HSUS’s Legal Rep Has a Bad Rap

Grade FIt was a bit of a head-scratcher when the Humane Society of the United States announced it had retained lawyer and failed gubernatorial candidate Drew Edmondson to help stonewall an investigation by the Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt into its deceptive fundraising practices. While HSUS alleges Pruitt is abusing his power with his (quite legitimate) inquiry, HSUS shouldn’t be so quick to point fingers: Edmondson himself is a former AG who was named the third-worst attorney general in the country while he held the office.

In a 2010 report entitled “The Nation’s Worst Attorney Generals,” the Competitive Enterprise Institute evaluated four criteria and gave Edmondson a failing grade in each of them: Ethical Breaches and Selective Application of the Law, Fabricating Law, Usurping Legislative Powers, and Predatory Practices.

Noting that Edmondson’s time as Oklahoma’s attorney general was “marked by a pattern of political bullying and hypocrisy,” the report went on to criticize Edmondson for accepting campaign cash from “out-of-state lawyers, wealthy special interests, and even felons.” Read the full report here.

HSUS asking a former officeholder who was given a failing grade for “predatory practices” to help avoid accountability for its own deceptive fundraising techniques is certainly an interesting choice, but Edmonson and HSUS seemed well-suited for each other. Considering his record as attorney general, it’s not entirely surprising that Edmondson would help HSUS avoid accountability for misleading its own donors. And given HSUS’s history of irresponsible spending, potentially misleading federal courts, and fundraising off of natural disasters, we’re not shocked they asked the nation’s “third worst attorney general” for help.