The Attorney General (AG) represents the people of Idaho and their tax-funded government officials.
To protect your individual rights, your property and your pocketbook, any lawyer must be clear how the adversary system works, so clients can act on their legal and economic interests. Clarity and credibility come from experience in that adversary system. Experience is gained practicing law, not at the Statehouse.
Current one-party rule has quietly chipped away at Idahoans' individual, family and tax rights, serving special interests instead. The incumbent AG, a career bureaucrat, is devoted to that party. Idaho needs the knowledge and experience of an independent lawyer.
The AG's office reviews a handful of prosecutions annually (other than appeals). The incumbent's trumpeting "firm and fair prosecution" is like bragging, "I'm an honest lawyer." That's just the baseline. You deserve more.
The AG could bring the office's expertise to every county to help solve vexing problems like gangs, methamphetamine and crime by illegal immigrants. For 12 of the last 30 years my law offices have prosecuted cutting-edge environmental law, thousands of criminal cases, and assisted the work of the courts -- caseloads upwards of hundreds per month - statewide. We have the experience and knowledge to improve our criminal justice system.
Whom would you hire?
The incumbent "began investigation" in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina. He's done nothing since -- on the biggest corporate boondoggle ever, while Idahoans pay the highest gas prices in the lower 48 states [ABC News, 9/12/06].
Former AG Jim Jones brought prices down 9 cents within weeks by confronting refineries and other suppliers. That's the kind of aggressive lawyer the state needs.
The incumbent actively abetted our legislature's disobeying the Supreme Court, attempting to make local districts pay for school facilities. More shameful than the endless litigation costs, his supermajority's willful disobedience trumped your children's education and their safety.
The AG must clearly articulate how and why controversial legislation may fare in court. "Parental consent," repeatedly rebuffed there, has cost the state nearly a million dollars.
HJR 2, the so-called "marriage amendment" is the most extreme, risky version of similar measures elsewhere. The incumbent's wishy-washy formal opinion actually supports this fact. He buried that conclusion, failing to inform us of the real impact of the proposal: divisive, unconstitutional and unfair to families outside the traditional mold.
Our water must be uncompromisingly defended. The incumbent's Groundwater rules were jettisoned by Judge Barry Wood, the premier water expert on the trial bench. Before that loss, the AG weakly stood up to Idaho Power and the legislature over aquifer recharge as a temporary measure, leaving the question open for further litigation.
In contrast, managing state lands as required by the Constitution requires balancing competing interests. Here too are failures: the Stanley gravel pit on state land, grossly marring the Stanley Basin, speaks for itself.