Curious Coincidences at George Mason University: Ed Wegman, Milton Johns and Ken Cuccinelli

Image of Lady Justice, with scales and sword.

Nearly two years ago, Canadian blogger Deep Climate found the first few pages of plagiarism in the Wegman Report.  Since then, he and others have found many more, whose chronology is graphed in Plagiarism chains involving Edward Wegman and/or students, 10/07/11, going back to 1996.

After 17+ months beyond the first of many formal complaints, and despite exhortation from a Nature editorial in May 2011 to move faster, George Mason University (GMU) is still reviewing the situation.

Dan Vergano of USA Today reported on 05/16/11 that

Neither Dr. Wegman nor Dr. Said has ever engaged in plagiarism,” says their attorney, Milton Johns, by e-mail. In a March 16 e-mail to the journal, Wegman blamed a student who “had basically copied and pasted” from others' work into the 2006 congressional report, and said the text was lifted without acknowledgment and used in the journal study. “We would never knowingly publish plagiarized material” wrote Wegman, a former CSDA journal editor.”

But who is Milton Johns, to be so confident of his firm statement?

A quick search finds Milton C. Johns, Attorney at Law, whose motto seems to be:

When Experience, Integrity and Understanding matter most…

His About Me notes he has published both fiction and nonfiction, and shows:

GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW, Arlington, VA Juris Doctor with High Honors, December 1997

GMU J.D. Wesley Russell is the actual filer of Civil Investigative Demands against the University of Virginia. His boss, GMU J.D. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli  has been well-funded by coal and utilities.  He has also received funding from the Koch brothers,  long-time givers to GMU and its various institutes.

Their latest CID relies heavily on the Wegman Report, and like it, is filled with errors.  As the CID's detailed climate material seems unlikely to be covered in law school, it remains to be seen if unacknowledged help was provided by others, perhaps VA residents well-connected with GMU, like Fred Singer or Pat Michaels.

Milt Johns has a page at the Red Dog Express, RPV Network, where Crescendo to Climategate Cacophony, p.115 had  found Jerry Coffey, who in 2005 contacted Wegman, starting the work that led to the Wegman Report.  One of John's “friends” there is Cuccinelli, unsurprising as they were contemporaneous at GMU.

Actually, the relationship was much closer, as in  ~2008, Milt Johns was a partner in a 4-person law firm, Cuccinelli & Day, LLC, so  Johns was Cuccinelli's law partner.

Coincidences happen.

UPDATE 11/06/11

Courtesy of J. Bowers, we find that the lawyer David Schnare, who has been filing the complaint against U VA for the “American Tradition Institute” (ATI) got his J.D. from GMU in 1999.   Well, coincidences do happen sometime, especally around a school beloved of the Koch brothers.

Image credit: Audrey Burmakin/Shutterstock


According to an Internet source that tracks financing, Cuccinelli got 96,000 from his father’s firm Quest Fore. Cuccinelli’s father—also named Ken Cuccinelli—is a career lobbyist/marketing expert for gas companies.

Cuccinelli has kidnapped the Virginia Attorney General’s office and uses it to benefit his family and his other financial sponsors.

He has turned his office into a political police—the sword and shield of the fossil fuel industry.

Cuccinelli is a thug and a gangster who has sold his office for money.

Cuccinelli is Catholic, but the Vatican accepts climate change and the IPCC 4th Assessment Report. Our students are taught about climate change in science courses. We see that Cuccinelli is taking the money from the fossil fuel companies in exchange for persecuting Dr. Michael Mann. We want political leaders who will help our people make the difficult transition to renewable energy.

Here is what the Vatican says about global warming:

God created our world with wisdom and love and when he had finished his great work of creation, God saw that it was good.

Today however the world is confronted with a serious ecological crisis. The earth is suffering from global warming as a result of our excessive consumption of energy. The extent of forested area on our planet has diminished by 50% over the last 40 years while the deserts are spreading ever faster. Three quarters of ocean life has already disappeared. Every day more than 100 living species die out and this loss of biodiversity is a serious menace for humanity itself. With the apostle Paul we can affirm: creation has been delivered into the power of destruction, it groans as in the pains of childbirth.”

The Pontifical Academy of Sciences had a meeting about melting glaciers in April 2011 and said:

We call on all people and nations to recognize the serious and potentially irreversible impacts of global warming caused by the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants, and by changes in forests, wetlands, grasslands, and other land uses. We appeal to all nations to develop and implement, without delay, effective and fair policies to reduce the causes and impacts of climate change on communities and ecosystems, including mountain glaciers and their watersheds, aware that we all live in the same home. By acting now, in the spirit of common but differentiated responsibility, we accept our duty to one another and to the stewardship of a planet blessed with the gift of life.

We are committed to ensuring that all inhabitants of this planet receive their daily bread, fresh air to breathe and clean water to drink as we are aware that, if we want justice and peace, we must protect the habitat that sustains us. The believers among us ask God to grant us this wish.

So this would be the same Vatican which was that entered into a mutually beneficial agreement with The Third Reich in 1933.

Good to see they’re still on the right side of history.

that was only threatend.

You could bother to learn the actual history, including why the Church found Galilo in grevious error.

Michael Mann attended a workshop hosted by the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences in Erice. He also speaks at Catholic Schools and appreciates our support. We study climate change. The Vatican Observer has said in the United Nations that he accepts the IPCC 4th Assessment.

I expect that if the Vatican continues to have conferences on climate change, that Dr. Mann will be invited to present. The Pontifical Academy of Sciences is non-denominational.

Dr. John Abraham, who has done a lot to defend climate scientists, teaches at a Catholic University. 

Scientists who have Nobel Prizes, such as the climate scientist Paul Crutzen, are members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Pontifical Academicians Paul Crutzen and V. Ramanathan have had leading roles in creating the IPCC Assessment Reports.

Catholics are proud of that, and we are proud to see these scholars in the AP Environmental Science text.

The Galileo tragedy was 400 years ago. The Church had confused the science of Aristotle with religion. There was a lot of politics and fear involved. 

The Church accepts what Galileo, propbably quoting the Vatican librarian Bishop Baronius, said: “The Bible teaches us how to go to Heaven, not how the heavens go.”

Galileo wrote this famous sentence in a letter he sent to a lady aristocrat. He meant that the Bible is not a science book. The Catholic Church wants to know about real science so they can educate people and solve problems.

The Catholic Church was wrong to repress Galileo, but they did generally support science even then, and Galileo was proud to belong to the Academy Lincei—the forerunner of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Copernicus was a Catholic cleric, and he came up with the heliocentric theory before Galileo. Even Galileo didn’t accept this theory until he looked through his telescope.

I have been reading about Galileo, and it is very complicated. It was not so easy to see that heliocentrism was true. It is a lot easier to see that global warming is true.

The Catholic Church supports the climate scientists! I just did a presentation for Catholic teachers about the activities of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and everyone was very interested. The science teachers, and some have their PhDs, were very complimentary.

They were especially happy when I told the audience that the Pontifical Academicians Crutzen and Ramanathan helped with the IPCC reports and that they are cited in our AP Environmental Science book.

Catholic science teachers defend the climate scientists and Dr. Michael Mann!

Here is what Father Funes, the head of the Vatican Observatory, told the official Vatican newspaper:

Faith and science are not irreconcilable…Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI [have said]: faith and reason are the two wings which elevate the human spirit. There is no contradiction between what we know through faith and what we learn through science. There may be tensions or conflicts, but we should not be afraid. The Church must not fear science and its discoveries.”

The interviewer responds, “As was the case with Galileo.”

I read that there is a hearing today before Judge Gaylord Finch. I hope we can read what happened on Desmogblog. It’s pretty obvious, even to me, that Cuccinelli is abusing his office, not upholding the law.

I really admire Dr. Mann. He is defending our freedom from these tyrants.

Here is some information about the hearing.