Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen is demanding that the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) return all of the state’s funds currently being invested by NAAG.
Knudsen, who has left NAAG, threatened legal action if the funds aren’t returned, and cited investments in liberal environment, social and governance (ESG) causes as one of the main reasons:
“And now we have learned that, while states like Montana are pushing back against the use of ESG in so many other areas of our citizens’ lives, NAAG is investing its money in ESG-linked investments. That is patently unacceptable.”
Knudsen cites the findings of an inquiry by Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobash who, in a January 26, 2023 letter, asked NAAG to provide him with a list of the specific investments held by NAAG and its related entities—i.e., specific stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, limited partnership stakes, and other financial positions held by NAAG entities.
Kobash expressed concern NAAG’s investments are undermining his efforts to “combat the corrosive ‘ESG’ practices of investment firms and other players in the financial industry.” “These practices destroy shareholder value in pursuit of faddish ideological aims, often without proper disclosure to investors,” AG Kobash said.
“[L]ine items in the fund clearly show investment in ESG-oriented entities like BlackRock and DFA Emerging Markets Social Core Equity Fund,” Breitbart reported after reviewing the information provided to Kobash by NAAG.
“Based on how I’ve seen NAAG operate, this revelation isn’t shocking,” AG Knudsen told Breitbart News:
“It seems they either don’t know how the money is invested, or they are trying to obfuscate the fact that there are investments in ESG-related funds. Either way, it’s not acceptable and this way of doing business is why I stopped using Montanans tax dollars to pay NAAG dues.”
In his letter to NAAG, sent Wednesday (Feb. 8, 2023), Knudsen tells the association it has 90 days to return Montana’s funds, in order to avoid legal action:
“Return the money in your accounts that belongs to Montana within 90 days or I will go to court and sue to ensure that the money is safely and legally brought back within the four corners of Montana law.”
Editor's Note: This piece reprinted with permission and was first published on CNSNews.com.