “behaviors are going to have to change” with companies, and BlackRock sometimes has to “force behaviors.”

Additionally, according to documents obtained by Breitbart News, representatives of BlackRock were also in attendance during NAAG’s April summit in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The records dated April 10 showed that Peter Vaughan, the Managing Director–Senior Counsel for BlackRock, and Bryan Wood, Director, Global Public Policy Group at BlackRock, were in attendance for the 2023 Attorney General Symposium and Presidential Summit from April 17 to 19.


Revelations that senior officials from BlackRock have been palling around with state AGs — presumably trying to convince them that their company is a responsible manager of funds and to dissuade additional states from taking action to divest from BlackRock-managed funds — is not the first time NAAG has been called out for its ties to ESG, an overwhelmingly left-leaning movement, to the chagrin of Republican leaders trying to stop ESG's spread. 

In January, Breitbart reported that NAAG had "invested money from public settlements into companies" including BlackRock and the DFA Emerging Markets Social Core Equity Fund, "investment funds pushing left-wing ideology." 

After these investments and the presence of BlackRock at official meetings were revealed, a handful of conservative groups and Republican AGs took action. Montana's attorney general demanded that state funds held by NAAG be returned to his state, Utah's AG sued NAAG over NAAG using its funds for ESG-advancing investments, and State Freedom Caucuses urged AGs to part ways with the organization.

Reacting to the latest developments about NAAG's apparent ties to ESG, Consumers' Research Executive Director Will Hild said in a statement that "BlackRock’s move to attend the NAAG conference is nothing more than the latest attempt to obscure its breach of fiduciary duty with Attorneys General." 


"After it was discovered that NAAG was investing in ESG, many Attorneys General rightfully voiced concerns about public funds being misused by NAAG to push a far-left political agenda via BlackRock," Hild continued. "While BlackRock CEO Larry Fink and other ESG extremists continue to see public pushback on their radical agenda, BlackRock is sending henchman to try and force these patriots to turn their back on American people."

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