Watch those extra-curricular activities Dr. Hansen

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Especially if they are profitable. From Watts Up With That:
NASA�s Hansen asked to account for outside activities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Contacts: Christopher Horner, chris.horner@atinstitute.org
Paul Chesser, paul.chesser@atinstitute.org

ATI Law Center Asks Court to Force NASA to Produce Ethics-Related, Outside Employment Records of Dr. James Hansen
The American Tradition Institute�s Environmental Law Center today filed a lawsuit in federal district court in the District of Columbia to force the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to release ethics records for taxpayer-funded global warming activist Dr. James Hansen, specifically records that pertain to his outside employment, revenue generation, and advocacy activities.

ATI seeks to learn whether NASA approved Hansen�s outside employment, which public financial disclosures and other documents reveal to have brought him at least $1.2 million in the past four years. This money comes on top of and, more troubling from an ethics and legal perspective, is all �related to� and sometimes even expressly for his taxpayer-funded employment, all of which outside employment commenced when Hansen stepped up his �global warming� activism from his perch at NASA.

On January 19, ATI filed a Freedom of Information Act request (PDF) with NASA�s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), which sought records detailing NASA�s and Hansen�s compliance with applicable federal ethics and financial disclosure laws and regulations and with NASA Rules of Behavior. Thus far the agency has denied ATI�s request for Hansen�s Form 17-60 �Application for permission for outside employment and other activity�, and internal discussions about same.

Arguing that release would constitute a �clearly unwarranted violation of Hansen�s privacy rights� NASA claims that ATI�s pages of explanation failed to establish that the one-page applications � if they exist, which ATI has reason to doubt � would�contribute to the public�s understanding of the activities of the Government, or how it would shed light on NASA�s performance of its statutory duties.�

This despite that whether NASA complies with ethics laws is patently of public interest, and that Hansen�s position requires him to file vastly more detailed Public Financial Disclosure filings, or Form SF 278, which are made available to the public on request. Both are for the simple reason that a senior employee�s outside revenue-generating activities are inherently in the public�s interest according to the Ethics in Government Act of 1978.

Dr. Hansen engages in high-profile public advocacy with regard to global warming and energy policy, directly trading on his platform as a NASA astronomer to gain interest and attention. This outside employment and other activities relating to his work have included consulting, highly compensated speeches, six-figure �prizes�, a commercial book, advising Al Gore on his movie �An Inconvenient Truth� and, lately, advising litigants on suing states and the federal government.
Lots more at the site. Basically, the guy is working on the government teat and his salary is coming from us taxpayers. All of the research he does, the data and conclusions are public domain. He is supposed to report any and all outside income and in some cases, this income needs to either be refused or turned over to his paymasters.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on June 21, 2011 5:05 PM.

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