Statement of Lawrence Wasden

Nearly four years ago, Idahoans entrusted me, Lawrence Wasden, to be their Attorney General. I have dedicated myself to five points that outline the core duties of that office.

A. Firm and Fair Criminal Prosecution.

Public corruption cases have often fallen to me and my office. They require firm and fair prosecution. We prosecuted a mayor and county clerk for misusing public funds and a former police chief for perjury. We have and are prosecuting a large number of other public officials.

A prosecutor's duty is to seek justice. Justice requires public officials be held accountable to re-establish the public's confidence in government.

B. Protect Idaho's Water and Sovereignty

We have protected Idaho's water and sovereignty. Over a number of years, we successfully defeated 99% of the federal government's nearly 6,000 federal reserved water rights claims. Courts have recognized only seven such claims and those contained an expressed federal reserved water right. Even then, we limited the claims to protect existing water rights and allow continued growth in central Idaho.

We completed the negotiations of the Snake River Water Rights Agreement and are currently suing the Department of Energy to remind them that "all" really does means "all" when it comes to the their promise to remove transuranic waste from above our aquifer.

C. Protect Idaho's Consumers from Fraud

We protected Idaho consumers from fraud by obtaining nearly $8 Million in restitution, $1.3 Million in penalties, fees, and costs, and nearly $73 Million from tobacco companies.

We distributed nearly $6 million in restitution to Idaho businesses, consumers and senior centers from the illegal price fixing scheme of six international vitamin manufacturers. We obtained $212,275 in restitution to consumers and delivered $342,000 in music CD's to libraries from an illegal price fixing scheme among music distributors.

D. Wise Stewardship of State Lands to Obtain the Maximum Long Term Financial Return for Idaho's School Children.

We exercised wise stewardship and fulfilled the constitutional mandate to obtain the maximum long term financial return for Idaho's school children. That required tough decisions and creating a proper legal record as the land board considered contested leases, arrangements for Tamarack Resort, administrative rules changes, and in resolving disputes by competing interests for state lands.

E. Ensure Justice for all Idahoans

We ensured justice for all Idahoans by joining with victim advocates and cosmetology professionals to "Cut Out Domestic Violence." That program provides training for salon professionals to recognize signs of domestic abuse and assist victims in getting needed help.

With Idahoans for Openness in Government, we provided open meeting and public records training for media, local government, and the general public.

We created ProtecTeens, an instructional CD for parents and youth to protect themselves from the dangers of internet sexual predators. Our coalition includes the Secretary of State, county prosecutors, law enforcement, medical professionals, educators, the PTA and Idaho's First Lady, Patricia Kempthorne.

Paraphrasing Abraham Lincoln, my goal is to always be found linked with the truth and advocating that which is just and right.

Statement submitted for primary debate, May 2006