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George Brauchler is a proven leader

WASHINGTON, D.C. – George Brauchler announced today he is running to serve all Coloradans as their next attorney general. In response, Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman and Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following statement: 

"George Brauchler is exactly the type of leader we need running for public office. He is experienced, committed, and driven to service. A Colonel in the Colorado National Guard, as well as the district attorney who prosecuted the Aurora theater shooter, George has proven he will protect and defend Colorado."

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The role of Virginia Attorney General

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With Election Day tomorrow, Virginians are poised to elect their next attorney general. Republican nominee John Adams -- a first time candidate with a strong record of service in the Navy and as a federal prosecutor -- has promised to put the laws of the Commonwealth first. 

In a recent story, Breitbart News writes about the role of the attorney general:

How John Adams would approach the job: Former federal prosecutor John Adams is...promising to reject Herring's transforming his office into a political actor, and restoring the office to one that faithfully enforces and defends the commonwealth's laws.

How Mark Herring has approached the job: Herring is the Democratic incumbent, a small-town lawyer without any notable legal accomplishments who has served in various local and state political offices for roughly twenty years. He has modeled his tenure as attorney general in the mold of former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, taking an active policymaking role and refusing to defend state laws with which he disagrees.

Why are we certain Adams would uphold the rule of law? For one, he is not a politician. An officer in the U.S. Navy who later graduated from the elite University of Virginia School of Law, Adams later served as a law clerk to Judge David Sentelle on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, then to Justice Clarence Thomas on the U.S. Supreme Court. Afterward, he served as associate White House counsel, then as a federal prosecutor.

So, what will Adams do -- what has he campaigned on? Adams is campaigning on restoring the attorney general as a nonpolitical office, as the chief law enforcement officer of the Old Dominion who will vigorously enforce the laws of Virginia. His position is that if the people of Virginia want to change their laws, they must do so through the ballot box and their elected lawmakers, but that an attorney general’s sworn duty is to defend those laws when challenged in court, even if the attorney general personally disagrees with the law. He is running on vigorously fighting violent crime and gang violence, combatting drug abuse and the opioid crisis, and safeguarding individual rights against government abuse.

Adams is an unapologetic constitutional conservative in the mold of Justice Thomas. Like most Supreme Court law clerks (an honor that only one lawyer in 1,000 ever receives), he is well-respected as a brilliant legal mind who can quickly dive deeply into complex constitutional issues, including state sovereignty, criminal law, free speech, religious liberty, and the Second Amendment.

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Herring paid female lawyer far less

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring is running the standard progressive playbook against his Republican opponent. He even brought in Senator Kamala Harris, a strong advocate for closing the gender pay gap, to make the point.

Well, Sunday must have been awkward for Sen. Harris when she found out Herring settled an equal pay discrimination lawsuit earlier this year. That's right, for years Mark Herring paid a female lawyer less than her male counterparts. Then she sued him.

The Washington Examiner writes, in part: 

Harris' show of support for Herring came after Republicans last week raised questions about a lawsuit he settled with a former assistant attorney general. In the lawsuit, Ann Marie Reardon accused Herring of violating the Equal Pay Act by compensating her less than men in similar positions for years. After raising the matter with her superiors, Reardon was fired from the attorney general's office.

Despite these allegations, Harris still showed up to support Herring on Sunday, where the RAGA sponsored a Snapchat geofilter that read: "Female staffer sues Herring over ≠ pay." That's not a good look for any politician, let alone a Democrat focused on fighting the so-called gender pay gap.

And the settlement between Reardon and Herring cost the Virginia taxpayer how much? 

Herring eventually settled with his former employee for an estimated $200,000. Though the matter has received little media attention, Reardon's suit was cited as an ostensible example of pay inequality in a Washington Post column back in February.

The Adams campaign released an ad -- "Nervous" -- to shine a spotlight on Herring's troubling record on equal pay. 

ICYMI: Penny Young Nance in The Roanoke Times: Mark Herring's unequal pay.

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Wes Duncan will bring strong record of service to attorney general's office

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Republican Wes Duncan announced his candidacy to become the next Attorney General of Nevada. The Chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) and Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, released the following statement in support of Duncan. Current Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt announced his intentions to seek the Republican nomination for Governor.

"Having most recently served as the first assistant Attorney General, Wes Duncan has first-hand knowledge of the office, working with Attorney General Laxalt to keep communities safe, support our veterans, and adhere to the principles of federalism. As a former deputy in the Clark County District Attorney office, active duty Air Force Judge Advocate and former state assemblyman, Wes is uniquely qualified to serve as the state’s top law enforcement officer."

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Sen. Kamala Harris stumps for Virginia attorney general amid renewed questions about his equal pay settlement

Washington Examiner
Emily Jashinsky
October 31, 2017
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/article/2639187

Even as he faces questions for settling an equal pay lawsuit earlier this year, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., lent her support to Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring's re-election bid last weekend.

Harris' show of support for Herring came after Republicans last week raised questions about a lawsuit he settled with a former assistant attorney general. In the lawsuit, Ann Marie Reardon accused Herring of violating the Equal Pay Act by compensating her less than men in similar positions for years. After raising the matter with her superiors, Reardon was fired from the attorney general's office. Herring eventually settled with his former employee for an estimated $200,000. Though the matter has received little media attention, Reardon's suit was cited as an ostensible example of pay inequality in a Washington Post column back in February.

Last Thursday, Concerned Women for America President Penny Nance, slammed Herring for his treatment of Reardon in an article for the Roanoke Times. "Mark Herring’s actions should have everyone seriously questioning how much he will look out, and stand up, for women," Nance wrote....

Despite these allegations, Harris still showed up to support Herring on Sunday, where the RAGA sponsored a Snapchat geofilter that read: "Female staffer sues Herring over ≠ pay." That's not a good look for any politician, let alone a Democrat focused on fighting the so-called gender pay gap.

Herring_Female_Pay_Raises.png

On Tuesday, Adams' campaign released a television advertisement drawing attention to Herring's settlement. "For years, Mark Herring paid a lawyer in his office less than her male counterparts. After she repeatedly raised it, he fired her. She sued and Herring had to pay her almost $200,000 taxpayer dollars," the spot says. "If this is how Mark Herring treats women on his own staff, does he deserve another term?

Herring and Adams will battle it out at the polls in the nation's only attorney general race on Nov. 7.

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Editorial: For Attorney General, John Adams

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With Election Day in Virginia nearing, John Adams, the Republican nominee for Attorney General picked up a couple big endorsements. The Richmond Times-Dispatch and Winchester Star put their support behind John Adams for Attorney General. 

With Mark Herring, it is always politics first: While Herring has refrained from defending the state, he has used his office for political activism. He summarily cancelled Virginia’s reciprocity agreements with other states on concealed-weapons permits. That was too much even for Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a man who says he is proud of his “F” rating from the NRA. McAuliffe worked out a deal with the General Assembly to recognize concealed-carry permits from other states. “I didn’t get elected to run a political operation,” McAuliffe said. 

Herring just does not seem to understand his job: Serving as in-house counsel to the commonwealth is the attorney general’s primary role. What’s the point of running for the office if you aren’t willing to do the job?

Instead of doing his job, Herring prefers to have taxpayers pick up the bill: Herring also hired outside counsel to defend Virginia’s voter-ID law rather than let his own office handle it. He settled a wrongful-death case, leaving taxpayers on the hook for $4 million, rather than argue that Dominion was the responsible party.

Unacceptable. So, the Richmond Times-Dispatch endorsed John Adams: A record like that sets a low bar for a challenger to meet. Half the jailhouse lawyers wrangling plea deals for meth addicts could probably clear it. Fortunately, the voters have a much better alternative: John Adams.

John is ready, he will respect the rule of law: In interviews, Adams has shown a keen grasp of policy and a clear understanding of what the attorney general’s job entails — and what it does not. He is a firm proponent of the religious liberty that is guaranteed by the First Amendment, and the right to own firearms that is guaranteed by the Second.

John will remove politics from the office: Modesty and restraint like that would qualify as a refreshing change in the office. Accordingly, The Times-Dispatch endorses Adams for attorney general.

Read the full editorial here.

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Adams Makes the Case: The Choice for Attorney General of Virginia

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Virginia elections are one week away, and the Republican nominee for Virginia attorney general -- John Adams -- is working hard for every vote. Adams will put Virginians and the rule of law first, not politics. As attorney general, Adams will draw on his career of service in the Navy, as a White House lawyer and Supreme Court clerk, as well as a federal prosecutor. 

Here are a few key highlights from an op-ed John penned in the Independent Journal Review

Why John is running: 

Having never run for office before, I got into the race because our current attorney general, Mark Herring, has repeatedly used the office to pursue his own personal political agenda rather than serve his client: the Commonwealth of Virginia. In doing so, he has placed Virginia's government directly against the will of its citizens. And while he has been focusing on his political agenda, our communities have become less safe.

What you can expect from John as attorney general: 

First, I have a deep respect for our Constitution and the rights of my fellow citizens to decide for themselves what laws they wish to live under. So, when Virginians pass laws, I will defend those laws, even when I disagree with them. It's our law, and Virginians should expect their attorney general to defend their choices, not overrule us because he (or his major donors) doesn’t like them.

Second, I will work with our law enforcement partners to combat criminal activity and get ahead of the horrific opioid crisis. I served as a federal prosecutor, and the Police Benevolent Association endorsed my opponent four years ago, but after four years, it has switched its endorsement to me.

Third, I will run a thoroughly professional office that will represent Virginia in a way that will make all Virginians proud.

In closing -- John's pledge to Virginia:

As attorney general, I won't be the voice for any party, faction, or group. I will be the lawyer for the Commonwealth of Virginia. I have had a lot of clients as a lawyer. But it would be the honor of my life to call my sole client the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Read the full op-ed from John, here.

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Pat, are you serious?

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rejected by Illinoisans in 2014, former Governor Pat Quinn is back, and he is running for Illinois Attorney General.

Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Executive Director Scott Will issued the following statement:

"Haha! Seriously, I thought I was reading the Onion when I saw Pat Quinn announce for attorney general. Under Quinn's leadership Illinois government spending and budget deficits exploded, leaving taxpayers on the hook. Remember, after Blagojevich went to jail, Quinn allowed the corruption in Springfield and state government to continue, leaving appointees in place - some even received promotions. 

"Quinn should be a uniting force for the current Democratic field. It'll be a good test to see if Drury, Fairley, Goldstein, Raoul, Rotering, Ruiz, and Mariotti, not only denounce the corrupt Madigan machine, but also acknowledge the mess Quinn left behind."

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Another Democrat joins the field for Illinois AG

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Another week, and another Democrat lines up to run for Illinois Attorney General. The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Executive Director Scott Will released the following statement on Renato Mariotti’s announcement to seek the Democratic nomination.

“Renato says he wants to rail against the special interests. Noble, but his words ring hollow when he fails to even mention Mike Madigan, who has run Springfield with a relentless focus on his constituents: the connected and the corrupt. You cannot change the Office of the Attorney General without acknowledging the root cause of the problem. In reality, Renato just enjoys the spotlight. The Prairie State does not need another attorney general who would rather protect his well-connected friends over hardworking Illinoisans.”

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What’s at stake in the Virginia attorney general race

The Washington Times
Jenny Beth Martin
October 26, 2017
http://go.shr.lc/2yPmflV

Virginia’s election for state attorney general may not be on many minds outside of the state, but the outcome on Nov. 7 could have far-reaching implications.

The race pits conservative John Adams against incumbent liberal Attorney General Mark Herring.

Mr. Adams, a former clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas, is a staunch defender of religious freedom, free speech, and the Second Amendment. In other words, he’s a strong supporter of the Constitution.

Mr. Herring’s philosophy and adherence to the Constitution, by contrast, are much more flexible, and have changed with the political winds and whims of his liberal constituents.

When Mr. Herring was in the state Senate, for example, he was opposed to same-sex marriage, but once he moved on to become attorney general, he took on the cause célèbre of promoting same-sex marriage, choosing to ignore the plain text of the Virginia state constitution.

Over the past decade, attorneys general have played a more prominent role in national politics. At the same time, two entirely distinct schools of thought have emerged in the attorney general sphere nationwide. On the one hand, there is a renewed interest among mostly conservative attorneys general in protecting the state’s interests and the interests of the state’s residents from the increasing heavy-handedness of the federal government. But, on the other hand, there is a growing movement among liberal activist attorney generals to pursue an outcome-driven agenda, irrespective of the Constitution.

What we are witnessing now is not merely a clash of agendas between liberal and conservative attorneys general, but, at an even more basic level, we are witnessing a debate about the proper role and function of a state attorney general. The debate boils down to whether state attorneys general are charged with defending the state constitution and the United States Constitution, or if attorneys general are empowered to disregard the plain text of laws to champion (liberal) causes of the day.

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The Obama administration’s overreach created an urgent imperative for attorneys general to step in and defend both the Constitution and the American people from a federal government that felt comfortable ignoring the plain language of the Constitution and the laws on the books.

The Obama years showcased the important role attorneys general can play in defending the Constitution against the creeping overreach of the federal government. But what does it look like when attorneys general go rogue and decide to adhere to liberal causes, rather than to the Constitution?

The most recent example comes from 19 liberal attorneys general (including Virginia’s Mark Herring) who are suing the Trump administration to force it to continue to pay the Obama-orchestrated health care subsidies aimed at lowering some out-of-pocket health care costs for lower-income individuals. The Constitution clearly requires that all funds be appropriated by Congress, but President Obama - never one to let the Constitution stand in his way - and his administration unilaterally authorized this appropriation of funds. The Trump administration, in reversing this illegal scheme by the Obama administration, is following the Constitution.

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Virginia’s incumbent attorney general fits squarely in the mold of the liberal activist attorney general. The Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA) is heavily invested in ensuring that Mark Herring remains in his position as Virginia’s top lawyer. And why not? Herring routinely sides with DAGA’s progressive agenda over the Constitution and the interests of Virginia, and he is a reliable voice for liberal pet causes.

Virginia’s residents deserve a lawyer who will work to defend them, their interests, and the Constitution — not the liberal causes du jour. Virginia has the opportunity on Nov. 7 to elect a new lawyer. John Adams is the right person for the job.

Jenny Beth Martin is chairman of Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund.

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Politicians General: A fight in Virginia over the proper role of an AG.

Mark Herring, Virginia’s attorney general, wanted to run for governor this fall. But Terry McAuliffe, the current governor, thought otherwise. And his endorsement of lieutenant governor Ralph Northam for the Democratic nomination for governor sent a blunt message to Herring: forget it.

Crestfallen but obedient, Herring has. He’s running for reelection. But he acts like a gubernatorial candidate, sounds like one, and may be one four years from now. When he was elected in 2013, he promised to get politics out of the attorney general’s office. He’s failed at that, mainly for lack of trying.

In a debate in June with his Republican opponent John Adams, Herring, 56, described himself this way: “When I see a problem, I want to fix it. When I see a wrong, I want to set it right. .  .  . Problems need to be fixed.”

Herring isn’t waiting for them to reach his desk in Richmond. In January, when President Trump’s temporary travel ban kept some passengers from several “Muslim-majority” countries from entering America, Herring rushed to Dulles airport to join McAuliffe at a press conference denouncing Trump.

In a sense, Herring has things backwards. Over the past four years, McAuliffe accomplished little as governor. He was stymied by the house of delegates, which is controlled by Republicans and led by McAuliffe’s nemesis, speaker William Howell. But Herring did plenty, acting more like a liberal politician than an attorney general.

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As a state senator, Herring voted for an amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman, but as AG he refused to defend the law in federal court. Nor did he defend Virginia’s voter ID law or state regulations on abortion clinics. He also backed in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants and killed reciprocity for those with concealed carry gun permits from other states.

All this political activity created the issue on which Adams has based his campaign. He has vowed to be a nonpolitical AG, doing what Herring promised but didn’t. “The way to get politics out of the AG’s office is to get the politicians out of the attorney general’s office,” he said in the debate.

Adams is an impressive candidate, especially for someone who’s never run before. He’s a strong debater and a genial campaigner. Herring has led in polls from the beginning, but the margin has slipped to mid-to-low single digits in the weeks before the November 7 election.

A relative of President John Adams, he’s from Chesterfield County, a Richmond suburb. Herring is from northern Virginia. Adams was a Supreme Court law clerk for Clarence Thomas, a federal prosecutor, and an associate counsel in President George W. Bush’s White House. Prior to running, he worked for the McGuire Wood law firm in Richmond.

It was Herring’s “picking and choosing” which state actions to defend and his forays into politics that prompted Adams to run. He cleared the Republican field of primary challengers, notably state senator Mark Obenshain, whom Herring defeated in 2013 by 165 votes out of 2.2 million cast.

Herring says he wants to be “attorney general for all Virginians,” which sounds more like a justification for indulging in politics than a job description. Adams is quite specific. As AG, he wouldn’t be the lawyer “for the Republican caucus” in the general assembly, as Herring claims. And “no one will refer to me as the lawyer for the governor. .  .  . The governor has his own lawyer. The attorney general is the lawyer of the Commonwealth of Virginia.” That means defending state laws and actions and advising the legislature if it wanders in unconstitutional directions.

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The contrast with Adams’s spots is striking. “If you’re ready to get the politics out of the attorney general’s office, join me,” Adams says. He uses a cutout of President Adams in one ad and says grinningly, “I may be related to this guy, but this is my first campaign.”

The June debate was civil. So were visits by Herring and Adams to speak at the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia recently. “They are quiet, even a bit shy, and not at all pompous,” said Professor Larry Sabato. The separate meetings “ran overtime because everyone was enjoying the conversation. That doesn’t happen too often.” After the blitz of TV ads, it’s not likely to happen again.

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Adams: "1,400 MS-13 members in Northern Virginia is unacceptable."

Washington, D.C. -- Today, Republican attorney general nominee John Adams joined gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie and legislative leaders to discuss the prevalence of MS-13 in northern Virginia. With Election Day nearing, the choice could not be clearer for voters in Virginia.

The Republican ticket is offering real solutions to combat gang violence in Virginia. On Thursday, Ed Gillespie pledged $1.5 million in funding for the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force. 

Republican nominee for attorney general, John Adams, offered the following remarks at the press conference:

We have a serious problem in Virginia, and in particular in Northern Virginia. 1,400 MS-13 members in Northern Virginia is unacceptable. Like Ed, I have been out with the Northern Virginia gang taskforce and I will tell you, it's a meaningful experience to go out and go through these neighborhoods and see how pervasive this problem is.

It is also a reminder that it is some of the most vulnerable among us that this gang terrorize it. They terrorize folks in these immigrant communities and they terrorize our youth.

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As a federal prosecutor down in the Richmond area, I worked really hard with state and local law enforcement officers to get rid of violence in the city of Richmond. We were able to bring violent crimes in the city down over a period of years to historic lows. That's the kind of leadership we are going to need to get ahead of this gang problem.

We are going to need leadership from the Virginia Attorney General, effective coordination with federal, state, and local officials, and coordination with local community groups. Because this is going to be an all hands on deck sort of challenge. It requires innovative solutions and everyone working together. 

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RAGA contributes $550,000 to Republican candidate for Virginia Attorney General

Washington, D.C. -- Voters will go to the polls in Virginia in just under two weeks to elect their next Attorney General of Virginia. The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is standing with John Adams, the Republican nominee for Virginia attorney general, every step of the way. RAGA sent the Adams campaign an additional $550,000 bringing their total commitment in the race to about $4.1 million. 

"As they learn more about Attorney General Mark Herring, folks around the Commonwealth have grown increasingly concerned. That's why, in a recent debate, Herring was unable to respond when John brought up an Inspector General investigation into the waste, fraud, and abuse of his office," said RAGA Executive Director, Scott Will. "RAGA is committed to sharing Herring's record and blatant politicization of his office with Virginia voters. Contrast Herring's deception with John's service in the Navy, in government, as a federal prosecutor, and it's pretty clear he is the right choice to be the Commonwealth's top lawyer."

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John Adams on the 'Hugh Hewitt Show'

WASHINGTON, D.C. – John Adams, the Republican nominee for Virginia attorney general, recently joined Hugh Hewitt on his nationally syndicated radio show. You can listen to the full interview here, or check out the following excerpts from their conversation. 

First, a great exchange on John's wonderful family...

HUGH HEWITT: I first got to ask you, you've got 4 boys?  

JOHN ADAMS: You are exactly right, four young sons.

HEWITT: Your wife is a Navy spouse with four boys? That's amazing, you ought to get the vote of everyone in Virginia.

ADAMS: She's a wonderful woman. We met in high school down here, just south of Richmond, and she's been a great partner through this process.

Back to regular programming... some excerpts of John's responses to Hugh follow below.

John on his experience at the D.C. Circuit Court and with Justice Clarence Thomas: It was great opportunity to clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. where you really spend a lot of time on those really thorny legal issues about the regulatory state and the scope of the regulatory state. Left there and eventually found my way to the U.S. Supreme Court where I got to clerk for (Justice) Clarence Thomas, which was a great honor. 

On why it should matter to Virginians who serves as their attorney general: They've learned why it matters the last four years, because my opponent has decided to put old politics above the law. He is picking and choosing what laws he supports and will defend.... What we need in an attorney general is someone who will look out for the interest of the Commonwealth of Virginia, not their own political views.

Why leadership  and a focus on the job, not politics, matters: We have an incredible spike in violent crime in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It's going on, afiliated with MS-13 growth up in Northern Virginia and down into the valley, but in other areas we just have a lack of focus in leadership. As attorney general you can bring leadership to some of these issues that are really hurting Virginia including heroin and the opioid crisis which continues to spiral out of control.

Mark Herring's equal pay issue: A lot of people don't realize, our attorney general (Mark Herring) was sued by a female assistant attorney general just last year when she complained about being paid less than her male counterparts. He fired her, so he had to settle for 200,000 of our tax dollars and that equal pay discrimination lawsuit.

What you can do to help: My opponent won this election last time by under 1,000 votes, so here's what I need folks to do. Number one vote, talk to all your friends let them know November 7th is the day. Our website is www.johnadamsforva.com go online to learn more about me, click that donate button, and we'll get across the line. We'll return the rule of law to Virginia.

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All three Democrats approved the ad

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Washington Post recently reported on campaign literature supported by "all three Democrats" -- the entire Democratic ticket in Virginia. This includes Attorney General Mark Herring. 

Here is the mailer: 

VA_Dem_Mailer.jpg

Why is Mark Herring looking to score political points in the wake of a tragedy? It's not just wrong, it's not true. Herring has already politicized the office he holds and now he is signing-off on ugly political attacks.

After Charlottesville, Americans came together to condemn the vile hate and ideology we all witnessed. That included Mark Herring, as well as the entire Republican ticket in Virginia.

Herring has clearly forgotten, or he just doesn't care. Either way, he does not deserve to be re-elected. 

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ICYMI: Mark Herring, John Adams debate for a second time

WASHINGTON, D.C. – John Adams, the Republican nominee for Virginia attorney general, put on an impressive performance during last Friday's debate with Attorney General Mark Herring. Adams proved why Virginia needs a new attorney general -- one who will take politics out of the office, uphold the rule of law, and make certain Virginians are able to govern themselves.

Herring was put on the defensive all morning. Unfortunately, only hundred (or so) Loudoun County Chamber members saw the performance. The Herring campaign did not allow a live-stream. 

Here are a few excerpts from the media in attendance. 

Patrick Wilson from the Richmond Times-Dispatch writes, in part:

The candidates discussed other issues including drug addiction, judicial vacancies and efforts to combat Medicaid fraud. Adams brought up two recent news reports about Herring's office, one being a decision by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, the legislature's watchdog, to do a thorough review of the attorney general's office.

Adams said that should include a look at how Herring used money from a settlement to give raises to select political appointees and his chief of staff, Kevin O'Holleran, who managed Herring's 2013 campaign for attorney general.

Loudoun Now writes, in part, about the opioid epidemic:

“We have to get serious about prevention,” Adams said. “We have to get to the kids before the drugs get to the kids.” He added Virginia has to “get serious” about recovery and prosecution, and said he would use his experience as a federal prosecutor to fight the opioid crisis.

“That’s probably one reason by the Fraternal Order of Police and the Police Benevolent Association, two of the largest law enforcement groups in the commonwealth, have endorsed me,” Adams said. “Because they know that I’m serious about this.”

Kathy Stewart from wtop.com writes, in part:

“I am running to get the politics out of the attorney general’s office,” said Adams, a VMI graduate who served in the Navy. He accused Herring of pushing his own personal political views instead of being the lawyer for Virginia and for its residents.

“For the attorney general’s office to be so politicized, that it’s not we the people who choose our laws through our elected representatives but it’s an attorney general’s office that forces its view on the citizens — that is just wrong,” Adams said.

During the debate, Adams called out his challenger, Mark Herring, for being beholden to big labor unions. Herring did not respond.

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ICYMI: Attorney General Mark Herring and Republican challenger John Adams debate in Loudoun

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Republican nominee for Virginia attorney general John Adams was the undisputed winner in today's debate over Democrat Mark Herring, arguing for why Virginia needs an attorney general who will take politics out of the office and uphold the rule of law. A Navy veteran, clerk for the Supreme Court of the United States, associate counsel in the White House and a former federal prosecutor, John Adams is ready to lead the attorney general's office. 

The Richmond Times-Dispatch writes:

Democratic Attorney General Mark R. Herring and GOP challenger John Adams on Friday morning debated gay marriage, the law, business growth and whether Herring has been too political in office.

The two appeared before the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce at the National Conference Center in Lansdowne to answer questions about issues on the chamber's public policy agenda. It was their second and final debate before the Nov. 7 general election.

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"John is fixated on conservative social issues. We've had experience with that and it wasn’t good," Herring said.

Adams replied: "I think Mark is fixated on social issues. I’m fixated on the law. The law matters."

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Adams, a former federal prosecutor, stayed after the debate to chat with reporters and lamented on Twitter that the Herring campaign would not agree to a livestream. Herring left the debate without taking a question from an Associated Press reporter who approached him.

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The candidates discussed other issues including drug addiction, judicial vacancies and efforts to combat Medicaid fraud. Adams brought up two recent news reports about Herring's office, one being a decision by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, the legislature's watchdog, to do a thorough review of the attorney general's office.

Adams said that should include a look at how Herring used money from a settlement to give raises to select political appointees and his chief of staff, Kevin O'Holleran, who managed Herring's 2013 campaign for attorney general.

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Republican Attorneys General Association sends $775,000 to John Adams Campaign

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- With the election just over two weeks away, the race for Attorney General of Virginia remains close. Republican candidate John Adams is working hard -- all across the Commonwealth -- to share his positive message. The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) announced today they have sent another six-figure transfer to the Adams campaign. With today's $775,000 transfer, RAGA has now invested $3.525 million in this race.

"It is time to retire Mark Herring; he has used the attorney general's office to inject his personal political views on issue after issue - from right to work, to gun reciprocity, to voter ID. He refuses to do his job and defend the law. The Republican Attorneys General Association is proud to stand with John Adams, a candidate who will always respect the rule of law," said RAGA Executive Director, Scott Will. "John has served in the Navy, clerked on the United States Supreme Court, worked as a lawyer for former President George W. Bush, and served as a federal prosecutor. He is prepared to lead and give the Commonwealth an attorney general who will enforce the law."

Note: The final attorney general debate will be tomorrow morning, October 20, at 8:00 a.m. ET in Leesburg. More information can be found here.

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ICYMI: AG candidate targets Madigans at B-N stop

WASHINGTON, D.C. – If you have not heard of Erika Harold, you have not been paying attention. A Republican candidate for attorney general, Erika has been traveling all over Illinois, sharing her message, introducing herself to voters.

The Pantagraph writes:

Erika Harold isn't running against Lisa Madigan anymore, but she still has the state attorney general's family in her sights.

"One Madigan down means one more Madigan to go," she said of Lisa and her father, House Speaker Mike Madigan, D-Chicago. "People said, if you run against the Madigans, be prepared. Take your car in to make sure your brakes are checked. That was advice I really got. ... That's not a great commentary on our political system."

Harold said Lisa Madigan, who bowed out of the 2018 election last month after four terms as attorney general, "decided not to run again because she understood the reality of having to run for office while people finally understood what her dad had done to our state.

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She also pledged to target political corruption, promote criminal justice reform and increase transparency in the attorney general's office — though Harold stopped short of endorsing a public process to adjudicate Freedom of Information Act disputes, which could be costly for small municipalities.

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Harold also spoke about her history as a University of Illinois graduate who paid her way through Harvard Law School with scholarships and speaking fees after becoming Miss America 2003.

"Because I am not somebody who looks like a stereotypical Republican," said Harold, whose ethnic background includes black and Native American heritage, "I have a great opportunity to introduce our Republican principles to a lot of people who may have written us off."

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Consummate political insider jumps in race for Illinois Attorney General

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) released the following statement following the latest Democrat to join the race for Illinois Attorney General, Jesse Ruiz.

“This race is clearly going to be a sprint to the left and Jesse Ruiz will lead the pack. Former President Barack Obama was Ruiz’s law professor in the mid 1990s, so Ruiz learned from the best how to circumvent the rule of law and impose crippling regulations on our hardworking job creators. Illinois needs a fighter, outside the political class, who will defend the rule of law and fight public corruption.”

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John Adams: I am prepared to do this job

WASHINGTON, D.C. – During a recent interview with 8News WRIC Richmond, John Adams -- the Republican candidate for Attorney General of Virginia -- discussed why he is running and what type of lawyer he would be for the Commonwealth. Here is the full interview.

Reason for running: "The whole reason I’m running is, the office has become so politicized."

Adams added: "Virginians decided, for example, that we want to be a right-to-work state, but Mark Herring has filed briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court that run against right-to-work laws. Virginians decided we wanted voter ID, but Mark Herring didn’t like it. So when that statute was sued, he refused to defend it."

The attorney general must defend the laws the people of Virginia pass: "It really, in my view, is fundamental to our form of self-government. It’s we the people through our elected representatives who pass laws. That’s how we govern ourselves."

His experience: "I clerked on the United States Supreme Court. I was a lawyer for President George W. Bush in The White House. I’ve been a federal prosecutor and I help run a major law firm here in Virginia."

Evanne Armour (8News reporter): "If you look at the issues on his website, the most detailed strategy is for combating drug abuse and overdoses."

Adams response: "I am prepared to do this job."

Why people should pay attention to this race: "Candidly, I think more people are going to pay attention to it this cycle than they have in the past because of the activism we’ve seen out of the office."

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ICYMI -- Richard Cordray: Poster Child For Bureaucrats Behaving Badly

Richard Cordray: Poster Child For Bureaucrats Behaving Badly
The Daily Caller
By Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
October 16, 2017

Americans disagree on how much government is too much. That is not surprising; we live in a diverse country. But, a common thread – that links us all – is fairness. We expect it, and when it is taken away, we fight back. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created to protect Americans, but its structural flaws and blatantly ambitious leader doomed it from Day One.

A recent poll revealed 75 percent of Americans surveyed believe financial regulators, like Richard Cordray – Director of the CFPB, care more about their own jobs and ambitions than our nation’s economic well-being. Mr. Cordray leads a massive – and growing – federal bureaucracy that reports to no one. Not to a board, not to the President of the United States, and certainly not to the American people.

Mr. Cordray and his lawyers have been chastised by multiple federal judges for their “blatant disregard” for the rule of law. This is precisely why a three-judge panel ruled that the CFPB’s structure is unconstitutional. That ruling would give most in Mr. Cordray’s position reason to recalibrate.

Instead of exercising caution, Mr. Cordray has become the poster child for bureaucrats behaving badly. He has irreversibly tainted what was designed to be a fiercely independent regulatory agency, exempt from Congressional budget influences and civil service pay scales. This independence was supposed to be a strength. Instead, it allowed Mr. Cordray to set his own set of rules, accountable to no one.

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Efforts to reign in Mr. Cordray have been met with resistance and secrecy. When Mr. Cordray was finally brought before Congress – which required a subpoena – he asked a senior member of Congress “why it mattered to her” when quizzed about the massive taxpayer funded bill for the CFPB’s redesigned headquarters.

In any other agency, in any private company, or in any situation in which Mr. Cordray was accountable to a boss or a board, he would have simply been told: “You’re fired.”

Mr. Cordray’s blatant abuse of expense accounts – with no reprecussions – is infuriating and wrong, but it’s the real harm his regime has caused hardoworking Americans that is inexcusable.

Recently, I held a panel with three fellow state attorneys general and four members of Congress, sponsored by the Rule of Law Defense Fund. The criticisms above were certainly discussed, but we focused on how Mr. Cordray’s actions impact people; how to stop this unelected, unaccountable bureaucrat. Three words: state attorneys general. Time and time again, we have had to challenge the above-the-law nature of the CFPB for promulgating unbalanced rules that preempt state laws and inflict true economic hardship –  the loss of credit and jobs – on real people like those I represent in Arkansas.

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Financial regulation is not a trending topic on Twitter, but every time I talk to a banker or a small business owner in Arkansas, this is the very first thing I hear. Bankers cannot bank. Lenders cannot lend. Borrowers cannot borrow, leaving consumers and job creators without options or capital. This impacts lives – on a grand scale. The disrespect, manipulation and utter destruction that Mr. Cordray has overseen at the CFPB should earn him not only his termination papers from the CFPB but from government for good.

Leslie Rutledge is Attorney General of Arkansas and the chair of the Republican Attorneys General Association.

To read more, click here.

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John Adams on the role of the state attorney general

WASHINGTON, D.C. – John Adams, the Republican candidate for Virginia Attorney General, spoke with the Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial board recently. As you might have guessed, John discussed how he would approach the office and how he differs from his opponent. You can listen to the full interview here.

The role of attorney general: "If anyone, whether it’s the federal government, another state, a business, violates the law and hurts Virginians, I will take offensive action.... I will do that, by the way, regardless of whether the entity is a Republican president or Democratic president. Because, I understand what it means to represent a client, and my client is Virginia."

How that differs from what Attorney General Mark Herring has done: "I think the attorney general needs to defend the laws that the citizens passed... not pick and choose."

New leadership is needed: "With our rising violent crimes in our urban areas, with the heroin/opioid epidemic spinning out of control, there is no doubt, in my mind, we need fresh new leadership in that [the Attorney General] role."

On the homicide rate in Richmond: "The folks that live in the city do not deserve to live in fear. We need to be serious about getting people that use guns, in crimes, off the streets. I’ve done it before, I can do it again. My opponent has proposed a marketing and advertising campaign, and candidly I just don’t think that’s a serious response to a very serious problem here in Richmond."

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With Virginia Attorney General race tightening, RAGA sends $900,000 to John Adams Campaign

WASHINGTON, D.C. -  Seeing a clear surge in support for John Adams – the Republican candidate for Attorney General of Virginia – the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) has sent another six-figure transfer to his campaign. This brings RAGA’s total investment in Virginia to $2.75 million.

“RAGA gets involved in races we can win. Period. John Adams campaign is growing in strength because voters are beginning to see he will be an impartial advocate for the rule of law,” said RAGA Executive Director, Scott Will. “When you contrast John’s commitment to his country – whether through his service in the Navy, or as federal prosecutor – with Mark Herring’s blatant political agenda, the choice could not be clearer. We are proud to stand with John Adams.”

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Sharon Fairley Abandons City Agency to Pursue Run for Illinois AG

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) released the following statement following Sharon Fairley’s announcement that she would be running for Illinois Attorney General. Fairley most recently served as the chief administrator of the Chicago Civilian Office of Police Accountability.

“Sharon Fairley was recently appointed as Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s police oversight chief, but is already looking for a promotion. The Civilian Office of Policy Accountability was literally open ten days before rumors began circulating the she was likely to leave,” said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. “Not exactly the qualities you look for in a leader of a critical law enforcement agency, let alone the top law enforcement officer of an entire state. Illinois needs an attorney general that actually wants to do the job.” 

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Rutledge Applauds the EPA's Commitment to the American Worker

WASHINGTON, D.C. -  The Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced he will formally withdraw the Obama administration’s so-called Clean Power Plan. In response, the Republican Attorneys General Association’s (RAGA) Chairman and Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, released the following statement:

“This is an important victory for the rule of law and the American people who were facing double digit rate increases and massive lay-offs. The so-called Clean Power Plan was not consistent with the Clean Air Act. That is why 27 states, led by Republican attorneys general and additional opponents, challenged its legality, achieved a historic stay in court a year ago, and enabled today’s repeal. 

“The Obama administration frequently sought to advance their misguided political agenda by ignoring the Constitution and circumventing the people’s representatives in Congress. Instead, they empowered unaccountable and unelected regulators. RAGA applauds Administrator Pruitt and the 27 state attorneys general who fought for the rule of law and the process our Democracy demands.”

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ICYMI: The News-Gazette – Harold pledges she'll combat public corruption

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Erika Harold is picking up momentum and making it clear she will aggressively pursue public corruption – regardless of party – so Illinoisans can expect accountability.

The News-Gazette writes:

As candidate introductions go, you can't do much better than this one for Erika Harold from state Sen. Chapin Rose: "Miss America, Harvard Law School and oh, by the way, she's already scared Lisa Madigan out of the race."

She said Illinoisans "want to see the attorney general actively engaged" in addressing public corruption.

"They want the attorney general to use the office as a bully pulpit to talk about the importance of accountability and transparency, and that hasn't been done during the past several years," Harold said.

"When I talk to people, sometimes they'll say, 'Will you go after this or that particular politician?' That's not what this office is about. It's about if you see evidence of misconduct, then you use the tools of the office to address it. You're not using it to settle political scores," Harold said.

She said she's confident she'll have a "well-funded" campaign. The Illinois Republican Party and the Republican Attorneys General Association are backing her and she's already raised at least $113,650 in campaign contributions.

"I am not what people think about when they think of what it means to be a Republican," said Harold, who is 37 years old, biracial and an advocate for criminal justice reform (although she also is pro-life, pro-gun rights and in the past has opposed same-sex marriage although she adds that she is committed to enforcing the laws of the state). "As a result, there will be voters for which I can compete that we've not competed for in the past. That's very important, because I believe wholeheartedly we need a party that goes and competes and asks for every single vote. Don't write anyone off."
 

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ICYMI: Former rival among Congressmen to endorse Harold

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Just a few weeks removed from the endorsement of House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, Illinois Republicans continue to coalesce around Erika Harold's bid for attorney general, including her former rival from 2014, Congressman Rodney Davis (IL-13). 

The News-Gazette reports

"Six of Illinois' seven Republican congressmen have endorsed Urbana attorney Erika Harold for the Republican nomination for Illinois attorney general, Harold's campaign announced today.

"Among those backing Harold: Rep. Rodney Davis of Taylorville, who was challenged by Harold in the 2014 Republican Party primary in the 13th Congressional District.

"'Erika Harold is exactly who we need to take on the political machine. A Harvard educated lawyer and a national leader combatting school violence, Erika Harold tells the hard truths and always stands up for those in need,' Davis said in a statement. 'I know she'll take on the corruption in state government.'"

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ICYMI: John Adams on the 'Matt Lewis Show' PODCAST

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, the Republican candidate for Virginia Attorney General, John Adams, joined Matt Lewis on his PODCAST. They discussed his biography, the role of a state Attorney General, why he would be a good fit and meeting Virginians. A handful of these excerpts are below, but you can also listen to the full interview here.

A bit about John: "I grew up here in Virginia, I went to VMI, and then was a Naval Officer for about four and a half years…. I was a ship driver for the Navy. I then went to law school after my Naval service, here at UVA… I’ve served as a law clerk for Justice Thomas, I was a lawyer for President George W. Bush…. I’ve also served as a federal prosecutor…, and then for the last seven years I have been in private practice."

The role of the Attorney General: "Legal advice doesn’t change whether the person asking is a Republican or a Democrat…these are leaders in Virginia who need to understand what the parameters of the law are.

"It’s not whether the Attorney General agrees with the law or not. It’s the duty to be the lawyer of the Commonwealth of Virginia."

Why John is running: "It is incredibly important that our sovereign states have really good representation for two reasons: …so citizens are able to govern themselves… and to protect the state from federal encroachment….

"With my background I feel like I will be able to…ensure Virginians will continue to have a right to govern themselves in the way they see fit."

On campaigning: "When I meet with folks all across the spectrum, I just enjoy hearing about them, hearing about their experiences, hearing what they’re happy about with the way Virginia is heading, what they’re not happy about. …I’ve enjoyed getting to know a lot of people and getting out there."

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ICYMI: Republican AGs pour another $700K into Virginia

WASHINGTON, D.C. – For the fourth straight week, the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) has sent six-figure transfer to the John Adams campaign, bringing RAGA's total contributions to $1.85 million. 

Politico reports:

"The Republican Attorneys General Association has transferred an additional $700,000 to Virginia candidate John Adams, the Republican running against Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring.

"In total, RAGA has poured in $1.85 million into Adams' effort to unseat Herring.

"The $700,000 boost will help Adams stay competitive, according to a RAGA official, and allow the candidate's campaign 'to begin D.C. broadcast — with their 'Priorities' ad set to begin this weekend.'"

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Nancy Rotering All Wrong for Illinois

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) released the following statement regarding Democrat Nancy Rotering announcing her candidacy for Illinois Attorney General. 

"Nancy Rotering is too extreme for Illinois," said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. "In one breath, Rotering claims the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is ‘…one of the greatest things that has happened in the last 10 years…’ and in the next admits that costs continue to rise. What a typical politician, trying to have it both ways. Real leaders identify a problem and offer a solution. The rest of Illinois is sick of Chicago liberals telling the rest of the state what is best for them. Rotering is the Bernie Sanders in this race and just like voters in the 10th Congressional District rejected her, so too will the entire Land of Lincoln.”

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ICYMI: Why the Adams–Herring Attorney General Race in Virginia Matters

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ramesh Ponnuru, senior editor of the National Review, profiles the Virginia attorney general race, the only attorney general race in the country this year, and why the GOP still needs conservative attorneys in place to defend against federal overreach.

The National Review reports

"Over the past 20 years, state attorneys general have become more and more important players in national politics. Republican attorneys general sued the Obama administration over Obamacare, energy policies, and immigration. Democratic attorneys general have sued the Trump administration over its temporary immigration ban.

"The race for attorney general in Virginia — the only race for that position in any state this year — has therefore taken on an importance it would not have had in an earlier era. John Adams, the Republican nominee, is trying to defeat Mark Herring, the Democratic incumbent. 

"Beyond their differences on hot-button issues, Adams says, lies a difference in the candidates’ conception of the job. 'Virginia needs a lawyer,' Adams tells me over coffee. He says that Herring has seen his job as promoting liberal causes rather than representing the state."

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ICYMI: Republican AGs hire Ryan operative for 2018 buildup

“This is another way for us to take the organization’s sophistication to another level,” - RAGA Executive Director Scott Will

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the Virginia attorney general race to be decided next month, and 30 attorney general races in 2018, the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) today announces the hire of Zack Roday, former press secretary and spokesman for House Speaker Paul Ryan’s political operation, as RAGA's first Communications Director. 

Politico reports

"The organization dedicated to electing Republican attorneys general is expanding in preparation for a huge slate of 2018 elections for the influential state positions.

"Zack Roday, who has been the press secretary and spokesman for House Speaker Paul Ryan’s political operation, will become the Republican Attorneys General Association's first-ever communications director. The group is looking to protect and even grow the GOP’s foothold in the offices, which play a key consumer protection role and have the ability to derail presidential policy in court — and have often been stepping stones for future senators and governors."

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RAGA Announces $350,000 Transfer to Adams Campaign

WASHINGTON, D.C. – For the third time in as many weeks, the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) has made another substantial investment in the John Adams campaign, this week totaling $350,000, in his bid to unseat liberal Virginia Democrat Attorney General Mark Herring in this year’s election. This now makes RAGA’s total transfer in the race $1.15 million.

“This transfer, which now makes us the largest single contributor in the Virginia attorney general’s race, is indicative of the momentum John Adams continues to show in this race,” said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. “Earlier this week, a new poll showed Adams and Herring neck and neck. Herring is running scared, spending hundreds of thousands attacking John over the airwaves. This transfer will help John get his message of taking politics out of the office and restoring the rule of law out to all the voters in the Commonwealth.”

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New Mexico AG Balderas Silent on Skyrocketing Crime Rate in Albuquerque

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new poll released today shows that nearly seven in 10 likely Albuquerque voters identify the crime rate as the most important issue facing their community. Sadly, these perceptions are not based in fantasy, as serious crimes like robbery and theft are on the rise.

The Albuquerque Journal reports:

“In seven years, armed robberies more than doubled in Albuquerque, from 940 in 2010 to more than 1,957 in 2016, the largest number since 1996. Albuquerque also ranked No. 1 among U.S. metro areas in vehicle thefts per capita in 2016, with more than 10,000 vehicle thefts reported.”

Yet Democrat Attorney General Hector Balderas, the state’s top law enforcement officer, stays silent as this problem continues to grow. Maybe he’s too busy endorsing his Democrat friends for elected office, a practice which could very well set his office up for a conflict of interest down the road. Balderas should focus on keep New Mexicans safe instead of promoting a political agenda for himself and his friends.

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ICYMI: Raoul enters AG race, apologizes for ‘Miss America’ comment

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As Illinois Democrat State Senator Kwame Raoul announced his candidacy for attorney general, he was apologizing for disparaging comments made about Republican attorney general candidate Erika Harold last week. This controversy comes off the heals of his latest run-in on a radio morning talk show, in which Raoul lost his temper and threatened physical harm to an interviewer.  

The State Journal-Register reports

"State Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, who says he will run for attorney general in 2018, on Wednesday apologized for how he referred to Republican candidate Erika Harold when discussing the office last week.

"'I’ve seen the reaction to the comment that I made, and I don’t blame anybody for being offended,” Raoul told The State Journal-Register. “If I read them without the full context of our full conversation, I would have the same reaction. ... I take full responsibility for the bad characterization.'

"Raoul told the newspaper on Friday, after Democratic Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced she would not seek another term, that 'I think Lisa would have acquitted herself well against Miss America. I don’t know what’s behind the attorney general’s decision ... but I doubt seriously it was any fear of Erika Harold.'

"The story yielded a statement from state Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, calling Raoul’s statement 'blatant and belittling sexism.'

"'As a cadet at West Point and a woman in the political arena, I have spent much of my career fighting the dismissive, condescending sexism Senator Raoul so brazenly exhibited in his attempt to frame Ms. Harold as ‘just a pretty face,’' Ives said.

"Harold issued a statement Wednesday saying, 'I appreciate Senator Raoul’s apology and accept it. I’ve been underestimated before and it just motivates me to work harder.'"

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RAGA Announces $300,000 Transfer to Adams Campaign

WASHINGTON, D.C. - As momentum continues to build around John Adams’ campaign for Virginia Attorney General, the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) announced today an additional $300,000 contribution to Adams. With this contribution, RAGA has invested $800,000 this year to help defeat liberal Democrat Attorney General Mark Herring.

“John has clear momentum in this race,” said RAGA Chairwoman Leslie Rutledge. “On Monday, a new public survey showed that this campaign is a dead heat. That’s because Virginians are responding to John Adams’ message of taking politics out of the Attorney General’s office. We’re committed to winning this race and restoring the rule of law in the Commonwealth. Today’s contribution will help John maintain his momentum and share his message with more Virginia voters.”

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Kwame Raoul Has Worst Announcement Rollout EVER

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) released the following statement on the news that Illinois Democrat State Senator Kwame Raoul, who has had a disastrous few days since Democrat Attorney General Lisa Madigan decided not to run for re-election, is now entering the race.

“Illinoisans need not look further than the past few days to know that Kwame Raoul lacks the temperament and disposition needed to serve as the state’s top law enforcement officer,” said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. “Raoul needed to announce his candidacy today to divert all the negative attention he has received for inappropriate comments and actions he has made since Attorney General Madigan decided to retire last Friday. First, Raoul made an inapt remark aimed at Republican attorney general candidate, Erika Harold, which he later apologized for after others alleged him of being sexist. And just earlier this week, he lost his temper when asked about sanctuary states (which he supports, unwilling to use state resources to carry out immigration policy) on a radio morning talk show, threatening physical harm to an interviewer. These actions are shameful and unbefitting of someone looking to serve as the state’s attorney general.”

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Obama Bundler and Appointee Pat Miles, Jr. Files to Run for Michigan Attorney General

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) released the following statement regarding Pat Miles, Jr. filing paperwork today to seek the Democratic nomination for Michigan Attorney General:

“Pat Miles will do everything he can to run away from Obama and his failed policies in next year’s attorney general race, just as he did in his failed 2010 Congressional race,” said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. “But the truth is, Miles has spent over a quarter of a century as one of Obama’s closest confidants, beginning with their days as classmates at Harvard Law School. Miles bundled tens of thousands of dollars to Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign, and in 2012 was appointed by Obama to serve as U.S. Attorney. Michiganders voted for President Trump last year because Obama’s liberal policies have failed so many, and will soundly reject Obama’s protégé as their attorney general.”

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Office Shopper Scott Drury Drops Out of Governor’s Race, Enters AG’s Race

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) released the following statement on the news that Illinois State Rep. Scott Drury, who has run a lackluster campaign for Governor up until now, is now running for attorney general.

“If the name Scott Drury doesn’t ring a bell, you’re not alone,” said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. “Drury’s campaign for governor has been a mere blip on the radar since his announcement. Only after realizing that his campaign for governor has no traction, he’s now decided to shop around and landed on running for AG. The attorney general’s office should not be considered a consolation prize when your campaign for governor goes up in smoke. Illinois has had a long history of self-serving politicians exacerbating public corruption – it’s time the state gets a candidate serious about rooting it out, instead of electing a political opportunist like Scott Drury.”

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Suffolk University Poll shows Adams, Herring in Statistical Dead Heat

Momentum Continues to Grow for Adams Campaign

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) released the following statement after today Suffolk University’s poll shows that John Adams, the Republican nominee for Virginia attorney general, trails liberal Democrat Attorney General Mark Herring by only two points, 39%-37%, a statistical tie. The entire poll can be found here.

“This poll shows what we’ve known all along,” said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. “John Adams’ message of removing politics from the attorney general’s office, enforcing the law and serving all Virginians is resonating with the voters as we head into the final 50 days before the election. John has the wind at his back - something that Mark Herring clearly knows. RAGA is committed to helping John win this race, restore the rule of law and uphold the Constitution.”

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RAGA Statement on Democrat Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's Decision not to Seek Re-Election

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairwoman and Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following statement: 

"Today's announcement is a clear indication of what we've know for months: Erika Harold is an exceptionally strong candidate. So strong, in fact, that Lisa Madigan has decided she doesn't want to run a campaign for re-election. 

"Erika Harold will be an incredible attorney general for Illinois. She will lead the fight against public corruption and bring integrity to the Attorney General's office. We're excited for this new open-seat opportunity and look forward to defeating whichever Democrat the Madigan machine decides to run in 2018."

To learn more about Erika, visit her campaign website here

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RAGA Announces an Additional $250,000 Contribution in Virginia AG Race

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) announced an additional $250,000 contribution made to John Adams, the Republican nominee for Virginia Attorney General, in the race to retire partisan liberal Democrat Attorney General Mark Herring in this year’s General Election.

"RAGA continues to support John Adams in his bid to become the Attorney General of Virginia," said Arkansas Attorney General and RAGA Chairwoman Leslie Rutledge. "We invested in this race early this year because we knew John was such a strong candidate. Now, with the momentum in this race moving in John’s direction, we’re ready to invest more to make sure he wins. RAGA made an early initial investment because John Adams clearly had the ability to win, and now we will be there to help him win in November." 

"It's no wonder John Adams is gaining momentum as voters learn about Mark Herring's personal political agenda he has pushed while in office, as well as his bad representation as attorney general," said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. "Just last year he settled an equal pay lawsuit for almost $200,000 with a former female attorney in the attorney general's office who was being paid less than her male counterparts. Equal pay is equal pay. Mark Herring clearly has misplaced priorities and Virginia needs a new lawyer."

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Radical Aaron Ford’s Priorities are Wrong for Nevada

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Executive Director Scott Will made the following statement regarding ultra-liberal Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford’s entrance into the Nevada Attorney General race:

“Whether it’s his support for Nevada to become a sanctuary state, ignoring decades of sexual harassment complaints against a fellow Democrat state senator, striping Nevadans of their 2nd Amendment rights or supporting felons with the right to vote while opposing common-sense voter ID laws, Radical Aaron Ford has proven to Nevadans time and time again that he is unfit to serve as attorney general. It is unconscionable that Ford has spent his legislative career protecting criminals instead of law enforcement and law-abiding citizens, an ideology that stands contradictory to the one needed to serve as the state’s top law enforcement officer. Nevada needs an AG who will uphold the rule of law, not promote a liberal, politically-driven agenda.”

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ICYMI: RAGA Launches OffTheMarkHerring.com

Herring_Microsite.JPG

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Democrat Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has crusaded his liberal agenda as AG since first taking office. Today, the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) launched a new website, OffTheMarkHerring.com, first reported by the Washington Examiner, which highlight Herring's failures in office, from handing out backdoor pay raises to his staff, to restricting 2nd Amendment rights.

The Washington Examiner reports

"The Republican Attorneys General Association is narrowing in on Virginia Democratic incumbent Mark Herring for "putting his own politics" before the state's laws.

"On Tuesday, the RAGA is launching a website called "Off the Mark Herring" that slams the attorney general as "a career politician who puts his own political agenda ahead of the laws passed by the people of Virginia through their elected representatives."

"The RAGA's new site focuses specifically on four examples in its effort to demonstrate Herring's habit of "putting his own politics before Virginia," drawing attention to the incumbent's decisions on gun reciprocity, staff pay raises, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and right-to-work laws. On each topic, browsers are provided with lengthy background information making the case against Herring's record.

"'Virginia needs a new lawyer – one who will enforce and defend its laws,' the site argues."

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ICYMI: Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter Calls for Checks and Balances on the CFPB

WASHINGTON, DC - Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter wrote an Op-Ed in today's Washington Examiner about how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has remained unchecked for so long and why it is important to be held accountable today. 

CFPB: The rogue federal agency that aims to reign but needs to be reined in

By Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter

"Lord Acton once said that "power tends to corrupt…and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

"Nowhere is this truer today than at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB is the quintessential example of what happens when accountability to Congress and the president is removed—when there are no checks and balances on the power of an unelected bureaucrat."

The full Op-Ed can be read here

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Dettelbach’s Hypocrisy of Equality Before the Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Steve “Do-Nothing” Dettelbach recently sat down for an interview with a left-wing blog and said that everyone is equal under the eye of the law, a statement which stands in stark contrast to his work representing clients in the private sector before and after he was chosen by his friend and former classmate, President Obama, to serve as U.S. Attorney.

In the interview, Dettelbach says that everyone, regardless of their status in life, is equal before the law. “The rule of law at its best means one simple thing: That there is one set of rules that applies to everybody, one set of rules that applies to protect every single person, no matter how vulnerable, and holds every single person accountable, no matter how powerful,” Dettelbach said. 

However, Dettelbach has built a career of using the law to his, and his client’s, advantage, and proudly displays these achievements on his law firm’s website. In one case, Dettelbach “represented a nursing home chain in a federal investigation that began as a criminal matter, was changed to a civil investigation and, in the end, resulted in a regulatory action in which the client paid no fine or penalty.” In another case, Dettelbach “defended an executive in a bribery case involving construction projects at a healthcare agency. The defendant in that case pleaded guilty and received a sentence significantly lower than did the others involved in that scheme.”

Dettelbach likes to paint a rosy picture that everyone is bound by the same set of rules, but has instead used those same rules to help his rich and powerful friends circumvent the law. Ohio needs an Attorney General who will uphold the rule of law and represent all Ohioans, not just the wealthy and connected.

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ICYMI: Republican AGs Hail President Trump's Decision to Restore Rule of Law to Immigration

WASHINGTON, DC - Several Republican Attorneys General released the following statements in response to the Trump Administration rescinding President Obama's overreaching the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program: 

RAGA Chairwoman and Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

“I commend President Trump for rescinding the DACA program created by President Obama,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “While we are a compassionate country, the United States is a country of laws and President Trump recognized that President Obama’s DACA program went far beyond the executive branch’s legal authority. Congress has always been the proper place for this debate, and I am pleased that the President is granting Congress an additional six months to legislatively address this issue.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

“I applaud President Trump for phasing out DACA. As the Texas-led coalition explained in our June letter, the Obama-era program went far beyond the executive branch’s legitimate authority,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Had former President Obama’s unilateral order on DACA been left intact, it would have set a dangerous precedent by giving the executive branch sweeping authority to bypass Congress and change immigration laws. If ever there were a violation of the President’s duty to ‘take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,’ DACA was it: President Obama unilaterally conferred lawful presence and work authorization, and then President Obama used that lawful-presence dispensation to unilaterally confer U.S. citizenship.”

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt

“As unilaterally declared by President Obama, DACA always has been a cruel illusion. No president has authority to keep the promises the Obama administration made to the Dreamers; President Obama said so himself more than two dozen times.

“The Trump administration’s actions today return the issue to the only place constitutionally empowered to resolve it: The United States Congress. Congress has had more than five years to address this issue and has done nothing, but perhaps having a legal deadline, after which neither the president nor the courts will continue to turn a blind eye to unlawful executive actions, can motivate Congress to act.

“The obvious reality is our country is not going to round up and deport 800,000 people who in the past were brought here as children, grew up here, have committed no crimes, and now have relied in good faith on the Obama administration’s false but enticing promises. Congress needs to enact immigration law that humanely and responsibly fixes this problem once and for all. There is no substitute for addressing this matter through the lawmaking process the Constitution establishes.”

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry

“I applaud President Trump for phasing out DACA,” said General Landry. “This executive amnesty was another example of the Obama Administration bypassing Congress to advance its radical agenda.”

“Nearly 40,000 DACA recipients have been given green cards and over 1,000 recipients have become U.S. citizens, despite the Obama administration’s initial pledge that the program would not confer such a path to citizenship,” explained General Landry. “What’s more: DACA allowed aliens to leave and re-enter our country; removed eligibility bars from Social Security, Medicare, and the Earned Income Tax Credit; and conferred eligibility for state benefits like driver’s licenses and unemployment insurance.”  

“As I have often said, the Executive Branch cannot simply sidestep the people’s elected representatives in the Legislative Branch,” concluded General Landry. “I am glad President Trump is defending the separation of powers, preserving the rule of law, and ending the unconstitutional DACA program.”

Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson

"Today, Attorney General Sessions announced that the DACA Executive Order will be rescinded immediately and the program will be phased out over the next six months.  This is a very important step in protecting the rule of law and the separation of powers set forth in our Constitution.  Attorney General Sessions acknowledged today that his duty is to uphold our Constitution.  By allowing an executive order to exist, which improperly expands a law passed by Congress, would be a violation of the separation of powers. 

"The fundamental basis for my joining the letter asking for DACA to be rescinded was to prevent any president from unilaterally using executive orders to create laws.  The duty to address immigration issues properly belongs to the legislative branch. The compelling issues that surround the DACA matter must be debated on the floors of Congress.

"Today’s decision restored the proper balance of power by rescinding an executive order. There are currently bi-partisan bills before the House and Senate addressing this issue.  These are the proper forums to debate this difficult immigration issue."

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

“I applaud President Trump for having the courage of his convictions to uphold the rule of law and stop this Obama-era program. DACA was unconstitutional and represented an unlawful, unilateral action by the Obama administration,” Morrisey said. “Changes in law must be made through the legislative process. We will always stand up and defend the rule of law and our Constitution."

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Republican AGs Score Victory Against Costly Obama Overtime Rule

WASHINGTON, DC - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued the following statement on behalf of the Republican Attorneys General Association in reaction to today’s victory over the Obama-era Overtime Rule. 

“Today’s win at the district court permanently blocks a D.C. political agenda from the previous administration from harming businesses and employees. The Overtime Rule is yet another example of Republican Attorneys General achieving a victory for the rule of law and the American people and another defeat for the previous Administration, which consistently ignored the rule of law in its attempts to force a political agenda without regard for the Constitution,” said Rutledge.

“Countless business owners, nonprofits, mayors and county judges across the country contacted me  and my fellow Republican AGs to express their concern and urged me to challenge this ill-advised rule. Because of today’s win, employers are not being forced to lay off hardworking Americans,” continued Rutledge.

Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt added, “I applaud Judge Mazzant’s decision to permanently invalidate this Obama-era overtime rule that would have would have imposed millions of dollars of unfunded liabilities on the States and resulted in a loss of private sector jobs as well as onerous financial and regulatory burdens on small businesses in Nevada and around the country,” said Laxalt. “My office is proud to have led the charge towards a final ruling that brings clarity, certainty and closure to the business community and government alike.”

Background on Republican AGs an the Overtime Rule:

On September 30, a coalition of 21 states in filed a federal court complaint challenging the United States Department of Labor’s new overtime rule.

If implemented, the rule would have more than doubled the minimum salary overtime threshold for public and private workers without Congressional authorization. The rule will force many state and local governments to substantially increase their employment costs. Some governments may be forced to eliminate some services and even lay off employees.

In November, 2016, a federal judge enjoined the rule and today, Judge Amos Mazzant granted summary judgement to the states, permanently invalidating the rule.  

In addition to Nevada who led the coalition and Arkansas, Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin made up the 21-state coalition.

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ICYMI: John Adams releases first campaign TV ad

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Virginia attorney general candidate John Adams released his first campaign television advertisement, "Getting Results,"  in which he vows to take the politics out of the attorney general's office and enforce and defend the laws of the Commonwealth. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Zg7D-OXid8

"Service isn’t about dividing people or getting media attention," says Adams. "It’s about doing your job & getting results. That's why I'm running for AG."

Earlier this week, Democrat Attorney General Mark Herring made the unprecedented move to launch a negative attack ad against Adams before Labor Day. "It looks like Mark Herring has realized what we’ve known all along," said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. "John Adams is an exceptional candidate who has the ability to win this race."

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Herring Running Scared with New Ad

WASHINGTON, D.C. - RAGA Executive Director Scott Will released the following statement today in reaction to Mark Herring’s attack ad in the Virginia Attorney General’s race:

“The fact that Mark Herring feels the need to run a negative TV ad before Labor Day is indicative of one thing: Herring is running scared. It looks like Mark Herring has realized what we’ve known all along – John Adams is an exceptional candidate who has the ability to win this race. John Adams’ campaign is gaining momentum and these kinds of desperate negative attack ads prove it. Herring has worked to advance his own political interests rather than the interests of Virginia. John Adams will advocate for Virginians and defend the rule of law.”

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Statement from RAGA Chairman Leslie Rutledge

WASHINGTON, D.C. - RAGA Chairman and Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following statement. 

“Republican Attorneys General defend the rule of law – and equality under the law for all Americans. Those values are entirely at odds with the views of the white supremacists and neo-Nazis who spewed their hatred in Charlottesville this past weekend. They are cowards who have no place in American society. Hate, racism, and violence of any form is not welcome in our great country. As elected leaders in our respective states, we stand strong against these acts of evil and come together for good and love for one another. Let us not use these horrific displays as a tool to divide us but rather unite us against those who spew such evil.”

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ICYMI: Republican Erika Harold mounts bid against Democratic AG Lisa Madigan

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Erika Harold, an Urbana attorney and former Miss America, announced her bid to challenge Democratic Attorney General Lisa Madigan in the 2018 General Election. Harold, who has never held public office, released a campaign ad in which she promises to change the status quo. 

RAGA Chairman and Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following statement, saying that Harold will fight for all Illinoisans. "Erika Harold has been a champion for those who need a voice: from children who have faced bullying in school to prisoners seeking a second chance to turn around their lives. She isn't beholden to the Springfield special interests or the Chicago political machine. Instead, she'll be an Attorney General for every Illinois citizen regardless of where they come from or to who their family is connected. I'm incredibly excited to support Erika's run for Attorney General and I look forward to joining her on the campaign trail."

Chicago Tribune reports

"A former Miss America on Tuesday is expected to announce a Republican bid for attorney general for the chance to challenge four-term Democrat Lisa Madigan.

"'Today in Illinois, it's nearly impossible to find opportunity and live out your dreams. Instead, career politicians have made it a nightmare for too many families in our state," Erika Harold says in a two-minute video announcing her candidacy.

"'You deserve a state government that works for the people, not the powerful," says Harold, of Urbana. "Changing the status quo is never easy. And I need your help to do it. Together, let's defeat the special interests and send the politicians packing.'"

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Rutledge To Succeed Morrisey As RAGA Chairman

Washington, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) today announced West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey will step down as Chairman to focus on his duties in West Virginia and his Senate campaign. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge will succeed him as Chairman. A new Vice-Chairman will be chosen by the attorneys general at a later date.

"Americans are seeing the need every day to elect Republican attorneys general who fight to uphold the rule of law and seek justice for all," said Rutledge. "Even with a record number of 29 Republicans serving as attorneys general, now is not the time for RAGA to rest. My commitment and focus will be on winning in Virginia this November and expanding our majority in 2018. I want to thank Patrick Morrisey for the incredible work he has done leading and growing RAGA as well as his work in West Virginia fighting federal overreach and the opioid epidemic. I am honored to assume the role of chair of RAGA and look forward to the work of candidate recruitment and fundraising in the year ahead."

"It's been an honor to serve as the Chairman of RAGA during such an important time and help contribute to its success,” said Morrisey. “With my entry into the U.S. Senate race against one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the country, I will be handing off the leadership of RAGA to our Vice Chair, Leslie Rutledge.  

“I know that Leslie will do a good job for RAGA, a terrific organization that has helped grow the ranks of Republican Attorneys General. Leslie has already accomplished a great deal as Attorney General since her election in 2014 and will continue to serve the citizens of Arkansas with distinction. Congratulations to Leslie for this achievement."

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Mark Herring’s Misplaced Priorities

Washington, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) released the following statement on Mark Herring’s misplaced priorities.

“Mark Herring had an opportunity to help his constituents with Virginia’s portion of fraud settlement funds,” said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. “Instead of following the example of others, including his fellow Democratic Attorneys General in North Carolina and Washington, Herring decided to give his taxpayer funded staff huge raises. Virginia needs an attorney general with better judgment and priorities.”

What North Carolina Did with the Money

North Carolina earmarked the money for public schools.

“North Carolina has recovered $15.8 million from Abbott Laboratories as part of a national fraud settlement involving the drug Depakote, state Attorney General Roy Cooper announced last week. The funds are part of a $1.5 billion national settlement to resolve allegations that Abbott illegally marketed Depakote. Depakote is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat seizures and mania associated with bipolar disorder and to prevent migraines. Cooper and other states involved in the settlement contend that from January 1998-Dec. 31, 2008, Abbott promoted Depakote for uses that were not approved by the FDA as safe and effective. This resulted in false claims to Medicaid and other taxpayer-funded health care programs. Of the $15.8 million recovered from Abbott, $917,553.61 will go to the state’s public schools. The remaining funds will go to support Medicaid efforts in the state.” (WSOCTV, 10/8/12)

What Washington Did with the Money

Washington State’s Attorney General used the money for “direct treatment, medication or counseling to people suffering from schizophrenia, dementia or autism.”

“Working with other states, attorneys for the Washington State Attorney General’s Office have recovered more than $12 million through settlements with Illinois-based Abbott Laboratories, accused of illegally marketing an anti-seizure drug. The state will recover more than $10 million, split with the federal government, in a multi-state Medicaid fraud case against the company and more than $2 million from a consumer protection case. ... McKenna today announced Washington state joined 45 other states and the District of Columbia in a $100 million consumer protection settlement with the drug maker. Washington state’s share is $2,015,000. McKenna indicated to the court that settlement funds will be used to provide direct treatment, medication or counseling to people suffering from schizophrenia, dementia or autism. An open and competitive grant process for nonprofit organizations or agencies will be used to determine the recipients.” (Attorney General Rob McKenna, “Huge Seizure-Drug Settlements Recover $12 Million For Washington State,” Press Release, 5/7/12)

Because of this funding, autism screening and diagnosis was expanded under a grant to Children’s Village.

“Autism screening and diagnosis will be expanded under a grant to Children's Village. The $70,000 grant was secured through a competitive process in the state Attorney General's office. The source of the funds was a multi-state settlement with Abbott Laboratories, resolving improper marketing allegations surrounding the drug Depakote, which is used to treat various types of seizure disorders as well as manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder.” (“$70,000 Grant Will Expand Autism Screening,” Yakima Herald-Republic, 1/19/13)

What Mark Did with the Money

Mark Herring gave pay raises to selected employees in the Office of the Attorney General by diverting asset forfeiture money from the Abbott Settlement.

“Law enforcement agencies participating in investigations with federal counterparts can share proceeds of seized assets under Equitable Sharing 

programs run by the Justice and Treasury departments. Both agencies have clear rules that generally prohibit the use of such money for salaries and pay raises. However, the Justice Department suggested a workaround in a PowerPoint presentation obtained from the office of Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring after the AP raised questions about significant pay raises for several of Herring's employees at a time when state workers' pay was stagnant elsewhere. Some staff attorneys' salaries rose as much as $15,000 in a year — one had a 30-percent increase.” (Associated Press, 1/18/17)

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ICYMI: Republican attorneys general dominating Democrats in fundraising battle

"It's clear that during the Obama years many of his top priorities were defeated mainly, if not entirely, through the work of the Republican AGs. And there's still a lot more work to be done." - Scott Will, RAGA Executive Director 

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Heading into the pivotal 2018 election cycle, the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) raised a record $7.4 million to close out the first half of 2017, over double the amount raised by the Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA) in the same period of time. 

Washington Examiner reports

"Republican attorneys general are trouncing their Democratic counterparts in 2017's fundraising wars amid liberals' failure to capitalize on resistance to President Trump.

"The Republican Attorneys General Association raised $7.4 million through the first half of 2017, which the group said is a record-high number for the organization that formed in 1999. During the same period in 2015 and 2013, the association raked in $5.1 million and $4.2 million, respectively, as it headed into major election cycles.

"The Democratic Attorneys General Association, meanwhile, raised about $3.1 million between January and June and reportedly hired full-time finance staffing for the first time in 2017."

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Mark Herring Gave Pay Raises To Bureaucrats, Failed to Address Opioid Crisis

Washington, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) released the following statement on Mark Herring’s failure to address the opioid crisis while giving huge raises to his taxpayer funded employees.

“It is the job of the attorney general to work with law enforcement to ensure safe, strong communities,” said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. “Mark Herring’s decision to use public funds to pay his political staffers huge salaries rather than channel those funds towards combating drug overdoses shows his priorities are out of touch with the citizens he swore to serve. John Adams, a former naval officer who hunted down drug smugglers, is the better choice for Virginia voters. He will put combating the opioid crisis front and center.”

Fact Check

According to the Associated Press, Herring’s office gave pay raises to selected employees in the Office of the Attorney General by diverting asset forfeiture money from the Abbott Settlement.

“Law enforcement agencies participating in investigations with federal counterparts can share proceeds of seized assets under Equitable Sharing programs run by the Justice and Treasury departments. Both agencies have clear rules that generally prohibit the use of such money for salaries and pay raises. However, the Justice Department suggested a workaround in a PowerPoint presentation obtained from the office of Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring after the AP raised questions about significant pay raises for several of Herring's employees at a time when state workers' pay was stagnant elsewhere. Some staff attorneys' salaries rose as much as $15,000 in a year — one had a 30-percent increase.” (Associated Press, 1/18/17)

Herring’s office provided raises of more than 20% to 16 employees, including 15 assistant attorneys general.

Between 2014-2015 And 2015-2016, Herring’s office reported grow pay increases of more than 20% to 16 employees, including 15 assistant attorneys general. (Richmond Times-Dispatch Salary Database)

The Virginia Senate recommended cutting $500,000 from Herring’s budget after the report about the raises.

“In other budget news, the Senate is recommending cutting $500,000 from Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring's office. The move comes after The Associated Press reported last month that Herring was able to give sizeable raises - as much as $15,000 in a year - with the indirect help of asset forfeiture funds. Herring raised the pay floor for 64 attorneys, with a median raise of about $7,000.” (Associated Press, 2/5/17)

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ICYMI: RAGA raised $7.4M in first half of 2017

"(RAGA) stands ready to support our candidates as they fight for the rule of law and against the far-left ideologues the Democratic Party backs across the country." - Patrick Morrisey, RAGA Chairman and West Virginia Attorney General

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Heading into the pivotal 2018 election cycle, the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) raised a record $7.4 million to close out the first half of 2017.

Politico Pro reports

"The Republican Attorneys General Association raised $7.4 million in the first half of the year, according to the group.

That haul in the first half of the year is a record for the GOP organization, a perennially well-funded outside group. Over the same period in 2015, RAGA raised $5.1 million. It brought in $4.2 million over the same period in 2013.

Twenty-nine states currently have Republican attorneys general, a high watermark for the GOP."

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Aaron Ford’s Anti-Second Amendment, Pro-Criminal Stance Is Wrong For Nevada

Nevada State Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford is rumored to be eyeing a run for attorney general. Ford is an ambitious politician and went so far as to cover up a sexual harassment scandal to further his legislative agenda. Unfortunately, Ford’s failings are not only ethical, but his legislative record also reveals a far-left ideology out of touch with the average Nevadan.

“In this session alone, Aaron Ford pushed two bills to restrict the Constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens,” said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. “Ford wanted to preemptively take away the right to keep and bear arms from people who had not even been convicted of a crime. Even worse, Aaron Ford sponsored legislation to gut the Castle Doctrine, which enables people to protect themselves from home invaders. Nevada does not need an attorney general who attacks the rights of the law-abiding while making life easier for criminals.”

Background:

            •          Ford sponsored a bill this year, SB 387, which would allow a law enforcement officer or an immediate family member to request a court hearing to decide if your Second Amendment rights should be taken away from you. Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson, R-Henderson, said he was concerned the bill was overly broad and may infringe on Second Amendment and due process rights. He compared the bill to “Minority Report,” a futuristic 2002 Tom Cruise film with law enforcement officers who arrested people before they commit murders because their crimes were predicted. Daniel Reid, a lobbyist with the National Rifle Association, said the “bill takes away Second Amendment rights” and has a low standard for evidence. The bill passed in the Senate but was not picked up in the Assembly. 

            •          Ford sponsored legislation this year to undermine the Castle Doctrine, the protection from civil litigation if a home dweller uses force against a home invader. “Yet, while many lawmakers look to protect their law abiding citizens, many on the left want to ensure that it is the CRIMINALS that are protected from the law-abiding gun owners when said criminals are undertaking in their crimes. Which brings us to Nevada SB 254 and State Senator Aaron Ford.” He later decided to drop this bill for further consideration.

See more about Aaron Ford's dismal record here

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Washington Examiner: Eric Schneiderman Promotes Himself Rather Than Justice

Peter Roff has a devastating piece on New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in the Washington Examiner today. He also notes the role of 11 Republican attorneys general in pushing back against Schneiderman’s politicization of his office.

“Eric Schneiderman’s actions are what happens when an attorney general is more interested in politics than the rule of law,” said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. “His abuse of the important powers of his office damages the public’s confidence in our judicial system.”

From the article:

“The responsibility for evenhanded application of the law falls especially heavy on state attorneys general more than most other elected officials because of the enormous resources at their disposal. Unlike even a local, big city district attorney, an elected attorney general has nearly unlimited power and authority to bring cases of his or her own choosing.

Schneiderman, unfortunately, has used those powers to pursue a political agenda above and beyond the requirements of his office in furtherance of his own career…

…The responsibility for evenhanded application of the law falls especially heavy on state attorneys general more than most other elected officials because of the enormous resources at their disposal. Unlike even a local, big city district attorney, an elected attorney general has nearly unlimited power and authority to bring cases of his or her own choosing.

Schneiderman, unfortunately, has used those powers to pursue a political agenda above and beyond the requirements of his office in furtherance of his own career.”

You can read Mr. Roff’s full piece in the Washington Examiner here.

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ICYMI: John Adams announces statewide substance abuse policy proposals

"What has become very clear to me over the last year is that there is a need for bold action at the state level to combat the substance abuse and overdose crisis in Virginia.” - John Adams, Virginia Republican attorney general candidate

WASHINGTON, D.C. - John Adams, standing alongside Chesterfield County Sheriff Karl Leonard and Delegate Christopher K. Peace, unveiled his statewide policy proposal to combat Virginia’s substance abuse and overdose crisis. 

Augusta Free Press reports

"John Adams, the Republican nominee for attorney general, today announced his statewide policy proposal to combat Virginia’s substance abuse and overdose crisis, including the heroin and opioid epidemic, which is dramatically impacting communities across the Commonwealth. The comprehensive plan focuses on the attorney general’s ability to coordinate efforts in three main areas: prevention and education; treatment; and, enforcement.

"Speaking about his proposal, Adams said, 'The heroin and opioid epidemic keeps getting worse every year, not better. Since 2013, fatal opioid overdoses have increased 66%. In the last year alone, we have lost over 1,400 lives to drug overdoses in Virginia, outpacing deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents and gun-related incidents. It’s an issue you cannot go anywhere in Virginia without hearing about. It’s affecting Virginia’s mothers and fathers, children and friends. What has become very clear to me over the last year is that there is a need for bold action at the state level to combat the substance abuse and overdose crisis in Virginia.'"

Read the full Statewide Substance Abuse and Overdose Crisis Policy Proposal here

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ICYMI: Manendo harassment probe hurts Ford’s future

"The majority leader’s delayed and timid rebukes of Manendo scream that Ford put his political objectives above timely justice for women who allege they were victimized by a man in power."

"On its new microsite RadicalAaronFord.com, the Republican Attorneys General Association hits on the most plausible explanation for Ford’s inaction: Ford needed Manendo’s vote to accomplish his legislative goals."

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford was willing to put his short term political interests ahead of his responsibility to protect victims of sexual harassment, an unconscionable decision disqualifying Ford from being a credible candidate for attorney general. 

Las Vegas Review-Journal reports

"Sexual harassment allegations against state Sen. Mark Manendo are going to hurt the political career of Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford.

"Ford thinks Manendo engaged “in conduct that I believe to be unbefitting of a senator,” hence the verbal admonishment. But Ford also thinks Manendo may be so guilty — “once the investigation commenced, more allegations came forward, which meant it would take more time to complete the inquiry” — that there wasn’t time for Ford to take decisive action. Now that the 2017 session is over, the Senate can’t expel or censure Manendo.

"This is like having evidence that someone committed robbery, but deciding to let the statute of limitations run out because you’re investigating accusations that the suspect committed a dozen other crimes.

"It’s not a pretty picture for Ford, who’s expected to run for attorney general — Nevada’s top law enforcement position — in 2018.

"On its new microsite RadicalAaronFord.com, the Republican Attorneys General Association hits on the most plausible explanation for Ford’s inaction: Ford needed Manendo’s vote to accomplish his legislative goals."

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RAGA Statement On EPA Rescinding Waters of the U.S. Rule

Washington, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) released the following statement regarding the Trump Administration’s necessary first step to rescind Obama-Era Waters of the United States (WOTUS) regulation:

"As in so many instances, the Obama Administration overreached by stretching its authority beyond what the law allowed, which is why Republican attorneys general fought WOTUS from the beginning,” said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. "The EPA’s action today is another encouraging step towards restoring federalism, the rule of law, and the states’ proper role in regulating America’s water resources. RAGA commends EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and is proud of the determined effort of the states attorneys general to pave the way for this important decision."

"The Attorneys General of the States of West Virginia, Wisconsin, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky applaud the action of the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) today in beginning to withdraw the unlawful Waters of the United States rule (“WOTUS Rule”)," the AGs wrote in a statement. "We fully support the proposed rule signed by EPA Administrator Pruitt today as a significant step in the direction of withdrawing the unlawful WOTUS Rule."

On June 21st, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel led a 20-state coalition in requesting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency preserve the role of the states in protecting the nation’s water resources.

“The WOTUS Rule is unlawful…and significantly impinges upon the States’ traditional role as the primary regulators of land and water resources within their borders,” Attorney General Morrisey  and Schimel joined in writing. “We write to suggest how the [EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers] can write a rule that respects Congress’s instruction.”

The full letter can be read here

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ICYMI: National Review: On Immigration, GOP State Attorneys General Echo Trump

“The Trump administration is slowly understanding the benefits they can get from working with Republican attorneys general across the country,” Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Republican attorneys general are taking steps to stop sanctuary cities and advance other objectives of the administration’s immigration policy.

National Review reports

"Donald Trump has advocated a hardline immigration agenda during his first six months in office. But, after signing executive orders to defund sanctuary cities and to place a temporary travel ban on refugees entering the U.S., the president has quickly learned that some liberal judges on federal circuit courts are willing to blur politics and the law in order to rule against the administration and block its agenda.

"Meanwhile, as federal judges continue to limit federal immigration policy, the Trump administration has come to rely on Republican state attorneys general to take a stand at the state level. Indeed, many of them are spearheading their own legal fight against lax immigration policies, particularly with sanctuary cities and the temporary travel ban."

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Statement On Unanimous Supreme Court Ruling In Favor of the Trump Administration

Washington, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) released the following statement responding to today’s ruling from the United States Supreme Court regarding President Trump’s travel restriction policy:

“Today’s ruling is a welcome development allowing the Trump Administration to move forward with its plans to keep America safe,” said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. “The attorneys general’s efforts on this case once again highlight the critical role they play in so many issues facing the country today.”

On June 6th, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, along with 14 other attorneys general and the governor of Mississippi, filed an amicus brief in support of the of the Administration’s position:

“The executive order is a tailored response to a very real threat to our national security,” Attorney General Paxton said. “A temporary pause on entry from countries with heightened security concerns is necessary to shore up our nation’s vetting procedures. The president is fulfilling his solemn duty to protect Texans and all Americans.”

Texas was joined in the amicus brief by Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant.

You can read the amicus brief here.

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Ten State Coalition Backs President Trump On Sanctuary Cities Order

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Republican Attorneys General are leading the fight against sanctuary cities. Ten AGs, led by Texas, filed a court brief in support of President Trump’s executive order that directs the federal government to ensure municipalities comply with laws prohibiting sanctuary cities. States that filed the brief include attorneys general from Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton: “President Trump’s Executive Order is fully constitutional and a large step toward public safety. If law enforcement authorities have policies of not cooperating with federal immigration authorities, dangerous criminals will unlawfully remain in the country, travel freely between states and continue to evade the justice system. Governments have a duty to protect their citizens – it is imperative that we honor federal laws and cooperate with ICE detainers to keep our communities safe.”

West Virginia Attorney General & RAGA Chairman Patrick Morrisey: “The establishment of sanctuary cities undermines the rule of law,” Morrisey said. “We need to equip law enforcement with the tools they need to cooperate with federal law enforcement and ensure public safety.”

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry: “This is not a political issue; it is a public safety issue,” said General Landry. “Cities and their leaders who engage in sanctuary city policies undermine the safety of our citizens. Sanctuary policies obstructing cooperation with federal agencies defy the rule of law. The President’s executive order aims to protect Americans from these reckless and illegal practices. The President and Congress can enforce this executive order while still respecting the role of states in our constitutional structure. For the safety of our people, I hope the court follows the Constitution and dismisses these lawsuits.”

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RAGA Unveils Digital Campaign Against Josh Kaul

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) has begun a digital advertising campaign against Wisconsin Democrat Josh Kaul.

 “Josh Kaul was Hillary Clinton’s lawyer, now he wants to be Wisconsin’s lawyer,” said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. “He was so desperate for Clinton to win, he wasted taxpayer money advocating for a pointless recount of the presidential election, including pushing for a hand recount of every ballot long after the result was clear. While Kaul was grandstanding for Hillary, he ignored Democrats in the Wisconsin legislature filing multiple anti-police bills. Kaul also opposes Wisconsin’s common-sense voter-ID law, even calling it ‘an embarrassment.’

“The truth is the only people excited about Josh Kaul are Madison liberals who are still crying over Hillary Clinton’s loss in November. RAGA will ensure Wisconsinites know the truth about Josh Kaul.”

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New RAGA Digital Campaign Targets Aaron Ford

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) has launched a digital campaign targeting Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford’s radical liberal record as well as his unethical effort to shield a member of his caucus from punishment for sexual harassment.

“Aaron Ford has his eye on the attorney general’s office, a fact that should alarm mainstream Nevada voters,” said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. “Ford’s radical liberal record, including support for violent criminal illegal aliens, is troubling for a man who wants to be Nevada’s top law enforcement official. Even worse, Ford put political expediency above common decency by protecting a state senator accused of sexual harassment. Nevada can do better than Aaron Ford, and RAGA is launching this digital campaign to make sure the voters know the truth about his record and conduct.”

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RAGA Statement on the Virginia Primary Election Results

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Executive Director Scott Will released the following statement: 

“Congratulations to the Republican ticket in Virginia: Ed Gillespie, Jill Vogel, and John Adams. There isn’t a better team to take the fight to the Democrats this November. RAGA is excited to support John Adams in the race for Attorney General and return the Virginia AG’s office to a lawyer who will defend the rule of law instead of play politics.”

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ICYMI: In The Trump Era, These Elections May Matter The Most

“To be honest, (RAGA's) strategic focus, their fundraising prowess, and their clear organization gave them a significant advantage over the years,” (Democrat Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl) Racine told BuzzFeed News.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In the wake of the "incumbency rule" coming to an end, the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is gearing up for a pivotal 2017 and 2018 election cycle.

Buzzfeed News reports

The 2016 election stripped Democrats of most any control in the lawmaking process. They remain the minority party in the House and Senate, and have zero influence in President Donald Trump’s White House.

But the added prominence of attorneys general has also put them squarely in the line of fire, as Republicans and Democrats gear up for campaigns in 2017 and 2018.

This year, there will be more money going toward the efforts to win attorneys general races.

Attorneys general races have increasingly become nationalized affairs. In 2015, the Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes deemed Republican attorneys general President Barack “Obama’s most formidable opponents,” noting the ways in which the were teaming up to try to block the Democratic agenda: suing over Obama’s Clean Power Plant Act, the Waters of the United States regulations, some immigration actions and parts of Obamacare.

And it was a productive eight years for Republican attorneys general. “The one thing that I can say about the Obama administration is it created a lot of success for us in the states,” Paxton said, noting that they increased the number of Republican attorneys general to 27, a record.

“The attorneys general during the Obama administration really served as the last line of defense against federal overreach,” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who now chairs the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), told BuzzFeed News.

Both organizations have also become increasingly professionalized as the business of electing attorneys general has come to be seen as less of a state issue and more of a national one. Until 2016, DAGA was effectively a “part-time committee,” as Rankin put it. Headquartered in Denver, with no full-time staff, DAGA was ill equipped to compete with the Republican effort that was already there.

“To be honest, their strategic focus, their fundraising prowess, and their clear organization gave them significant advantage over the years,” Racine told BuzzFeed News.

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ICYMI: D.C. and Maryland AGs: “Grandstanding for Political Purposes"

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Following the frivolous lawsuit filed yesterday against President Trump by the District of Columbia and Maryland Democratic Attorneys General, alleging a breach of the emoluments clause in the U.S. Constitution, Republican Attorneys General Association Vice Chairwoman and Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge called the move "grandstanding for political purposes," and a blatant show of partisan politics. 

The Washington Post reports

"Monday’s lawsuit drew criticism from the Republican National Committee and Republican state attorneys general. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, vice chair of the Republican Attorneys General Association, called the lawsuit 'grandstanding for political purposes. . . . Quite frankly, it is an unfortunate display of partisan politics by my colleagues across the aisle.'"

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Anti-Law Enforcement Lawyer Brad Levin Joins Growing Crowd of Liberals Running for Attorney General

Washington, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association released the following statement regarding Denver attorney Brad Levin’s campaign announcement:

“Hardly a week goes by without another liberal jumping in this race despite a complete lack of credentials,” said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. “Coloradans should watch this primary carefully, and note how all of these candidates only seem interested in political grandstanding, not in doing the hard work of being the attorney general. Brad Levin also has a particularly disturbing record when it comes to law enforcement. Just last year, Levin sued a Colorado police department on behalf of a man who died of a drug overdose. Colorado has an attorney general, Cynthia Coffman, who is working with all public safety officials to fight the opioid addiction epidemic. Brad Levin has done nothing to solve the problem, but has been eager to profit from it.”

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2016 Republican attorneys general maintained their national majority, increasing the number of GOP attorneys general to 29. Over the course of the 2015-2016 cycle, RAGA raised a historic high of more than $23 million to support investments in campaigns across the country. 

http://www.republicanags.com/

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Democratic AGs Continue to put Politics over Governance

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Executive Director Scott Will released the following statement regarding the frivolous lawsuit filed against President Trump by the District of Columbia and Maryland Democratic Attorneys General, alleging a breach of the emoluments clause in the U.S. Constitution: 

"The lawsuit is a good example of why it is so important to elect attorneys general who will uphold the rule of law. Attorneys general should never use the power entrusted to them for cheap partisan political stunts, and unfortunately, that is the path several states have chosen today.  Democratic Attorneys General have filed another frivolous suit that the court should throw out."

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Aaron Ford Puts Politics Above Justice

Washington, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) released the following statement regarding Nevada Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford’s decision to sweep under the rug decades of sexual harassment complaints against fellow Democratic Senator Mark Manendo.

“It is rumored that Aaron Ford wants to be Nevada’s attorney general, the chief law enforcement officer of the state, but how can Nevadans trust Ford with this responsibility when he has shown he is willing to put his short term political interests ahead of his responsibility to protect victims of sexual harassment?" said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. "It is clear Aaron Ford made a simple calculation: he needed Manendo’s vote, so Ford avoided punishing Manendo until Manendo was no longer politically useful. This is an unconscionable decision and disqualifies Ford from being a credible candidate for attorney general.”

Background:

On May 6th, an independent investigator was appointed to review sexual harassment claims against Manendo.

On May 8th, Manendo hired an attorney to defend himself against the charges. Ford did nothing.

On May 9th, Senate Republicans called for Ford to remove Manendo from his committee assignments and to release decades worth of the sexual harassment allegations against Manendo. Ford did nothing.

On May 22nd, Manendo resigned as chairman of the Transportation Committee. This move was meaningless because it came after Majority Leader Ford got his legislation through Manendo’s committee and thus no longer had any political use for Manendo.

Finally, with just hours left in the legislative session on June 5th, Aaron Ford finally got around to slapping Manendo on the wrist, with a weak "admonishment."

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“Do-Nothing Dettelbach” Flubs Campaign Launch, Reveals Inflated Resume

Washington, D.C. – Steven Dettelbach, despite claims of expertise in cyber security, accidentally made his campaign website public without actually announcing he is running for attorney general. In addition to being an embarrassing display of incompetence, the contents of his now-hidden website reveal how shallow Steven “Do-Nothing” Dettelbach’s resume is, and the lengths he will go to inflate his accomplishments.

The website claims he “holds the powerful accountable,” but as a prosecutor, Dettelbach tried to let a white collar criminal off the hook and a judge had to fix the mess:

In March 2011, while Dettelbach was the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, Anthony Raguz was indicted on six counts – one count each of bank fraud and bank bribery and four counts of money laundering. In September 2011, Raguz plead guilty to all six counts. News reports indicate that this was part of a plea bargain, cooperating with federal prosecutors. However, in November 2012, Raguz was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison and ordered to pay back more than $70 million in restitution. The Plain Dealer (Nov. 27, 2012) reported that “U.S. District Judge Christopher Boyko rejected a request from prosecutors that Raguz receive a punishment in the mid-range of federal sentencing guidelines, ruling that the damage he caused outweighed his contributions to prosecutors, the FBI and the IRS.” 

In a section bragging about his work for a big-shot law firm, Dettelbach claims to be in favor of a “fair and level playing field,” but in fact he has a history of rigging the system in his client’s favor:

Dettelbach lists his experience on the BakerHostetler Web site. Highlights include Dettelbach representing “an executive in a bribery case involving construction projects at a healthcare agency. The defendant in that case pleaded guilty and received a sentence significantly lower than the others involved in that scheme.”

Steven Dettelbach’s non-campaign campaign is off to an embarrassing start, and if the contents of his on-again, off-again website are any indication, the Ohio Democrats are going to have to work extra hard to convince voters he would be an effective attorney general.

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ICYMI: Meet John Adams, the presumptive Republican nominee for Virginia Attorney General

“I feel like the way the office has been politicized, it’s no longer really serving its function as the attorney general’s office for Virginia,” Adams said. “I thought I would run to take the politics out of the office and treat it the way it’s meant to be treated.”

From the article:

While Virginia’s gubernatorial race remains up in the air, with multiple candidates competing for both the Democratic and Republican nominations, the attorney general contest is slightly more straightforward.

On the Democratic side, current Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is running for reelection, touting his past work promoting equal rights, gun control, and assistance for sexual assault victims.

The Republican Party’s contender is more of an unknown, but has a great name.

Running for public office for the first time, John Adams is a lawyer for the Richmond-based private firm McGuire Woods. He became the GOP’s presumptive nominee in March as the only contender who received enough petition signatures to qualify for the June 13 primary ballot.

Read the entire article here

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WSJ: Governors, Attorneys General Clash Amid Political Tensions

“The stakes are too high for us to leave winnable races on the table." 
—Scott Will, Executive Director, Republican Attorneys General Association

From the article:

Around the U.S., cross-party battles between governors and attorneys general are heating up in what some observers see as another sign of increasingly divisive national politics seeping into state offices.

In Louisiana, Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry filed a suit against the office of Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, accusing the governor of blocking funding for the state’s Justice Department.

Attorneys general serve as the chief legal officers in their states, with jobs that range from handling serious criminal prosecutions to running victim-compensation programs. The job—an elected position in 43 states—is often a launchpad for aspiring governors or other high-profile offices.

In 13 states, governors and attorneys general currently have different party affiliations.

The offices of state attorneys general are supposed to serve as a check on power, which has historically triggered fights and lawsuits with governors—including some battles within party lines. “The friction is there on purpose, it’s there in the Constitution,” said James Tierney, who directs the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School.

Each party has a political organization aimed at electing attorneys general, but these groups had a long-running pact not to campaign against incumbents.

That changed in March, when the Republican Attorneys General Association said it spent $250,000 on a GOP candidate in Virginia, where Democrat Mark Herring is in office and running for reelection this November.

“The stakes are too high for us to leave winnable races on the table,” said Scott Will, who runs the Republican group. The association “intends to continue growing our already record number of AGs in office across the United States,” he said.

Read the entire article here

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Adams: Virginia Needs A Lawyer, Not Another Politician

John Adams, Republican candidate for attorney general of Virginia, made a campaign stop in Harrisonburg. Adams spoke at length with the Daily News Record about why he is running and how he will end Mark Herring’s partisan politicization of the office.

From the article:

HARRISONBURG — Back in the late 1990s, the 2017 GOP nominee for state attorney general was a high-seas cop, driving a U.S. Navy Cyclone-class coastal patrol boat in high-speed chases to interdict drug-running Central American cocaine cowboys.

He clerked for conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas; was associate White House counsel to President George W. Bush; and served as a federal prosecutor in Richmond, putting bad guys behind bars.

 “Virginia needs a lawyer, not another politician,” Adams said in a wide-ranging interview Monday with the Daily News-Record.

“I think I’ve been as well prepared as anyone possibly could be to be the commonwealth’s lawyer,” he continued. “I decided I had to be in this race when Herring announced he was going to run again. Instead of being the attorney general, and enforcing the state’s laws, he has openly challenged ... Virginia’s constitution.”

Republicans have sought to portray Herring as an activist less interested in enforcing existing law than in promoting a liberal agenda that is pro-abortion, LGBT-friendly and anti-gun.

Left or right, being so agenda-centric, Adams said, undermines the state attorney general’s leadership of Virginia’s judicial system, which he called “the independent branch of government.”

 “The office has become completely politicized, and I have little experience or interest in politics,” he continued. “When the laws of the commonwealth come under attack, the laws on the books, put there by the people’s duly elected representatives, an attorney has a responsibility to defend his client, in this case, Virginia.”

Read the entire article here

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Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel Slams Josh Kaul’s Anti-Voter ID Actions

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel used his speech at the state GOP Convention to take the fight to his potential opponent, liberal lawyer Josh Kaul. Schimel drew a bright contrast with Kaul on the issue of voter ID, highlighting Kaul’s strident opposition to the popular, common sense measure.

Wispolitics.com reports:

AG Brad Schimel slammed possible Dem opponent Josh Kaul as the “handpicked lawyer” of George Soros who was one of Hillary Clinton’s attorneys in the “wasteful” recount of Wisconsin’s presidential vote last fall.

Schimel also took a swipe at Kaul’s mom, former Dem AG Peg Lautenschlager, calling her an activist, and said Kaul, a former federal prosecutor in Baltimore, didn’t practice law in Wisconsin until three years ago.

He has made a career out of suing states like ours to undo voter ID laws that protect the integrity of your vote, including being one of the lead attorneys attacking Wisconsin’s voter ID law. How’s that for a contrast?” Schimel said, noting he is defending the law.

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Boulder-Bubble Dweller Phil Weiser’s Priorities Are Wrong For Colorado

Washington, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) released the following statement regarding Democratic activist Phil Weiser’s announcement that he will run for attorney general of Colorado:

“Phil Weiser has spent his entire adult life in the liberal bubbles of Boulder and Washington, D.C.,” said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. “Weiser has no practical experience prosecuting criminals, combating the opioid epidemic, or enforcing the rule of law. As previewed in his campaign announcement, he will be focused on issues that matter most to out of touch campus leftists and beltway elites, not Colorado families."

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Branstad Urges Voters to Fire Miller

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Executive Director Scott Will released the following statement: 

"Democratic Attorney General Tom Miller continues to receive heavy criticism for his legal opinion stating Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds will not be allowed to appoint her successor once she is sworn in as governor. Legal experts continue to point out Miller is dead wrong, and his actions smack of partisanship

"Yesterday, Governor Terry Branstad urged Iowans to respond to Miller's political activism by using the 2018 election to fire and replace him with a Republican attorney general."

Radio Iowa Reports:

Republican Governor Terry Branstad is calling on Iowa voters to “fire” the state’s Democratic attorney general.

“There’s an election coming up in 2018,” Branstad said this morning. “…I think it’s time for a new attorney general.”

Branstad’s been criticizing Attorney General Tom Miller for issuing an opinion last week that concluded Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds doesn’t have the authority to name a new lieutenant governor when she replaces Branstad as governor. During an appearance at the Westside Conservative Club in Urbandale this morning, someone asked Branstad why he didn’t just fire Miller.

“We can’t fire the attorney general. He’s openly elected. You can!” Branstad shouted as the crowd laughed and applauded. “…Let’s get a new attorney that will represent Iowa and the people of Iowa’s interests and just follow the law.”

Branstad, who has won six terms as Iowa’s governor, also mentioned Miller’s longevity in office as he urged fellow Republicans to defeat Miller’s expected bid for a 10th term in 2018.

“He has been the attorney general since 1978, with the exception of four years of Bonnie Campbell,” Branstad said.

Campbell is the Democrat who served as Iowa’s attorney general from 1991 to 1995.

Last week, Iowa’s current attorney general said Reynolds would have the title of governor when Branstad resigns to become U.S. ambassador to China, but Miller argues his read of the state constitution indicates Reynolds will have the duties of both governor and lieutenant governor when Branstad leaves, so she can’t name a new lieutenant. Branstad called that “convoluted” reasoning since the constitution forbids the governor from holding another elected office.

Miller told The Cedar Rapids Gazette today that “despite all the rhetoric” his “thoroughly researched opinion is based on the law and not politics.” Miller said Iowa’s constitution should be amended to give a lieutenant governor constitutional authority to name a replacement when a governor cannot serve his or her full term.

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RAGA Statement on Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller

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Washington, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) issued the following statement regarding Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller’s effort to politicize gubernatorial succession. RAGA is also launching a digital ad campaign criticizing Miller’s actions.

"Tom Miller is playing politics with a serious situation," said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. "Experts from across the political spectrum agree the law explicitly grants Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds the authority to appoint her replacement. 

"This episode demonstrates the importance of electing Republican attorneys general who will uphold the rule of law. Iowa deserves better from its attorney general, and RAGA is investing in Iowa to send Tom Miller a message: stop playing politics and start upholding the law."

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Republican AGs Support National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Republican attorneys general across the country are working with law enforcement and local communities to combat the opioid crisis. This weekend, many AGs participated in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, an effort led by the Drug Enforcement Administration to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

In the News:

Times Daily - Alabama

“As a prosecutor for 16 years, too often I have witnessed the tragic results caused by the availability of dangerous controlled substances,” (Alabama Attorney General Steve) Marshall said. “When prescription drugs are left in our homes, children and teenagers may be poisoned, or fall prey to drug abuse and addiction. Your old medications can be a lure to criminals looking for drugs to use or sell.”

The Mena Star - Arkansas

“These numbers are staggering and should be a wakeup call to us all,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “It is important for Arkansans to know that oftentimes teens first use prescription pain killers by stealing the pills right from a family member’s medicine cabinet. By cleaning out our medicine cabinets and turning the expired and unused medications over to law enforcement during a prescription drug take back event, lives can be saved.”

Santanvalley.com - Arizona

 “Most teens and adults who abuse prescription drugs get them from a friend or family member’s medicine cabinet,” said (Arizona) Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “We all need to get rid of prescription drugs when they are no longer needed because it could save a life.”

My Florida Legal - Florida

“Addicts will often rummage through a relative's medicine cabinet in search of a quick high—sadly, this can be deadly. That is why it is important to get rid of your nonessential or outdated prescription drugs. Please take five minutes to review the contents of your medicine cabinet, and if you locate any unwanted medicine, take it to the nearest Drug Take Back location. This simple task could save a life,” said (Florida) Attorney General (Pam) Bondi.

KMUW - Kansas

“Getting these leftover medicines out of the medicine cabinets and safely destroyed keeps them from falling into the wrong hands and makes our communities safer, ” (Kansas Attorney General Derek) Schmidt said.

WZZM - Michigan

“The opioid problem continues to be an epidemic across the county and the unfortunate truth is that many who abuse prescription drugs often start with medicine found in a medicine cabinet of a friend or family member,” said (Michigan Attorney General Bill) Schuette. “This take back initiative is a simple way to give residents a safe wand worry free disposal site for medication.”

Department of Justice - Montana

“National Take-Back Day is a great reminder for all of us to safely and responsibly dispose of our unused, expired or unwanted prescription pills and patches,” said Montana Attorney General Tim Fox. “Keeping those items in the medicine cabinet offers no benefit, and can endanger the well-being of our loved ones who may accidentally ingest them, or who may have a substance abuse issue.”

Minot Daily News - North Dakota

“One pill at a time, North Dakotans are helping to keep dangerous drugs off the streets and out of our landfills. The extent of community support for this program has been phenomenal,” said (North Dakota Attorney General Wayne) Stenehjem in a press release.

Peak of Ohio - Ohio

"Everyone who participates in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be playing a very important role in the fight against opioid addiction," said (Ohio) Attorney General (Mike) DeWine. "The act of properly disposing of unneeded medications is a simple way that you can help prevent misuse and abuse."

Fox 25 - Oklahoma

“Many times addiction starts in the home with the availability of opioids or other prescriptions that are forgotten about,” (Oklahoma Attorney General Mike) Hunter said. “With convenient drop off locations around the state, I am encouraging Oklahomans to rid their homes of old medication and keep it out of the hands of loved ones and children who are some of the most vulnerable.”

St. George News – Utah

“No community is immune. Addiction touches rural and urban areas, uptown or downtown neighborhoods alike. And whether we realize it or not, our medicine cabinets may be where they are looking next or where they may have already been,” he added. “By teaming up on Take Back Day with partners like the DEA, AARP, and businesses and citizens across our state, we will recover hundreds, if not thousands of pounds of prescription drugs.”  - Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes

West Virginia Record – West Virginia

“Our office is committed to fighting opioid abuse, and we are pleased to once again join this national effort to help rid our state of unwanted prescriptions and unused over-the-counter medication,” (West Virginia Attorney General Patrick) Morrisey said in a statement. “Safely disposing of medication is an important way that we can keep drugs out of the wrong hands.”

WDEZ - Wisconsin

(Wisconsin Attorney General Brad) Schimel says the drug take back days, so far, have been a huge success all throughout Wisconsin. "In the 2 years we've been doing it, we've collected over 207,000 pounds of medications that weren't being used anymore. That's almost 12 semi trucks full. Last year in April, we collected over 64,000. Last year in October, we collected over 59,000. We're number 2 in the nation for this. That's great news. Wisconsinites are getting it," he said.

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100 Days In, President Trump is Keeping His Promises

During Barack Obama's eight years in office, the Republican Attorneys General led in fighting unconstitutional federal overreach that hampered our economic freedom and infringed on our Constitutional rights. In 100 Days, President Trump has shown what can happen when the White House is committed to the rule of law, creating jobs and putting American workers first.

President Trump has rolled back Obama-era regulations, appointed a Constitutional conservative to the Supreme Court, and worked with the private sector to create a climate for American prosperity. The results are clear: the economy is growing and citizens are feeling a renewed optimism about the future of the country. Republican AGs will continue to work with the President and his Administration to restore the rule of law, grow the economy and defend our freedoms.

Highlights of the first 100 Days:

Confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch:

“Confirming Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States was one of the most impactful and important votes U.S. Senators have cast in President Trump’s term. Throughout the many hours of Senate confirmation hearings, Gorsuch, who demonstrated a calm, pragmatic demeanor, gave the American people insight as to how he approaches the law. Gorsuch repeated his commitment to upholding the rule of law and interpreting the Constitution as written, as opposed to legislating from the bench. The passing of Justice Scalia required a replacement who would uphold the Constitution as our Framers intended; no one is more prepared than Neil Gorsuch to fulfill this role.” – RAGA Chairman and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

Clean Power Plan:

"The Obama Power Plan was one of the most egregious, unlawful regulations issued in our lifetime.  It killed jobs, raised the price of electricity for hard-working Americans and placed the reliability of the power grid at risk.  Fortunately, Republican Attorneys General and a 27-state bipartisan coalition led the way in fighting against this power grab, obtaining an historic stay at the U.S. Supreme Court last February. 

"We are deeply appreciative that President Trump is reaffirming his commitment to put an end to the Obama Power Plan.  The President is keeping his promise to the American people and to coal miners--the workers who power this country and made it great."  – RAGA Chairman Patrick Morrisey

Waters of The United States:

“The President’s action is going to save countless farmers and ranchers across Arkansas from the negative impacts of this costly and unlawful rule. The EPA exceeded its authority when it proposed this rule, and the process is beginning to end it. As a landowner, I know that farmers and ranchers are the first conservationists, but this rule would have stripped away private property rights. I am proud to have stood with my colleagues in challenging this rule, and I am grateful for the President’s executive order.” – RAGA Vice Chairwoman and Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to Lead the EPA:

“The Senate acted in the national interest by confirming Scott Pruitt to his new post. Scott has been one of the top attorneys general in the country, leading fights against federal overreach and defending the rule of law. He will ensure the EPA fulfills its mission of providing a healthy environment for all Americans while not strangling our farmers and small businesses with unnecessary red tape. There is much work to be done to get Washington’s regulatory policies under control and in line with the Constitution.  We look forward to working with Administrator Pruitt in his new capacity.” – RAGA Chairman Patrick Morrisey

Attorneys General Visit White House:

“We were honored to be invited to the White House to meet with President Trump and discuss our shared priorities including regulatory reform, combating the opioid epidemic, supporting law enforcement, and getting the American people back to work. We also expressed our thanks to President Trump for his leadership in rolling back the unlawful regulations of the administrative state and congratulated him on his excellent choice to nominate Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

"Republican Attorneys General are excited about working with the Trump Administration to reverse the regulatory onslaught of the past eight years. We were the last line of defense against the Obama Administration and now look forward to joining forces with the White House to make America great again." – RAGA Chairman Patrick Morrisey

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RAGA Statement on Court's Suspension of Clean Power Plan Lawsuit

WASHINGTON, D.C. – West Virginia Attorney General and Chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Patrick Morrisey released the following statement:

“This decision is another huge victory for the Trump Administration and was made possible, in large part to the work of the Republican Attorneys General and our defense of the rule of law. The dismantling of the unlawful Clean Power Plan means that jobs will be saved; energy prices lowered for consumers; and common-sense environmental policies returned to the EPA.”

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Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman Promotes Anti-Bullying App

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Bullying and teen suicides are on the rise, and Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman is working to combat the crisis. General Coffman spoke at an event in Grand Junction promoting the “Safe 2 Tell” app which allows students to use their smartphones to report serious issues to adults anonymously. 

Colorado TV Station KJCT reports:

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman was at Monday night’s meeting at the Mesa County Work Force Center to back the app. She said last year's tips on suicide exceeded any other category.

District 51 lost two students in just the last week.

"As long as we have suicides among our school kids we need to do more," Coffman said. "They know when their friends are suffering; they are our eyes and ears. It’s not snitching to share a concern, that's saving a life and that's a heroic thing to do."

She believes the increase in bullying, depression, and suicide is linked to social media.

The tips are immediately sent to school authorities and/or dispatch without social repercussions for the student.

“I don't think enough can be done. It's a high bar to set, but community outreach is the first step,” Chamovitz said.

There have been more than 27,000 reports across Colorado since the program started, and 6,000 of those have been made since August 2016.

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Liberal Josh Kaul Is Wrong for Wisconsin

Washington, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association released the following statement regarding Democrat Josh Kaul's announcement that he will run for attorney general of Wisconsin:

 

“Josh Kaul is an unaccomplished lawyer who is hoping to use his family connections to climb the political ladder," said Scott Will, Executive Director of RAGA. "In addition to lacking Wisconsin experience, Kaul is a far-left activist lawyer who sued to kill the State of Wisconsin’s popular Voter ID law. Wisconsin is thriving under its conservative leadership, and the attorney general's office is no place for a lightweight political activist. Kaul's candidacy also speaks to how thin the Wisconsin Democratic bench is after sustaining multiple losing election cycles.

“Attorney General Brad Schimel has served the people of Wisconsin well during his time in office by cracking down on domestic violence, internet predators, and human traffickers. He has also led the charge against the opioid abuse epidemic in Wisconsin. A former longtime district attorney with over 20 years of experience as a prosecutor, General Schimel understands the needs of Wisconsin law enforcement, and will always put public safety over politics. RAGA will support Brad Schimel in his re-election bid, and make sure the people of Wisconsin learn all about Josh Kaul’s unimpressive record.”

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Attorney General Jeff Landry Praises Neil Gorsuch’s Confirmation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, April 7, 2017

Attorney General Jeff Landry Praises Neil Gorsuch’s Confirmation 

BATON ROUGE, LA - Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry issued the following statement after the United States Senate confirmed Neil Gorsuch’s appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States:

“I applaud the United States Senate for confirming President Trump’s first nominee to the Supreme Court. I especially want to praise Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for ending the partisan judicial filibuster and returning the Senate to the way our Founding Fathers intended. This leadership choice was a constitutional end to the political games our citizens are tired of seeing from their elected officials. Now that the Supreme Court is whole again, our country can move forward in a productive manner. Justice Gorsuch has a proven record of respecting the Constitution. I hope he will continue to be an honorable jurist who will uphold states’ rights and religious liberty.”

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RAGA Congratulates Neil Gorsuch on his Confirmation as Justice to the Supreme Court of the United States

WASHINGTON, D.C. – West Virginia Attorney General and Chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Patrick Morrisey released the following statement:

“Confirming Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States was one of the most impactful and important votes U.S. Senators have cast in President Trump’s term. Throughout the many hours of Senate confirmation hearings, Gorsuch, who demonstrated a calm, pragmatic demeanor, gave the American people insight as to how he approaches the law. Gorsuch repeated his commitment to upholding the rule of law and interpreting the Constitution as written, as opposed to legislating from the bench. The passing of Justice Scalia required a replacement who would uphold the Constitution as our Framers intended; no one is more prepared than Neil Gorsuch to fulfill this role.”

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ICYMI: Gordon MacDonald unanimously confirmed as New Hampshire Attorney General

By John DiStaso, WMUR

CONCORD, N.H. —The five-member Executive Council unanimously confirmed Gordon MacDonald as the state’s new attorney general on Wednesday morning, succeeding Joseph Foster.

Despite the 3-2 partisan split on the council, MacDonald was praised by the two Democrats as well as the three Republicans on the council prior to the vote.

MacDonald is an attorney at the Nixon Peabody firm in Manchester and has a lengthy resume on legal matters and a history of community service. He has also achieved numerous recognitions from legal organizations.

A resident of Deering, MacDonald was widely praised at a recent public hearing.

"I have confidence that Gordon MacDonald will be a great attorney general,” said Councilor Chris Pappas, a Manchester Democrat. Councilor Andru Volinsky, also a Democrat, said he was confident MacDonald will "do a good job."

To read the full article, click here

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ICYMI: What Republican AGs are saying about Judge Neil Gorsuch

Since President Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States, Republican attorneys general have publicly expressed their support for Gorsuch, a conservative, principled, rule of law-minded judge. Below is what they've had to say:

West Virginians can now be proud of the nominee that Trump has selected. (Neil) Gorsuch understands the danger to our system of limited government posed by unchecked and unelected federal bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.” – RAGA Chairman and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

Like Justice Scalia, Judge Gorsuch’s record reveals him to have a moderately originalist approach to constitutional issues, a moderately textual approach to statutory issues and perhaps most importantly an open mind that allows for the use of other modes of interpretation when they are necessary and appropriate under the law.” – RAGA Vice-Chairwoman and Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

“Senators from both parties have said they want a judge with a proven track record, outstanding credentials, and respect for the rule of law. Neil Gorsuch fits that bill.” – Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman

(Judge Gorsuch) believes in our states’ rights and he doesn’t believe in using a social agenda in order to get things done. He believes in the Constitution of the United States of America and that’s what we’ve been lacking for so long.” – Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi

“While filling Justice Scalia’s seat will be a tough feat, I am confident Judge Gorsuch will continue to be an honorable and ethical jurist; and I look forward to his swift confirmation by the United States Senate.”  - Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry

Judge Gorsuch is a person of keen intellect and exceptional legal talent, who respects our Constitution and will follow the rule of law as it is written.” – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette

“To guard our most cherished values and the law that holds us together, America needs a Supreme Court justice committed to the people's Constitution. Neil Gorsuch is that person.” – Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley

Judge Gorsuch has a proven track record of faithfully upholding the Constitution, maintaining the separation of powers, and respecting that the proper role of a judge is to say what the law is, not what it should be.” – Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt

By any objective measure, Judge Gorsuch is a sterling, eminently qualified nominee in the mainstream of American jurists. Judge Gorsuch will bring to the nation’s highest Court a keen intellect, a vibrant pen, and a healthy respect for the judiciary’s proper role in our constitutional system.” – Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes

Proud to support Judge Neil Gorsuch for U.S. Supreme Court. (Judge Gorsuch is the) right justice to uphold rule of law and the Constitution.” – Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall

Gorsuch is a great #SCOTUS pick. Judges shouldn't make policy. Glad to see a textualist be nominated to fill the giant shoes of Scalia.” – Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich

Judge Neil Gorsuch will respect and vindicate the rights and interests of our nation by faithfully interpreting and applying the law of the United States of America as an Associate Justice.” – Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr

Judge Neil Gorsuch will help keep the court connected to bedrock principles that, regrettably, have gradually lost favor in recent decades — principles such as strict constructionism, states’ rights federalism and religious freedom.” – Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill

We know (Judge Gorsuch) as a solid, capable jurist. It will be good for Kansas and the Midwest to have a voice from the central part of the country on the U.S. Supreme Court.” – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt

“Being from the Rocky Mountain West, (Judge) Gorsuch will add a regional perspective currently not represented by any of the other justices, including an expertise in Indian law that has rarely existed on our nation’s highest court.” – Montana Attorney General Tim Fox

Confirmation of Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court will have a profound and positive impact on the people in our States. Judge Gorsuch is particularly well-suited to enforce the Constitution’s structural limitations and protect the institutional prerogatives of the States.” – Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson

“President Trump campaigned on the promise that he would fill the seat formerly occupied by Justice Antonin Scalia with a jurist who shared the late Justice’s commitment to interpreting the Constitution as written, rather than as judges might wish it were written. (He) has fulfilled that campaign promise through the nomination of Judge Gorsuch.” – North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem

Good pick by @POTUS in nominating Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.  He is a defender of religious liberty.” – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine

“As one of the States within the Tenth Circuit, my office knows from experience that Judge Gorsuch is a jurist of the highest integrity and intellect. He is a judge who has consistently treated all that appear before him fairly and justly, regardless of stature or station.” – Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter

Judge Gorsuch is a well-qualified jurist and is a firm defender of the constitution and the rule of law. He firmly believes that judges should base their decisions on the law and the constitution, rather than their own feelings or preferences.” – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson

(Judge Gorsuch) is universally respected for his integrity, fairness and decency and understands the role of a judge is to interpret the Constitution as written by the Framers and not legislate from the bench.” – South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley

“In short, Judge Gorsuch is a champion of the structural safeguards that protect state sovereignty and individual liberty, a committed textualist and originalist, and a brilliant jurist.” – Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery

“(Judge Gorsuch’s) judicial track record while serving on the 10th Circuit for over a decade is a testament to his conservative philosophy, particularly in the areas of excessive federal overreach and the protection of religious liberty.” – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

“The American people deserve a court that can reach decisions. The United States Senate and Senator Baldwin should grant an up or down vote on Judge Gorsuch quickly. They owe that to the American people.” – Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel

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RAGA Statement on John Adams

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) announced a $250,000 contribution made to John Adams, who earlier today was certified as the only candidate to officially qualify to appear on the ballot in the June 13 Republican Primary for Virginia Attorney General. The following is a statement from West Virginia Attorney General and Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman Patrick Morrisey:

"RAGA is proud to support John Adams in his bid to become Attorney General of Virginia. John is a talented, accomplished lawyer who is committed to the rule of law and evenly enforcing laws in a manner that is blind to political affiliation and economic status. We are fortunate to have such a high caliber candidate running to serve the Commonwealth."

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RAGA Supports Trump Administration’s Clean Power Plan Executive Order

Washington, D.C. – The following is a statement from West Virginia Attorney General and Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman Patrick Morrisey:

"The Obama Power Plan was one of the most egregious, unlawful regulations issued in our lifetime.  It killed jobs, raised the price of electricity for hard-working Americans and placed the reliability of the power grid at risk.  Fortunately, Republican Attorneys General and a 27-state bipartisan coalition led the way in fighting against this power grab, obtaining an historic stay at the U.S. Supreme Court last February. 

"We are deeply appreciative that President Trump is reaffirming his commitment to put an end to the Obama Power Plan.  The President is keeping his promise to the American people and to coal miners--the workers who power this country and made it great." 

To view the "Clean Power Plan: Summary & Timeline," click here

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ICYMI: RAGA a "really well-oiled machine"

“The success of the Republican Attorneys General Association hasn’t gone unnoticed – even among Democrats. Republican Attorneys General across the country are leading the way on critical issues of federalism, the rule of law, and so much more. RAGA will continue to build on our strong foundation as we grow in 2017, 2018, and beyond.” - Scott Will, RAGA Executive Director.

The Hour of the Attorneys General

By Rachel M. Cohen, The American Prospect

"Republicans led the way, bolstered by the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), a group dedicated to electing Republican AGs and litigating cases based on conservative legal philosophy. RAGA launched in 1999, moving under the auspices of the Republican State Leadership Committee in 2002. But the group’s formidable legal efforts did not take off until the Obama years.

"And take off they did. Launching a concerted effort to beef up its political power, RAGA began fundraising and spending money on AG campaigns at unprecedented levels. In 2014, the group split off to become its own organization, creating its own super PAC to boot. RAGA raised $16 million that year, nearly four times what it raised in 2010. Promises to fight for deregulation in the courts proved to be effective fundraising appeals. In joint actions, Republican AGs challenged President Obama’s policies on immigration, health care, the environment, and the workplace—raking in even more money with each successful court action.

"Increased campaign spending paid off. By 2015, Republicans commanded a majority of AG seats, and in the 2016 election, Republican attorneys general increased their numbers from 27 to 29, the most at any time in U.S. history.

"'RAGA could really marshal its Republican AGs, whereas DAGA just wasn’t as good,” says Travis LeBlanc, who served as special assistant attorney general of California and a senior adviser to California AG Kamala Harris. “RAGA really ran like a really well-oiled machine.'"

To read the full article, click here

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RAGA Statement on Gordon MacDonald's Nomination for NH Attorney General

WASHINGTON, D.C. – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), released the following statement congratulating Gordon MacDonald on his nomination to serve as New Hampshire’s 30th Attorney General. MacDonald’s confirmation will make him the 29th Republican attorney general in the country, the most Republicans in office at any time in history:

“Gordon MacDonald is a well-respected and skilled attorney, with an extensive background in commercial and health care litigation. I have full confidence Gordon will represent the best interests of the people of New Hampshire with the same vigor and tenacity he has shown throughout his career. My colleagues across the country welcome Gordon and look forward to working with him on the important issues facing our states and nation.”

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Democratic Attorneys General Play Politics, Ignore the Rule of Law

Washington, D.C. – West Virginia Attorney General and Chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association Patrick Morrisey released the following statement:

“Our colleagues across the aisle continue to learn all the wrong lessons from the last eight years. While it is gratifying to see they have new found concern for the separation of powers and federalism, they have chosen the wrong grounds on which to fight. President Trump has issued a revised executive order to ensure the safety of the American people, and it is clearly within the bounds of the Constitution. The Democratic attorneys general remain preoccupied with scoring points by staging political stunts. We will maintain our focus on defending the rule of law, no matter which party controls the executive branch.”

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ICYMI: With Trump in charge, Republican attorneys general develop plan of attack to reverse Obama-era rules

ICYMI: With Trump in charge, Republican attorneys general develop plan of attack to reverse Obama-era rules

By Ryan Lovelace, Washington Examiner

"While we may be on a different side of the 'V' from time to time, we're still going to be in the middle of all of these fights and in many instances intervening to help federal agencies if they do the right thing." - West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

Republican attorneys general are exceedingly optimistic about Donald Trump's presidency, preparing to move ahead on issues important to conservatives, such as getting rid of environmental regulations, fighting labor rules and taking action on immigration.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, head of the Republican Attorneys General Association, said his cadre of attorneys general expect to have an immediate impact through existing litigation, intervention into new matters, weighing in on regulatory developments and handling legal issues in individual states.

"While we may be on a different side of the 'V' from time to time, we're still going to be in the middle of all of these fights and in many instances intervening to help federal agencies if they do the right thing," Morrisey told the Washington Examiner. "I think that the opportunities are endless for us to accomplish many positive things and while we may not be suing as much, while we hope that we won't have to sue as much, we're still going to be in the middle of the fray enough to ensure that enough of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle who just got religion on states' rights issues understand that their new theories of law are not going to go uncontested."

Morrisey said he thought the amount of litigation is "likely to remain high" and cited issues still pending before the courts that involve the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, the Waters of the United States rule and other regulations.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Republican efforts to reverse actions taken by the Obama administration might not be as quick as some people might expect and noted immigration and Labor Department disputes as two areas where litigation is underway. He also pointed out that more than a dozen Environmental Protection Agency cases still need to be resolved.

Paxton said he thought the fast-paced war on regulations on full display during Trump's presidency's first months was likely to continue for the first couple of years of his administration.

"These issues can't all be resolved in a month or two months, they're going to take time because you have to go back through the administrative process, which takes time," Paxton said. "They have to issue new rules, they have to go through the notice time for the public to comment, then they have to issue final rules, and so all of that will not be resolved. So our court cases for the most part are still going to go on. Some of it has to be repealed by Congress."

Another factor that could serve to benefit Republican attorneys general in the coming years is the potential installation of Judge Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court. While it's difficult to anticipate how Gorsuch may rule in any given case, the attorneys general lauded his nomination and were excited about what it could mean for their litigation. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said she hoped Gorsuch's addition to the high court would lead to new clarification on the death penalty.

Bondi was an early booster of Trump, and her loyalty could be rewarded with a gig at the White House. When asked about the potential of joining the White House, Bondi said, "Today, I'm very happy being attorney general of the state of Florida" with a wink. But Bondi spoke glowingly of Trump's agenda.

"He has stood by everything he's said he was going to do," Bondi said. "And within less than two months, what 48 days right now, in less than two months, he's already done more than presidents have done in a year or more."

To read the full article, click here

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ICYMI: Republican AGs are Working with the Trump Administration to Restore Federalism

By Doug McKelway, Fox News

"But (Republican attorneys general) are combining forces  to file other lawsuits -- challenging the Obama-era Waters of the United States regulatory plan, as well as overtime rules put in place by the Obama Department of Labor and the coal-crimping Clean Power Plan."

Just hours before his first address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, a cheery President Trump posed for pictures with roughly 20 Republican attorneys general. "These are some great people here," the president said – fully aware that the AGs are in the midst of filing a flurry of lawsuits against the Trump administration.

Why?

"Sometimes it turns out the best way to help President Trump ... is to sue President Trump," Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley explained to Fox News.

Despite the unusual optics of all these lawsuits, the intention of Hawley and the other AGs is to use the suits to block federal regulations, mostly promulgated during the Obama administration but now in effect under Trump's.

In Missouri, this legal tactic centers on an endangered prehistoric fish that has outlived the dinosaurs, the Pallid Sturgeon. It reproduces in river shallows which have become fewer, due to the diking and channeling of the Missouri River. To resurrect the fish population, an Obama-era amendment to the Endangered Species Act allows the feds to designate as critical habitat areas where the fish may not even exist. The amendment was designed to expand ecosystems in order to maximize the endangered fish's ability to spawn.

But some landowners find the amendment intrusive. "This is the key part," said Hawley. "We are an agricultural state. That would mean farmers and ranchers could find themselves unable to farm their land, unable to develop their land." He said it's "absolutely a killer for small businesses and small farms in our state."

Hawley is one of 18 Republican AG's suing to overturn the rule. But they are combining forces  to file other lawsuits -- challenging the Obama-era Waters of the United States regulatory plan, as well as overtime rules put in place by the Obama Department of Labor and the coal-crimping Clean Power Plan.

"In West Virginia, we suffered acutely because thousands upon thousands of people were put out of work. A number of those people left the state or are pursuing other employment," said Patrick Morrisey, West Virginia’s Republican attorney general.

To read the full article and watch the video, click here

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ICYMI: Revolt of the attorneys general

ICYMI: Revolt of the attorneys general

By Charles Krauthammer, Opinion writer, Washington Post

"(Republican attorneys general) did not always succeed, but they succeeded a lot. They got Obamacare’s forced Medicaid expansion struck down. Later, a majority of states secured stays for two egregious EPA measures. Their most notable success was blocking Obama’s executive order that essentially would have legalized 4 million illegal immigrants."

Among the many unintended legacies of Barack Obama, one has gone largely unnoticed: the emergence of a novel form of resistance to executive overreach, a check-and-balance improvised in reaction to his various presidential power grabs.

It’s the revolt of the state attorneys general, banding together to sue and curb the executive. And it has outlived Obama.

Normally one would expect Congress to be the instrument of resistance to presidential trespass. But Congress has been supine. The Democrats in particular, approving of Obama’s policy preferences, allowed him free rein over Congress’ constitutional prerogatives.

Into that vacuum stepped the states. Florida and 12 others filed suit against Obamacare the day it was signed. They were later joined by 13 more, making their challenge the first in which a majority of states banded together to try to stop anything.

They did not always succeed, but they succeeded a lot. They got Obamacare’s forced Medicaid expansion struck down, though Obamacare as a whole was upheld. Later, a majority of states secured stays for two egregious EPA measures. One had given the feds sovereignty over the generation and distribution of electricity (the Clean Power Plan), the other over practically every ditch and pond in America (the waters of the United States rule).

Their most notable success was blocking Obama’s executive order that essentially would have legalized 4 million illegal immigrants. “If Congress will not do their job, at least we can do ours,” said Obama. Not your job, said the courts.

To read the full article, click here

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RAGA Statement on President Trump's Address to Joint Session of Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey released the following statement regarding President Trump's address to a joint session of Congress:

"Tonight, President Trump laid out an optimistic, unifying agenda focused on lifting up the American people. Republican Attorneys General stand ready to work with the White House to grow our economy by rolling back burdensome regulations and restoring the balance of power between Washington and the states. We also agree with President Trump on the need to ensure safe communities for our citizens by cracking down on crime and the drug epidemic plaguing so many of our communities. We are encouraged by tonight’s address, and will continue to support the Administration’s efforts to clean up the mess of the past eight years."

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RAGA Statement on President Trump's Action on Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey released the following statement concerning President Trump's Executive Order instructing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers to review the WOTUS rule:

"The executive order issued today by President Trump is a significant step towards rolling back Obama-era regulatory overreach. The Waters of the United States rule is a violation of private property rights and the rule of law. Stopping WOTUS is essential to getting America's economy growing again."

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2016 Republican attorneys general maintained their national majority, increasing the number of GOP attorneys general to 29. Over the course of the 2015-2016 cycle, RAGA raised a historic high of more than $23 million to support investments in campaigns across the country. 

http://www.republicanags.com/ 

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RAGA Statement on State Attorneys General Meeting with President Trump

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey released the following statement after he and state attorneys general from across the country met with President Donald J. Trump in the White House this morning:

“We were honored to be invited to the White House to meet with President Trump and discuss our shared priorities including regulatory reform, combating the opioid epidemic, supporting law enforcement, and getting the American people back to work. We also expressed our thanks to President Trump for his leadership in rolling back the unlawful regulations of the administrative state and congratulated him on his excellent choice to nominate Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

"Republican Attorneys General are excited about working with the Trump Administration to reverse the regulatory onslaught of the past eight years. We were the last line of defense against the Obama Administration and now look forward to joining forces with the White House to make America great again."

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2016 Republican attorneys general maintained their national majority, increasing the number of GOP attorneys general to 29. Over the course of the 2015-2016 cycle, RAGA raised a historic high of more than $23 million to support investments in campaigns across the country. 

http://www.republicanags.com/ 

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Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge Elected RAGA Vice-Chairwoman

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry Named to the RAGA Executive Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) announced today that Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge was elected by her fellow Republican attorneys general to serve as RAGA’s Vice Chairwoman through the 2017 election cycle. This position opened after previous RAGA Vice-Chairman, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, was named RAGA Chairman to replace Luther Strange, who resigned due to his appointment to the United States Senate. Attorney General Rutledge assumes this position immediately.

“As the first Republican and woman attorney general in Arkansas’ history, Attorney General Rutledge’s leadership ability and electoral success will serve her well as RAGA’s Vice Chairwoman,” said Chairman Morrisey. “Vice Chairwoman Rutledge will be an integral part of RAGA’s operation as we continue to build out our candidate recruitment and fundraising operation in preparation for the 30 attorney general races in 2018. General Rutledge has taken on tough issues as Arkansas’ Attorney General and will bring that same commitment and tenacity to RAGA.”

"I am humbled by the confidence of my colleagues to serve as the vice chairwoman of RAGA" said Attorney General Rutledge. "The American people have entrusted us with an enormous responsibility of upholding and enforcing the rule of law and pushing back against unlawful rules and regulations. Our country continues to face many challenges and the 28 Republican attorneys general are going to continue to be on the front lines of solving these important issues. I look forward to working with Chairman Morrisey and all of my colleagues to ensure we continue to elect strong, conservative attorneys general across the country in 2017 and beyond."

In addition, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has been named to the RAGA Executive Committee. “General Landry is a strong conservative leader who has proven himself to be a defender of the constitution and the rule of law,” said Chairman Morrisey. “He will make a great addition to the RAGA Executive Committee.”  

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2016 Republican attorneys general maintained their national majority, increasing the number of GOP attorneys general to 29. Over the course of the 2015-2016 cycle, RAGA raised a historic high of more than $23 million to support investments in campaigns across the country. 

http://www.republicanags.com/ 

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RAGA Welcomes Mike Hunter As Oklahoma Attorney General

Washington, D.C. – West Virginia Attorney General and Chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Patrick Morrisey released the following statement congratulating Mike Hunter on his appointment to serve as Oklahoma Attorney General:

“Mike Hunter is a respected leader in Oklahoma with extensive experience in public service, private practice and the political arena. Mike knows how important it is for attorneys general to respect the rule of law, ensure public safety, and defend against federal overreach. I look forward to working with him on issues important to our states and nation, including unwinding the regulatory burdens put in place by the Obama Administration. RAGA lost a quality member with Scott Pruitt’s departure, but I am confident Mike Hunter will be a worthy successor.”

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2016 Republican attorneys general maintained their national majority, increasing the number of GOP attorneys general to 29. Over the course of the 2015-2016 cycle, RAGA raised a historic high of more than $23 million to support investments in campaigns across the country. 

http://www.republicanags.com/ 

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RAGA Congratulates Pruitt On Confirmation

Washington, D.C. – West Virginia Attorney General and Chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Patrick Morrisey released the following statement congratulating Scott Pruitt on his confirmation to serve as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency:

“The Senate acted in the national interest by confirming Scott Pruitt to his new post. Scott has been one of the top attorneys general in the country, leading fights against federal overreach and defending the rule of law. He will ensure the EPA fulfills its mission of providing a healthy environment for all Americans while not strangling our farmers and small businesses with unnecessary red tape. There is much work to be done to get Washington’s regulatory policies under control and in line with the Constitution.  We look forward to working with Administrator Pruitt in his new capacity.”

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2016 Republican attorneys general maintained their national majority, increasing the number of GOP attorneys general to 29. Over the course of the 2015-2016 cycle, RAGA raised a historic high of more than $23 million to support investments in campaigns across the country. 

http://www.republicanags.com/ 

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ICYMI: Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill: Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch will bring a valuable perspective

"Gorsuch will bring a conscience to the court much in line with the man he will replace — the late Justice Antonin Scalia." - Attorney General Curtis Hill

Throughout his distinguished career, the newest nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court has proved committed to interpreting the law as it is written.

And that, simple as it sounds, is saying a lot.

Once he is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Judge Neil Gorsuch will help keep the court connected to bedrock principles that, regrettably, have gradually lost favor in recent decades — principles such as strict constructionism, states’ rights, federalism and religious freedom.

Gorsuch will bring a conscience to the court much in line with the man he will replace — the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

As Indiana Attorney General, I work daily to ensure our state hits the proper marks established by federal law. The U.S. Constitution stands as a stable and steadfast charter of our liberties, but activist federal judges too often contort its clear precepts based on their own ideological and philosophical whims.

Judge Gorsuch made a statement in a 2016 dissent that should fill with hope the heart of every American who believes in the rule of law rather than the rule of men.

“A judge who likes every result he reaches is very likely a bad judge,” Gorsuch wrote, “reaching for results he prefers rather than those the law compels.”

Never has our nation needed such clarity from our Supreme Court as it needs it today.

Average Americans who live their daily lives without much contemplation of jurisprudence must think it odd to hear judges praised for demonstrating simple respect for the actual intent of the Constitution. Shouldn’t such a commitment be the most basic and minimal requirement for anyone wanting to be a federal judge? Ideally, yes. But the prospect of creating laws in their own image has proved all too strong a temptation for many liberal judges.

Gorsuch has discussed this phenomenon when describing his own belief in judicial restraint. Visionaries wanting to implement their own progressive agendas, he wrote in 2005, “have become addicted to the courtroom, relying on judges and lawyers rather than elected leaders and the ballot box, as the primary means of effecting their social agenda on everything from gay marriage to assisted suicide to the use of vouchers for private-school education.”

In my own role, I welcome collaboration with partners at the federal level — be they in the executive, legislative or judicial branches — who recognize the proper roles of the states and the federal government. In my 2016 campaign for attorney general, I pledged to fight federal overreach into areas rightfully reserved for the states and the people (to paraphrase the 10th Amendment).

Judge Gorsuch has been a strong ally in fending off federal intrusion. He has correctly questioned, for example, whether the Supreme Court went too far in 1984 when it established the so-called “Chevron doctrine,” which instructs federal courts to generally defer to federal agencies in interpreting laws in the agencies’ regulatory domains.

Here in Indiana, we have seen firsthand that federal agencies have far too much power to interfere in Hoosiers’ lives. Case in point: Driving recently down State Route 37 from Indianapolis to Bloomington, I spotted signs informing me I was passing “waters of the U.S” even though all I saw was a dry ditch. Upon inquiring about the signs, I learned they amounted to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proclamation that the land was under federal jurisdiction and control because it featured navigable waters. But you could not have floated a toy rowboat down that ditch.

So I appreciate all those serving in our national government who respect Indiana’s own prerogatives and interests. As a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Gorsuch will bring a valuable perspective to that esteemed institution. I add my voice to those of all others calling upon the U.S. Senate to confirm Neil Gorsuch, without unnecessary delays or political gamesmanship, as our nation’s next Supreme Court justice.

Read the full article here

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2016 Republican attorneys general maintained their national majority, increasing the number of GOP attorneys general to 29. Over the course of the 2015-2016 cycle, RAGA raised a historic high of more than $23 million to support investments in campaigns across the country. 

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Statement on Newly Appointed Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall

WASHINGTON, D.C. – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), released the following statement regarding Steve Marshall, former Marshall County District Attorney, who has been appointed to serve as Alabama’s 48th Attorney General:

“I welcome Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall as our newest Republican Attorney General. Steve has served as district attorney of Marshall County since 2001, and was reelected in 2004 and 2010 without opposition. As District Attorney, Steve spearheaded efforts to combat opioid abuse, creating a Crystal Meth Task Force made up of community leaders to brainstorm and help combat crystal meth. He also created a Major Crimes Unit and a Computer Forensics Lab. U.S. Senator Luther Strange served the State of Alabama with distinction in the attorney general’s office and I am confident Attorney General Marshall will continue Luther Strange's record of sound judgement, intelligence and strong leadership. My colleagues across the country welcome Steve and look forward to working with him on the important issues facing our states and nation.”

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2016 Republican attorneys general maintained their national majority, increasing the number of GOP attorneys general to 29. Over the course of the 2015-2016 cycle, RAGA raised a historic high of more than $23 million to support investments in campaigns across the country. 

http://www.republicanags.com/ 

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Morrisey To Replace Strange As RAGA Chairman

Washington, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) released the following statement regarding former RAGA Chairman and Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange’s appointment to replace Jeff Sessions in the United States Senate:

“Congratulations to my friend, U.S. Senator Luther Strange. There is no one more qualified and capable of succeeding Jeff Sessions than Luther,” said West Virginia Attorney General and RAGA Vice Chairman Patrick Morrisey.  “As attorney general, he led the charge against Barack Obama’s overreaching federal government, including legal actions against Obamacare, executive amnesty, and unconstitutional regulations. Luther’s tireless efforts on behalf of all of our members played a crucial role in the growth and success RAGA has achieved over the past several election cycles. He will work to bring conservative values and accountability back to Washington, and we wish him the best as he begins his new role.”

The Republican Attorneys General Association also announced General Morrisey will replace U.S. Senator Strange as Chairman.

“In addition to leading the battle against Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, Patrick Morrisey just won the most difficult attorney general race in the country," said U.S. Senator Strange. "He is a tireless advocate for conservative values and the people of West Virginia. He also knows how to run a political organization and will do an excellent job in his new role with RAGA. Thanks to Patrick and the work of many others, RAGA has never been stronger. I look forward to seeing him build on the committee’s success in the coming election cycle.”

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2016 Republican attorneys general maintained their national majority, increasing the number of GOP attorneys general to 29. Over the course of the 2015-2016 cycle, RAGA raised a historic high of more than $23 million to support investments in campaigns across the country. 

http://www.republicanags.com/ 

 

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RAGA Applauds Sessions Confirmation

Washington, D.C. –Alabama Attorney General and Chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Luther Strange released the following statement regarding Senator Jeff Sessions’ confirmation:

“Despite political theatrics from liberal Democrats, the Senate made the right decision in confirming Jeff Sessions. Jeff’s distinguished career as a prosecutor, Alabama Attorney General, and U.S. Attorney has prepared him for this position. Jeff Sessions will treat all Americans fairly, and will not tolerate the politicization of the Department of Justice that was so prevalent over the last eight years. Jeff’s personal decency, knowledge of the law, and commitment to justice makes him potentially one of the best Attorneys General to ever serve our nation.”

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2016 Republican attorneys general maintained their national majority, increasing the number of GOP attorneys general to 29. Over the course of the 2015-2016 cycle, RAGA raised a historic high of more than $23 million to support investments in campaigns across the country. 

http://www.republicanags.com/ 

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ICYMI: Attorney General Cynthia Coffman supports fellow Coloradan Judge Neil Gorsuch for Supreme Court

Washington, D.C. –Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman released the following statement regarding Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the United States Supreme Court:

“Judge Neil Gorsuch is an extremely qualified and well-respected U.S. Supreme Court nominee. He not only has a brilliant legal mind, but has both the experience and the temperament needed to serve on our nation’s highest court. Judge Gorsuch’s deep understanding and reverence of the law will serve him and the American people well.”

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2016 Republican attorneys general maintained their national majority, increasing the number of GOP attorneys general to 29. Over the course of the 2015-2016 cycle, RAGA raised a historic high of more than $23 million to support investments in campaigns across the country. 

http://www.republicanags.com/ 

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RAGA Urges Confirmation of Judge Gorsuch

Washington, D.C. –Alabama Attorney General and Chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Luther Strange released the following statement regarding Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the United States Supreme Court:

“There are few issues more important than choosing Supreme Court Justices who will honor the original intent of the Constitution and uphold the rule of law, and President Trump made a tremendous pick by nominating Neil Gorsuch. Judge Gorsuch is one of the most respected legal minds in America today, which is why he was unanimously confirmed to one of our nation’s highest courts. His experience both in the private sector as well as at the Department of Justice give him a well-rounded background to fill the vacancy of the late Justice Scalia.

“President Trump went further than any candidate in history by sharing his list of potential Supreme Court nominees well in advance of Election Day. The American people have spoken on this issue, and it is time for the Senate to give Judge Gorsuch a fair hearing and confirm him so that the Supreme Court can function at full capacity.”

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2016 Republican attorneys general maintained their national majority, increasing the number of GOP attorneys general to 29. Over the course of the 2015-2016 cycle, RAGA raised a historic high of more than $23 million to support investments in campaigns across the country. 

http://www.republicanags.com/ 

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ICYMI: Democrats Support Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt for EPA

"As a lifelong Democrat, I may not agree with all of the President-elect’s policies or nominees, but I do know that former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is the right choice to head up the Environmental Protection Agency." - Former Oklahoma Attorney General Michael Turpin

"I know Scott Pruitt, he's a good man and an honorable man. He and I have differing policy positions. I was a staunch supporter of Hillary Clinton, but I know that Scott Pruitt will restore a notion of rule of law to the EPA." - Former Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel

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This week former Democrat Oklahoma Attorney General Michael Turpin and former Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel came out in support of President-elect Donald Trump's selection of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to serve as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. 

MICHAEL TURPIN:

With all the fireworks of the 2016 campaign now silenced, President-elect Donald Trump is getting to work assembling a government. As a lifelong Democrat, I may not agree with all of the President-elect’s policies or nominees, but I do know that former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is the right choice to head up the Environmental Protection Agency.

As a Democrat, I take seriously the threats to our environment, and I believe we must work to address issues like pollution, climate change, and ensuring clean air and water. However, these problems must be solved within the framework of the law. The Obama Administration, as passionate as it may be about a clean environment, has frequently gone outside of a legal framework to achieve the desired results, applying inconsistent regulations and frequently finding itself in court.

Moreover, many EPA regulations crafted by the Obama Administration have simply been too onerous for American businesses. Whether it’s an unabashed war on coal or the job-killing set of rules inherent in the Clean Power Plan, the Obama administration’s energy plan has imposed a set of undue burdens on American business, and especially our energy industry. We’ve lost billions to our economy because of unfair and arbitrary regulations.

As EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt is set to reverse both those trends. His deep background in Constitutional law, combined with a nuanced understanding of how environmental regulations affect the economy, mean that he will be a thoughtful leader of the EPA, and one capable of striking the balance between protecting the environment and our economy.

Scott Pruitt understands that an American energy revolution is a means of new jobs and new wealth in our country. Of course, the energy industry, just like any other industry, should be subject to appropriate scrutiny to make sure laws are followed and Americans are safe. But that doesn’t mean it should be a political target. Scott Pruitt will end the ideological targeting of the energy industry and free up a job-creating engine that is waiting to translate the power of American natural resources into good jobs. The potential for the energy industry to contribute to an economic renaissance is enormous: half a million jobs each year and $30 billion in higher wages, according to one study

As attorney general, Scott Pruitt made every effort to uphold the rule of law against an overzealous EPA. His challenge to the Clean Power Plan went all the way to the Supreme Court because he was concerned about the encroachment of federal power on the state of Oklahoma’s statutory right to set its own regulations. Oklahoma has cut greenhouse gasses without a federal crackdown, and AG Pruitt made sure that the federal government could not boss around a state government that had already successfully improved the quality of the environment. 

Lastly, the world has never been hungrier for energy, and Scott Pruitt knows we must support America's energy independence rather than be beholden to energy-rich countries in the Middle East who don’t always have our best interests in mind. He’s ready to support all sources of energy, because this gives us the best chance to give consumers access to clean, safe, and affordable energy.  

Lastly, the job of the EPA is the essential mission of guaranteeing clean air and clean water. Scott Pruitt has never compromised those critical components of a healthy population with any actions he has taken. “We drink the water, we breathe the air here in Oklahoma. To think that we don’t care about that, and somehow are being led to sacrifice those things...not accurate,” Pruitt told the Financial Times.

Scott Pruitt will work to protect our natural habitats, reserves, and resources, while freeing energy producers to stimulate economic growth and opportunity for all Americans. His clear vision for a proper relationship between protection and prosperity makes him superbly qualified to serve as our next EPA administrator.

DUSTIN McDANIEL:

Well, first of all, I know Scott Pruitt, he's a good man and an honorable man. He and I have differing policy positions. I was a staunch supporter of Hillary Clinton, but I know that Scott Pruitt will restore a notion of rule of law to the EPA, and Democrats and Republicans around the country alike have been concerned over the last few years about how the EPA has pushed regulations without necessarily always having them rooted either in their legal authority or legal process or in sound science. So a lot of litigation between the states has had to unfold over the last several years. 

Scott is well aware of that. He's led some of it. I participated in some of it when I was still the Democratic Attorney General of Arkansas. But I know Scott will bring a lot of experience in finding real world solutions. We have years, years of water quality litigation between Arkansas and Oklahoma, and frankly no one thought we could resolve that. I want went to Oklahoma City, met with General Pruitt right after he got elected, and said let's chart a new path where we work to improve our environment, improve our economy and do it together out of court. 

And what we did was nothing short of historic, and I've seen him in action, and I think he would take that same experience to the EPA.

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2016 Republican attorneys general maintained their national majority, increasing the number of GOP attorneys general to 29. Over the course of the 2015-2016 cycle, RAGA raised a historic high of more than $23 million to support investments in campaigns across the country. 

http://www.republicanags.com/ 

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RAGA Chairman Luther Strange Congratulates Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt On Being Selected To Lead the E.P.A.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Republican Attorneys General Association Chairman Luther Strange released the following statement regarding President-elect Donald Trump's intent to select Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as Administrator to the Environmental Protection Agency. 

“President-elect Trump could not have made a better choice than Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA. General Pruitt has been at the front lines of the fight against federal overregulation, including the unconstitutional Clean Power Plan. He understands the need to protect our environment while also allowing responsible development of our vast natural resources. RAGA is losing a valued member, but the country is gaining a talented individual who will help President Trump restore America’s economic strength.”

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2016 Republican attorneys general maintained their national majority, increasing the number of GOP attorneys general to 29. Over the course of the 2015-2016 cycle, RAGA raised a historic high of more than $23 million to support investments in campaigns across the country. 

http://www.republicanags.com/ 

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A GOP Rising Star in Indiana

Curtis Hill, Indiana's new attorney general, to take on regulation, drugs

Republican state officials battling federal overreach recently gained another ally through Indiana’s election of incoming Attorney General Curtis Hill.

Hill, who defeated Democrat Lorenzo Arredondo with nearly 62 percent of the vote, will become the state’s first black attorney general. The former prosecutor set a recordon Nov. 8 after receiving the most votes of any candidate in Indiana history, beating out President-elect Donald Trump by nearly 100,000 votes.

Hill in part attributes the overwhelming support to his pledge to rein in federal overreach and regulation, particularly in a year when Americans’ distrust of officials in Washington has spiked.

“When I traveled through the state of Indiana there were a significant number of people who were concerned about the role of the federal government in our every day lives,” Hill told the Washington Free Beacon in a phone interview. “They wanted to make sure that there was someone in state government, particularly in the attorney general’s office, that recognized the value of people within states making decisions on what goes on in that state.”

The 55-year-old grew up in Elkhart, Ind., 15 miles east of South Bend. He graduated from the Indiana University School of Business and later received his law degree from the Indiana University School of Law. Hill returned to Elkhart to begin his legal career as a part-time deputy prosecuting attorney before serving as the county’s elected deputy prosecuting attorney for 14 years.

Hill, a father of five, built a reputation in Elkhart as a hardline prosecutor who fought against illicit drug use and violent crime. He plans to bring that focus into his role as attorney general, while taking on federal overreach.

While he expects the incoming Trump administration will rein in the scope of its executive agencies, he predicted regulatory burdens would persist.

“The reality is that the bureaucracy in Washington, D.C., far exceeds the incoming administration’s ability to catch up in many instances,” he said. “From my standpoint, it doesn’t matter who’s in the White House: federal overreach is federal overreach.”

Hill said he wouldn’t shy away from pursuing legal action against the Trump administration if his office determines federal officials have overstepped their constitutional authorities and implemented a rule that harms Indiana residents. Each action will be evaluated on a “case-by-case” basis, he said.

Hill’s election adds momentum to a drive by Republican state attorneys general who began an aggressive fight against federal overreach during the Obama years.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who was elected to the post in 2010, told the Free Beaconthat he anticipates Hill will provide leadership, “intellectual capital, and a sense of strategy to effectively respond to some of the federal overreach that we see.”

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson also has high hopes for Hill.

“I’m looking for attorneys general who want to promote the free market over excessive government regulation, who are looking at the constitution through the eyes of an originalist rather than trying to change and write the rules as they go, and who are going to stand up to the rule of law,” Wilson said.“Of everything I’ve heard from Curtis [Hill], that’s exactly what he’ll be—somebody who’s going to call balls and strikes on the rule of law and nothing else.”

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Republican Attorneys General Rewarded By Voters For Fighting For The Constitution

On Election Day, the American people sent a loud and clear message that they are sick and tired of the status quo. Voters dealt a severe rebuke to Barack Obama’s decision to govern by fiat and ignore the Constitution. At the state level, perhaps no group of elected officials was more critical to the fight against federal overreach than Republican attorneys general.

Attorneys general across the United States led or are still leading lawsuits against the Obama Administration on executive amnesty, Obamacare, the Clean Power Plan, Waters of the U.S., the transgender bathroom directive, and more. Our A.G.s won significant victories, and some cases are still winding through the court system. One thing is clear as a result of these actions: voters have rewarded Republican attorneys general for their defense of the Constitution and the rule of law.

After Election Day, there are now a record-high 29 Republican attorneys general in the United States. The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), of which I am Executive Director, shattered its previous fundraising record by hauling in over $23 million to support our candidates around the country. Our counterpart committee on the Democratic side raised less than half that total. Our donors recognize the same thing the voters do: attorneys general are often the last line of defense for conservatism and federalism. As the top lawyers for their states, they have the unique standing to push back when Washington oversteps its constitutional boundaries.

In West Virginia, incumbent Attorney General Patrick Morrisey faced a Democrat who poured more than $5 million of his family fortune into his campaign. Those millions filled the airwaves with ads attacking Morrisey and his wife. Morrisey, along with RAGA's independent expenditure effort, consistently reminded voters of his ongoing fight against the EPA's “Clean Power Plan” that would decimate the West Virginia coal industry. Despite Democrat Jim Justice winning the governor’s race, West Virginia voters backed Morrisey by a wide margin and made clear they want an attorney general they can count on to fight for their jobs and way of life.

RAGA also helped elect rising stars like Josh Hawley in Missouri and Curtis Hill in Indiana.

Hawley (pictured above with Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt) ran as a political outsider with expertise in constitutional law. His unique experience helping win the famous “Hobby Lobby” religious liberty case struck a chord with Missouri voters. Missouri has not had a Republican attorney general in over twenty years, but resoundingly chose Josh Hawley for this office in large part because voters wanted an outsider who knew how to stand up for the Constitution.

In Indiana, Curtis Hill won his race by a wider margin than anybody else on the statewide ballot. General-elect Hill is a prosecutor who ran on a pledge to toughen penalties for violent criminals and fight back against federal overreach. Curtis is also the first African American statewide Republican elected official in Indiana history. He demonstrated broad appeal across party lines, and like Josh has a bright future ahead of him in public service.

We are proud of our work to expand the number of Republican attorneys general, and there are lessons in our success. Voters increasingly recognize the critical role attorneys general play and have no patience for candidates who are not serious about standing up for the Constitution and the rule of law. Too many Democrats run for attorney general as crusaders for certain fashionable causes but are surprised to find the public does not share their priorities.

Even with a Republican president being sworn in this January, our A.G.s philosophy will not change. The aggressor in the constitutional battles of the past eight years was always President Obama’s administration. It attempted to unilaterally impose new environmental regulations and rewrite immigration law, to name just two examples. These actions were wrong no matter which party controlled the White House, and our attorneys general were right to fight back.

The Republican Party, from the White House to the state legislatures, is in its strongest position in 80 years. President-elect Trump has an opportunity to roll back the federal government and expand freedom and opportunity for millions of Americans. We stand ready to work with him. While President Obama held office, Republican attorneys general served as the last line of defense for our Constitution. Now, the 29 Republican attorneys general and RAGA will become the tip-of-the-spear ensuring the constitutional rights of every American are protected.

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REPUBLICAN ATTORNEYS GENERAL ASSOCIATION CONGRATULATES SENATOR JEFF SESSIONS ON HIS NOMINATION FOR U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL

(Washington) - The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) issued the following statement congratulating Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions on his nomination for United States Attorney General by President-elect Donald Trump.

 "On behalf of the twenty-nine Republican Attorneys General across the country, we congratulate Jeff Sessions on his nomination to be our nation's Attorney General. Senator Sessions is a world-class legal mind and experienced prosecutor, having served his country admirably as both US Attorney and Alabama Attorney General," said Luther Strange, Chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association.

"Senator Sessions is respected across party lines in the U.S. Senate and has a strong civil rights record in his decades of public service. Senator Sessions is a credit to our Nation and I know he will make us proud in his new role where he will continue to be a champion for our Constitution and the rule of law," said Strange.

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Strange Named Chairman Of The Republican Attorneys General Association

Alabama Attorney General will lead RAGA after an historic election year that saw the total number of Republican attorneys general increase to 29, the most than at any time in our country’s history.

AUSTIN, TX -- The Republican Attorneys General Association today announced that Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has officially assumed the chairmanship of the organization at its annual meeting in Austin, Texas.

"It is my honor to serve as chair after an election year that saw Republicans increase the total number of state attorneys general to 29, the most in our country’s history," said Strange. "Our country faces many challenges, and the people have put their trust in us to govern in a responsible and effective manner. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the fight to protect free enterprise, liberty and our constitution."

As chair of RAGA, Strange will lead election and fundraising efforts in the 2017 cycle.

Strange also praised the 2016 RAGA chair, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette. "General Schuette’s leadership and vision set the course for the numerous victories Republican attorneys general saw this year, both on a political and policy front. I am honored to receive the baton and continue moving RAGA forward."

In addition, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and Missouri Attorney General-elect Josh Hawley have been named to the RAGA Executive Committee. “AG Rutledge and AG-elect Hawley are young, conservative leaders who have proven themselves to be strong defenders of the constitution and the rule of law,” said Strange. “They will both make great additions to the RAGA Executive Committee.”

Strange will serve as chair until November 2017. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who was just re-elected this year, will serve as RAGA's 2018 chair.

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2016 Election Results

Yesterday’s results were historic. That’s certainly true for Republican Attorneys General across the country. With the AG races called in 12 states around the country, Republicans now hold more state Attorney General offices than at any time in history. This is in no small part a reflection of the growth and effectiveness of the Republican Attorneys General Association.

Last night, RAGA successfully defended its incumbents, retained an open seat race in Indiana, and picked up the Attorney General’s office in Missouri, which had been in Democrat hands for over 20 years. Additionally, we anticipate the appointment of a Republican AG in New Hampshire with the victory of Governor-elect Chris Sununu, raising the total number of Republican Attorneys General to 29.

There is no other group of elected officials in the country better positioned to defend the Constitution and the rule of law. The Republican Attorneys General Association will continue to support the important work of our AGs every day. 

INCREASING NUMBERS

For the third election cycle in a row, the ranks of Republican Attorneys General around the country have grown – now standing at 29.

Results

WINNING DEFENSE

In what is likely the most expensive race for state Attorney General ever in the country, RAGA successfully defended incumbent Patrick Morrisey yesterday in West Virginia. Morrisey was challenged by a self-funding Democrat who spent over $5 million of his inherited fortune only to lose by a margin of 10 points.

The Republican Attorneys General Association invested over $6.5 million to defend Morrisey and hold the seat.

PICKUP AND RETENTION

In the one open Republican-held seat, Indiana, Hoosiers elected prosecutor Curtis Hill to the Attorney General’s office. Hill is the first African-American Republican elected to statewide office. RAGA invested more than $700,000 to secure Hill’s victory.

Josh Hawley, a constitutional lawyer who has successfully argued in front of the Supreme Court, won convincingly in Missouri. Hawley focused his campaign on fighting Washington overreach and cleaning up corruption in Missouri politics. Hawley’s largest campaign contributor was RAGA with a $3 million investment to ensure Hawley’s election.

SPENDING

In 2016, RAGA’s political spending totaled over $14 million. For the cycle to date, RAGA has raised $23.2 million. That number overwhelms the $8.2 million raised by the Democrat Attorneys General Association in the same period. 

 

Spending

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Conservatism’s Last Line of Defense

Dozens of Republican attorneys general may prove a powerful check on the next president.

Most Americans won’t have heard of Luther Strange, though that might be about to change. Next week the Alabaman ascends to the top of what by that point could be one of the most consequential GOP organizations in the country.

That would be the Republican Attorneys General Association, the umbrella group for the states’ conservative prosecutors—and a new force to reckon with in American politics. Attorney general races don’t get much national attention, but these days they should. Under a Hillary Clinton presidency in particular, Republican AGs may prove the most effective check on both an overweening federal government and growing abuses by liberal prosecutors.

“Health care, immigration, climate regulations—the AGs are acting as a last line of defense, but also in an agenda-setting capacity,” Mr. Strange told me at a recent meeting in Washington, D.C. “And we’ll be in an even stronger position to do this after Election Day.”

His words are a nod to the extraordinary transformation Republican AGs have undergone in the era of Barack Obama. Not many years ago, those AGs had little to do with each other and were focused on policing occasional state crime. But the combination of the president’s growing federal overreach, and a new generation of activist, conservative law dogs, has inspired a powerful and cohesive new AG movement.

Members include the likes of Florida AG Pam Bondi, who helped oversee a coalition of states that sued the federal government over the constitutionality of ObamaCare. Or Oklahoma’s Scott Pruitt, who has plowed the way in lawsuits against federal overreach in health care, water regulations and endangered species listings. Or Michigan’s Bill Schuette, whose state successfully challenged the feds on its costly rules on power-plant emissions. Or Texas AG Ken Paxton, whose legal efforts put a hold on President Obama’s immigration plan.

Republicans currently hold 27 AG seats, and they are likely to emerge from Tuesday with more. In Missouri, a young dynamo, the 36-year-old Josh Hawley, looks poised to beat Democrat Teresa Hensley. Mr. Hawley, a law professor and Becket Fund for Religious Liberty alumnus, has run on a promise to defend working Missouri families against “Washington bureaucrats.”

In North Carolina, state Sen. Buck Newton is in a tight race against Democrat Josh Stein, in a contest that may hinge on the upticket re-election fortunes of Donald Trump and Gov. Pat McCrory.Republicans are also feeling more confident they’ll hold on to West Virginia, where rebel AG Patrick Morrisey (the first GOP AG in the state since 1933) is defending against liberal activist Doug Reynolds.And in Indiana, Republicans expect to hold a seat with the election ofCurtis Hill, who’d become the Hoosier state’s first African-American AG. If it’s a good night, RAGA could end up 29-strong, a record.

They’ll need that strength, particularly under a Clinton presidency. With Republicans near certain to hold the House, and potentially the Senate, Mrs. Clinton will undoubtedly build on Mr. Obama’s extralegal habit of ruling via executive order or regulation. The GOP AGs will be the primary way for conservatives to challenge those edicts, in court. Under a Trump presidency, they will be an invaluable tool in dismantling some of the Obama federal behemoth.

That job gets tougher, obviously, if Mrs. Clinton gets to pick a Supreme Court justice to replace Antonin Scalia, as well as to pack appeals courts with liberal nominees. A liberal judiciary likely robs the country of any legal recourse against lawless federal governance. But that’s also why there’s growing pressure on Senate Republicans to blockade Clinton nominees, to preserve the ability of state AGs to exercise some check on limitless federal power.

Even under a more liberal judiciary, the AGs would still prove vital to highlighting policy issues and differences with high-profile lawsuits. In the process, they’d remain the pre-eminent voices for federalism and states’ rights, in a dangerous time of federal government expansion.

A growing Republican AG force will also prove crucial in parrying a new era of liberal prosecutorial intimidation. Liberal state AGs are moving ever more toward bogus investigations and hardball tactics designed to strangle corporations and conservatives into settlements or silence. Mr. Strange has himself most recently been leading a coalition of colleagues in pushing back against a group of liberal AGs engaged in a witch hunt against Exxon Mobil and conservative think tanks over climate science.

Trump or Clinton, we still don’t know. What we do know is that an army of Republican legal fighters is standing by, ready to ride herd on the next Oval Office.

See the entire article here

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Senator Shelley Moore Capito Ad for Patrick Morrisey

Washington, D.C. -  The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) today released a new television advertisement featuring West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito articulating her support for Patrick Morrisey.

Washington, D.C. -  The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) today released a new television advertisement featuring West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito articulating her support for Patrick Morrisey.

“I’ve worked closely with Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in our battle to protect West Virginia jobs and families,” said Senator Capito. “He’s fought the EPA, defended our second amendment rights and led the fight against the drug epidemic. Patrick Morrisey is smart, effective and a real fighter. That’s why I’m supporting him for Attorney General and hope you will join me. He will always put West Virginia first.”  

“We are thrilled and honored by Senator Capito agreeing to voice her support for Patrick Morrisey in this manner,” said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. “Senator Capito is a strong voice for West Virginia in the United States Senate, and her word carries weight with the people of this state. Her vocal support of Patrick Morrisey adds to the momentum we are seeing in the closing days and will help ensure victory for Patrick Morrisey and West Virginia’s way of life on Election Day.”

“Senator,” can be viewed here.

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

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ICYMI: Coal Association President Endorses Patrick Morrisey, Slams Doug Reynolds

“No one has done more to defend our jobs, our industry, and our West Virginia way of life than Patrick Morrisey as our attorney general” – West Virginia Coal Association President Bill Raney

Washington, D.C. – Bill Raney, President of the West Virginia Coal Association, wrote a column forThe Intelligencer explaining why he supports Patrick Morrisey and why Doug Reynolds would fail to protect West Virginia’s economy as attorney general:

“For the last four years, no one has done more to defend our jobs, our industry and our West Virginia way of life than Patrick Morrisey, as our Attorney General. On behalf of our coal industry, our managers and the best coal miners in the world, we have to do everything possible to be sure Patrick Morrisey is re-elected and will continue to serve as our Attorney General. The Obama administration has done nothing but brings negativity to our coal miners’ jobs and economic harm to our state. Attorney General Morrisey has mounted strong and fruitful legal initiatives to stop this war on coal and protect our people.

“While the presidential and gubernatorial races have taken up most of the limelight, our attorney general has been getting more than one-half of the states in this nation to join his efforts to stop the EPA’s assault on our coal and agricultural industries. Because of that, those of us who depend on the coal industry for our livelihood and as a means for remaining in West Virginia must recognize that this race for attorney general has enormous consequences for our state and its future.”

The full piece can be read online at The Intelligencer’s website.

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

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New Ad: What’s At Risk For West Virginia

Washington, D.C. -  The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) today released a new television and digital advertisement: “What’s At Risk.”

“Doug Reynolds and Hillary Clinton are a threat to West Virginia’s economy,” said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. “Hillary Clinton’s agenda would shut down coal plants across the country and destroy jobs that depend on coal mining. As attorney general, Doug Reynolds would do nothing to stop her. He is a Clinton donor, and Hillary Clinton is funding his campaign team. West Virginia needs Patrick Morrisey in the attorney general’s office to fight for our coal jobs.”

 “What’s At Risk” can be viewed here.

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

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ICYMI: Dishonest Doug Reynolds Lies About His Inherited Wealth

Washington, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) released the following statement in response to Doug Reynolds’ brazen dishonesty in the West Virginia Record regarding his inherited wealth:

“Doug Reynolds’ support for Hillary Clinton and his vote to cripple the attorney general’s power to fight the EPA are enough to disqualify him from this race. Now, Reynolds is adding blatant dishonesty to his record. The facts are clear and publicly available: Doug Reynolds inherited tremendous wealth from his father, and he is attempting to use that inherited wealth to buy the office of attorney general. 

“With the Clean Power Plan threatening so many jobs in this state, the last thing West Virginia needs is a dishonest, Hillary Clinton supporting attorney general.” – RAGA Executive Director Scott Will.

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

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Chairman Bill Schuette’s Statement on Sam Olens and Chris Carr

Washington, D.C. – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, Chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association, released the following statement on Sam Olens’ appointment as President of Kennessaw State University. 

“Sam Olens served the State of Georgia with distinction in the attorney general’s office, and will bring the same intelligence, judgment, and leadership ability to his new role. While we are sad to see Sam leave elected office, we are also excited for him and Kennesaw State. The university could not have made a better choice to lead them forward.

"Chris Carr has deep experience in Georgia government and economic development. He understands the job of the attorney general and is an excellent choice to be Georgia’s next attorney general. My colleagues across the country welcome Chris and look forward to working with him on the important issues facing our states and nation.”

 

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RAGA Ad: Doug Reynolds is on the Hillary Team

Washington, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) released a new television and digital advertisement exposing Doug Reynolds’ and Hillary Clinton’s mutually beneficial relationship.

“West Virginia’s future is on the ballot this November, and the choice could not be more clear. Doug Reynolds would not stand up to his ally Hillary Clinton and the reason is simple: Reynolds supports Clinton and Clinton supports Reynolds. Clinton raised money for Reynolds’ team and Reynolds is a Clinton donor. West Virginia needs an attorney general who will stand up to Hillary Clinton and her anti-coal agenda.” – RAGA Executive Director Scott Will

“West Virginia’s Future” can be viewed here.

 

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

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New RAGA Ad: Imagine

Washington, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) announced its newest television and digital advertisement in West Virginia: Imagine.

“If Hillary Clinton is in the White House in 2017, West Virginia will need an attorney general willing to fight her plans to kill more coal jobs. Doug Reynolds is a Hillary Clinton donor who would enable her liberal agenda, not fight it. In the legislature, Reynolds tried to undermine the attorney general’s ability to combat the liberal Washington agenda. The Clinton/Reynolds team would be a disaster for West Virginia," said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. 

“Imagine” can be viewed here.

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

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ICYMI: PoliticsPA: RAGA Hits Shapiro On Guns

The national Republican Party is aiding John Rafferty’s campaign against Josh Shapiro. The Republican Attorneys General Association launched a new web video attacking the Democratic nominee.

The fifteen-second spot, titled “Wrong," concerns guns.

"It’s your Second Amendment right and Josh Shapiro is wrong,” a narrator states. “That’s politician Josh Shapiro running for Attorney General. Opposed to gun rights. More gun bans, background checks and restrictions on concealed carry.”

“It’s your right and Shapiro’s wrong,” the narrator concludes. This video comes just a day after Rafferty premiered two ads of his own hitting Shapiro.

To read the full article click here.

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

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Debate Night Reminder: Doug Endorsed Crooked Hillary

Washington, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association released the following statement on tonight’s presidential debate.

“West Virginians will reject Hillary Clinton soundly in November because they know she will continue the economically crippling policies of the Obama Administration,” said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. “Rather than share the common sense values of his fellow West Virginians, Doug Reynolds endorsed Hillary Clinton and has donated thousands of dollars to her. West Virginia needs Patrick Morrisey in the attorney general’s office fighting for their jobs and way of life, not an Obama-Clinton liberal like Doug Reynolds.”

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

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New Ad: Designed to Cripple

Washington, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) released a new ad on DougEndorsedCrookedHillary.com and West Virginia television.

"Doug Reynolds is trying to trick voters into believing he will fight for West Virginia jobs, but the evidence overwhelmingly shows this is a lie," said Scott Will, RAGA Executive Director. "Doug Reynolds is a Hillary Clinton donor who backed legislation that would have crippled the ability of the attorney general to fight unconstitutional, job killing regulations issued by the federal government. Now, he claims he would fight for West Virginia jobs in the very same office. Voters will not be fooled by Doug Reynolds’ double talk."

Designed to Cripple” can be viewed on www.dougendorsedcrookehillary.com.

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

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Buck Newton Wins Debate

Washington, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General (RAGA) released the following statement regarding tonight’s debate in North Carolina.

“Buck Newton demonstrated why he is going to be a great attorney general for the people of North Carolina,” said RAGA spokesman Jordan Russell. “He has a proven record and a clear plan to improve the business climate, get tough on criminals, and fight Washington overreach.”

“Josh Stein is an extreme Harvard radical who wants to use the office for ideological crusades and to take care of his trial lawyer friends. As an ex-staffer for disgraced former Senator John Edwards, Josh Stein learned all the wrong lessons about what the attorney general’s office should do. Stein has also taken positions far outside the North Carolina mainstream on numerous issues including opposing charter schools, tax cuts, and voter ID. As tonight’s debate showed, Josh Stein is ill-suited for the role of attorney general.”

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

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Debate Questions for Extreme Harvard Radical Josh Stein

JoshSteinHarvardRadical.jpg 

Washington, D.C. – In honor of tonight’s debate, the Republican Attorneys General Association has a list of questions for extreme Harvard liberal Josh Stein: 

1.) You voted for $1 billion in tax increases and then against cutting incomes taxes. Do you think North Carolinians are undertaxed? How much higher should taxes be than they are right now? 

2.) You have made hundreds of thousands of dollars off of insider deals and state government contracts. Will you use the office of attorney general to give contracts to your trial lawyer buddies? Do you believe state officials should profit from their public service in the same way it has benefited you?

3.) You are a staunch opponent of charter schools. Do you believe children should be forced to attend failing schools? Do you believe only wealthy people such as yourself should have choices in education?

4.) You complain about “outside money,” but you took money from the biggest environmental activist in America, Tom Steyer, and your father donated at least $500,000 to the North Carolina Democratic Party. Do you believe in one set of rules for yourself and another set of rules for everyone else?

5.) With a Republican-controlled legislature and governor’s mansion, North Carolina has one of the fastest growing economies in the nation. Under Democratic control, North Carolina’s economy struggled. Do you want the state to go back to performing how it did under Democratic leadership? What pro-growth policies would you kill to fit your extreme ideology?

6.) Do you still believe voter fraud is a myth? 

7.) Should anybody be able to vote without proving their identification? What other areas of public life should people not have to prove their identity? Should a person get on an airplane without an ID? A military base? Would you, as attorney general, allow the public access to your office without showing identification?

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

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ExtremeHarvardRadical.com: Josh Stein’s $638,313 Payday

Washington, D.C. – The latest news on www.ExtremeHarvardRadical.com, exposes Josh Stein’s big payday thanks to a sweetheart insider deal.

“Josh Stein is a hypocritical liberal who attacks free enterprise but is happy to make huge crony capitalist profits for himself,” said RAGA spokesman Jordan Russell. “North Carolina does not need an attorney general with extreme Harvard radical views, or one who uses public office to fatten his own bottom line. With Josh Stein, North Carolina would get both in one person.”

Fact Sheet:

Stein Is An “Of Counsel” Member Of Smith, Moore, Leatherwood’s Litigation Group. (Josh Stein, Smith, Moore, Leatherwood, Accessed 3/20/16)

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(Josh Stein, Smith, Moore, Leatherwood, Accessed 3/20/16)

Stein Has Been With Smith, Moore, Leatherwood Since March 2012. “Of counsel; Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP; March 2012 – Present (4 years 1 month) Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina Area.” (Joshua Stein, LinkedIn, Accessed 2/26/16)

National Mortgage Settlement

Stein Was Retained By A Former North Carolina Banking Commissioner To Oversee A $25 Billion Legal Settlement With Five Of The U.S.’s Largest Bank For Egregious Foreclosure Practices

In 2012, Former North Carolina Banking Commissioner, Joseph Smith, Jr., Resigned To Oversee A $25 Billion Legal Settlement With Five Of The U.S.’s Largest Banks For Egregious Foreclosure Practices.  (Brady Dennis, “Banks Settlement Monitor Faces A Daunting Task,” The Washington Post, 4/19/12)

Smith’s Primary Role Was To Ensure That The Banks Overhaul Their “Troubled” Mortgage Servicing Operations. (Brady Dennis, “Banks Settlement Monitor Faces A Daunting Task,” The Washington Post, 4/19/12)

Stein Was Retained By Smith As An Attorney And “Forensic Accountant.”(Brady Dennis, “Banks Settlement Monitor Faces A Daunting Task,” The Washington Post, 4/19/12)

The Settlement Left Smith “Plenty Of Discretion” In Policing The Mortgage-Related Activities Of The Banks. (Brady Dennis, “Banks Settlement Monitor Faces A Daunting Task,” The Washington Post, 4/19/12)

Stein’s Firm Received $638,313 From The Office Of Mortgage Settlement Oversight For “Legal – Monitoring Compliance”

Stein’s Firm Received $638,313 From The Office Of Mortgage Settlement Oversight For “Legal – Monitoring Compliance.” (Form 990, Office Of Mortgage Settlement Oversight, Filed 2/5/14)

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(Form 990, Office Of Mortgage Settlement Oversight, Filed 2/5/14)

In 2014, Smith Was Compensated $512,500 By The National Mortgage Settlement. (Form 990, Office Of Mortgage Settlement Oversight, Filed 1/16/15)

Smith Had Previously Been Nominated By President Obama To Lead The Federal Housing Finance Agency, But He Ultimately Withdrew His Nomination

In 2010, President Obama Nominated Smith To Lead The Federal Housing Finance Agency, But He Withdrew His Name After Republicans Held Up His Confirmation. (Brady Dennis, “Banks Settlement Monitor Faces A Daunting Task,” The Washington Post, 4/19/12)

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

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DougEndorsedCrookedHillary.com: Bonuses For Bosses, Nothing For Workers

Washington, D.C. -  The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) released new information about Doug Reynolds’ record on executive bonuses and fired employees on its website, www.DougEndorsedCrookedHillary.com.

“Doug Reynolds claims to be the candidate for working West Virginians, but his record tells a different story,” said Scott Will, Executive Director of RAGA. “As a board member of Portec, a business controlled by his wealthy father, Doug Reynolds handed out well over half a million dollars in bonuses to company executives. However, his generosity did not extend to hardworking West Virginians. Portec laid off 20 workers in 2009 and offered no severance packages.”

“We already know that Hillary Clinton donor Doug Reynolds took taxpayer bailouts for his failing banks and voted to raise taxes and fees 16 times as a member of the legislature. His claims to be the candidate that looks out for working West Virginians do not match up with reality. All West Virginians concerned about having an attorney general who looks out for them and aligns with their values should go to DougEndorsedCrookedHillary.com and examine the facts about Doug Reynolds.”

Fact Sheet:

Reynolds Biography In Corporate Filing From 2010: Mr. Reynolds Was Nominated To Serve On Our Board Of Directors Because He Possesses Extensive Experience In Senior Management Positions And Board Service In A Variety Of Industries And Is Qualified To Evaluate All Of The Factors That Contribute To The Company’s Performance, Including Industry Trends, Sales And Production Data, Business Risks And Financial Data. In Addition, Due To His Experience As An Attorney And In Governmental Affairs, He Offers A Unique Perspective On The Legal And Regulatory Issues Facing The Company As Well As Developments In The Political Landscape That Affect The Company And Its Operations.”

Doug Reynolds Served On Board Of Directors Of Portec Rail Products From 1998 Through 2010.

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ICYMI: Claims Against Morrisey Untrue

Washington, D.C. -  In case you missed it, Mike Meyer of the The Intelligencer penned a column comprehensively debunking Doug Reynolds’ false attacks on Patrick Morrisey’s record:

Highlights:

“One puzzling aspect of the advertising being used in an attempt to force West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey out of office is that much of it is easily disproved. Perhaps it’s a test of whether the big-lie theory of politics remains valid.”

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Coal Jobs:

“President Barack Obama and his war on coal and affordable electricity bears much of the blame for that. A few Democrat leaders, including U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, have battled the White House on that. Many, including some still in office, have sided with the president — and against their fellow West Virginians.

That makes it all the more peculiar that much of the advertising for Reynolds has included the claim that someone needs to stand up for coal miners. The implication is that Morrisey has failed to do so.

That claim would come as a surprise to Obama and his Environmental Protection Agency. If any of the nation’s state attorneys general could be muzzled by the EPA and the White House, it is entirely likely they would choose Morrisey. He has been a giant-sized thorn in their sides.”

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EPA:

“A more vigorous defense of coal miners is difficult to imagine.

In fact, Democrats in the Legislature at one point tried to restrain Morrisey’s ability to go after the EPA. Did I mention Reynolds, of Huntington, is a Democrat member of the House of Delegates?

Perhaps Reynolds and his supporters assume voters missed all that.”

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Opioids:

“Another Reynolds advertising tactic is that someone needs to do something about the epidemic of drug abuse in West Virginia. Again, the implication is that Morrisey has been idle.

Hardly. He has been among the most active state officials in battling drug abuse in multiple ways.

Morrisey’s office worked with the state Board of Pharmacy to find ways technology can be used to help health care providers avoid over-prescribing of opioid painkillers. His Best Practices Toolkit helps with more guidelines to reduce abuse of prescription drugs. Finally, he has partnered with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on other intiatives against substance abuse.”

Read the full column here.

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

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Extreme Harvard Radical Josh Stein Hates Charter Schools. Extremely!

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Washington, D.C. –In the second installment on ExtremeHarvardRadical.com, a website dedicated to exposing Josh Stein’s radical views on issues important to mainstream North Carolinians, RAGA is highlighting Josh Stein’s extreme anti-charter school positions.

“Despite North Carolina charter schools enjoying broad popularity and a demonstrated record of success, Harvard radical Josh Stein opposed lifting the cap on charter schools and even proposed an amendment to eliminate their nutritional funding,” said RAGA spokesman Jordan Russell. “Stein’s position is out of step with mainstream North Carolinians who support expanding high-quality choices for their children’s education. Stein’s radicalism on education and many other issues makes him to extreme to be the next attorney general.”

Fact Sheet:

Better performance:

DPI calculations reveal NC public charters better serve 12 of 13 student groups

“Newly released testing data from NC’s Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) reveal that NC’s public charter school students academically outperform peers in traditional public schools in 12 of 13 demographic categories.”

Charters outperform districts on state tests

“The fact is that charter schools are among the most successful public schools in the state and should receive the recognition they deserve.”

Broadly popular:

Civitas Poll: NC Parents Want More School Choice

“A new Civitas poll finds that overall, parents want to be able to choose the education that they believe is the best fit for their children.”

Stein Charter School Opposition:

In 2015, The North Carolina General Assembly Worked To Allow Charter Schools To Share Federal Funding For Public Schools. Editorial, “Surprise Bill Grabs The Public Schools’ Lunch Money To Boost Charters,” The News & Observer[Raleigh], 9/29/15)

Stein Moved To Eliminate Child Nutrition Funding From The Change Because Charter Schools Are Not Required To Provide Meals. (Editorial, “Surprise Bill Grabs The Public Schools’ Lunch Money To Boost Charters,” The News & Observer[Raleigh], 9/29/15)

Stein’s Attempt To Eliminate The Child Nutrition Funding For Charter Schools Was Unsuccessful. (Colin Campbell, “NC Senate Votes To Shift Funds From Traditional Public Schools To Charters,” The News & Observer [Raleigh], 9/28/15)

The Senate Passed The Bill, Which Would Allow Charter Schools To Share Funding, Gifts, Grants, And Sales Tax Revenue, On A 25-19 Vote. (Colin Campbell, “NC Senate Votes To Shift Funds From Traditional Public Schools To Charters,”The News & Observer [Raleigh], 9/28/15)

Stein Voted Against House Bill 539. (HB 539, Roll Call #736, Passed 25-19 Stein Voted No, 9/28/15)

On February 24, 2011, Stein Voted Against Senate Bill 8 “No Cap On Number Of Charter Schools,” Which Eliminated The Charter School Cap. (Senate Bill 8,Roll Call #29: Third Reading Passed 33-17, Stein Voted No, North Carolina General Assembly, 2/24/11)

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

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RAGA Launches ExtremeHarvardRadical.com, Exposes Josh Stein’s Anti-Voter ID Extremism

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Washington, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) today launched ExtremeHarvardRadical.com, a website dedicated to revealing Josh Stein’s radical views on issues important to mainstream North Carolinians.

"ExtremeHarvardRadical.com is a one-stop shop for illuminating Josh Stein’s record,” said RAGA spokesman Jordan Russell. “It will highlight a new issue every week where Josh Stein is far outside the North Carolina mainstream, and voter ID is the perfect place to start. Despite voter ID enjoying support from 80% of Americans, including 77% of minorities, Harvard radical Josh Stein vehemently opposes ensuring the integrity of the election process. He even absurdly claimed photo ID is unnecessary because voter fraud is a ‘myth.’ Stein’s radicalism on voter ID and many other issues makes him too extreme to be North Carolina’s next attorney general.”

Fact Sheet:

In 2013, The State Senate Passed And Gov. McCrory Signed Into Law House Bill 589, Which Required Voter Identification, Trimmed The Period For Early Voting And Ended Same-Day Voter Registration

In 2013, The State Senate Debated A Voter ID Law And Voting Reforms.“Senators debated sweeping restrictions on how North Carolinians can cast votes, though an amendment to the bill could alleviate some of the concerns about access and long lines at the polls. The debate Wednesday was contentious at times, with Democrats blasting the Republican-led effort as a move against black voters, youths, the elderly and first-time voters.” (Jon Ostendorff, “NC Senate Passes Voting Restrictions,” The Asheville-Times, 7/25/13)

House Bill 589 Passed The Senate On Its Third Reading 33-14 And Stein Voted Against It. (HB589, Roll Call #882, Passed 33-14, Stein Voted No, 7/25/13)

Stein Claimed In-Person Voter Fraud Is A Myth

Stein Claimed In-Person Voter Fraud Is A Myth, Citing Only Two Documented Cases Over Six Statewide Election Cycles. “Stein countered that in-person voter fraud is ‘a myth,’ and said there have only been two documented cases over the past six statewide election cycles.” (Ely Portillo, “GOP Legislators Push Sweeping Election-Law Changes,” The Charlotte Observer, 7/24/13)

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

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Jim Justice Runs Away From Hillary but Doug Reynolds Still Supports Her

Washington, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) released the following statement on Jim Justice and Doug Reynolds.

"Jim Justice is running away from Hillary Clinton as fast he can because of how unpopular she is in West Virginia,” said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. “Doug Reynolds continues to support Hillary Clinton and even made the maximum allowable donation to her candidacy the last time she ran for president. Doug Reynolds will try to blur the truth, but no amount of spin can change Reynolds’ history of supporting liberal politicians like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama who want to put coal miners and coal companies out of business.”

Fact Sheet:

Federal Political Contributions To Hillary Clinton (2007) And Barack Obama (2008)

Reynolds Has Contributed To The Presidential Campaigns Of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama 

unnamed.jpg1 Hillary Clinton for President, October Quarterly 2007 Amended Filing, filed Feb. 27, 2009, page 6690
2 Obama for America February Monthly 2008 Amended Filing, filed Aug. 29, 2008, page 6994
3 Obama for America March Monthly 2008 Amended Filing, filed Aug. 30, 2008, page 12403

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

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Consumer protection: Not a bully’s weapon on free speech

Several state Attorneys General have made headlines recently for their efforts to force ExxonMobil and others—through subpoenas—to turn over research and comments about climate change over the last four decades. Whatever views one has about climate change, this is a dangerous and concerning precedent. The Attorneys General have embarked on a wide-reaching fishing expedition that wanders far afield from what they are supposed to be doing, and trenches on the freedom of speech and the press.

As the chief legal officer of the state, a state attorney general has several important duties. Among these are ensuring that the peoples’ legal and constitutional rights, such as those found in the First Amendment, are vigorously protected, and consumer protection laws are enforced. These are not responsibilities that can or should be ignored.

Let’s start with the First Amendment. The First Amendment protects the people from a government that would choose which views on matters of public importance are acceptable and which are not. But these Attorneys General are doing the opposite—by punishing companies with which they disagree. Even if the subpoenas never result in legal action by the Attorneys General, the scope of the subpoenas ensures that the companies will incur substantial costs and time. This “viewpoint discrimination” is one of the worst violations of the freedom of speech.

In fact, the recent climate change investigation by the Attorneys General will likely have a chilling effect on debate in this area. That is not only anathema to the First Amendment, but it is especially regrettable because we are talking about matters of science. Scientific consensus used to say that the Earth was flat and the sun revolved around it. We should be glad that outside thinkers challenged the consensus, and we should welcome continuing challenges to what scientists are saying today.

The investigation here is particularly troubling because it reaches back to decades-old research and expression. Individuals now must be wary not only of challenging today’s views, but also whatever people might be saying forty years from now. This is unworkable and would hinder productive scientific debate and discussion.

To justify their fishing expedition, the Attorneys General have invoked their duty to investigate consumer fraud. While there is some question about what they actually plan to do with the investigation, it exceeds any accepted understanding of consumer fraud. When asked about his theory of the case, the Attorney General of New York would only say that “[w]e have to see what documents are in there, but certainly all of the claims would lie in some form of fraud.”

Consumer protection is an important role of an Attorney General. At times, companies defraud customers, who do not have the power, wherewithal, or resources to fight back. An attorney general can step in to protect consumers in the state and encourage better business practices. This process sometimes involves a targeted use of the subpoena power.

But these Attorneys General are not targeting false information intended solely to induce a commercial transaction; rather, they seek to compel broad disclosure of public advocacy on matters of public concern. They have sought information on donations made to think tanks and advocacy groups.

The Attorney General of the Virgin Islands subpoenaed all communications about climate change from the Competitive Enterprise Institute simply because that group received funds from ExxonMobil. In a separate subpoena to ExxonMobil, he ordered all communications between the company and hundreds of non-profits, universities and scientists, regardless of any funding. Due to pressure from the Competitive Enterprise Institute and ExxonMobil, and outcry from the public at large, the Attorney General decided it was best to withdraw the subpoenas but stipulated that they could be reinstated.

Unperturbed, the Attorney General of Massachusetts has issued a subpoena to ExxonMobil again demanding 40 years of records, including communications with non-profits and journalists in the media.

Ironically, the action proposed by these Attorneys General will likely harm consumers, who will ultimately bear the costs of producing the decades of subpoenaed records. And it will harm the public by bringing the weight of the government to bear on one side of a public debate, chilling the exercise the freedom of speech and the press.

State attorneys general perform many critical duties for their States and their citizens—which we all endeavor to fulfill to the best of our ability. But those duties do not include using our legal power to punish those with whom we disagree under the guise of consumer protection.  When government enforcement starts to target public companies simply because they express a viewpoint at odds with our own, we begin walking down a dangerous pathway. 

Patrick Morrisey serves as attorney general for West Virginia.

 

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RAGA Launches Latest West Virginia Ad: “Mountaineers Matter”

Washington, D.C. -  The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) today released its latest television and digital advertisement in West Virginia supporting Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

“Coal employs tens of thousands of West Virginians, and Patrick Morrisey has defended these jobs from the Obama EPA’s attacks every step of the way,” said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. “When the EPA tried to kill more coal jobs, Patrick Morrisey filed suit and won at the Supreme Court. The attorney general plays a significant role in pushing back against Washington overreach, and Mountaineers can count on Patrick Morrisey to continue standing up for them.”

“Mountaineers Matter” can be viewed here.

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

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RAGA Statement on the Missouri Primary

Washington, D.C. – Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette released the following statement on Josh Hawley securing the nomination for Missouri Attorney General.

“Congratulations to Josh Hawley on his victory tonight. Josh is a rising star in our party thanks to his experience fighting and winning for religious liberty at the United States Supreme Court. As attorney general, Josh will push back against unconstitutional federal government overreach and defend the rights of all Missourians. RAGA will vigorously support Josh’s candidacy, and looks forward to him joining the ranks of Republican attorneys general.”

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

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Special Interest Stein's Hypocrisy

Washington, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association released the following statement regarding Josh Stein’s hypocritical statement yesterday morning to the North Carolina Sheriff's Association:

"Josh Stein, an extreme Harvard radical who relies on his father’s fortune and rich out of state liberals to bankroll his political ambitions, is the textbook definition of a hypocrite,” said Scott Will, Executive Director of RAGA. “Stein says he cannot be bought and does not care about special interests, but fails to mention he has taken money from the biggest liberal campaign donor in America, far-left environmentalist billionaire Tom Steyer. Stein whines about money in politics, but has no problem with his father giving the North Carolina Democratic Party $500,000 to help his campaign.

“No matter what hypocritical charges Josh Stein makes, RAGA will continue to aggressively support Buck Newton because North Carolina needs an attorney general who is in touch with normal people, will stand up for law enforcement and defend the rule of law.”

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Fact Sheet:

“The father of Democratic attorney general candidate Josh Stein contributed $500,000 to the N.C. Democratic Party in early March, according to a recently filed campaign disclosure report. The contribution from Adam Stein, a prominent civil rights attorney who lives in Chapel Hill, was by far the largest given to the state Democratic Party in the second quarter of 2016.” (Patrick Gannon, “Candidate’s father gives $500,000 to state Democrats,” News & Observer, 07/19/2016)

“They know I cannot be bought. I will not do the bidding of the special interest of the left or the right.” - Josh Stein (Special Interest Stein's Hypocrisy - Audio, Annual Training Conference of the North Carolina Sheriffs' Association, Sunset Beach, 7-26-2016)

“I want you all to know that as your attorney general, I’m not going to lease out the office or its authority to the special interests, whether they are of the right or the left.” – Josh Stein (Special Interest Stein's Hypocrisy, Haywood Democrat Event, Waynesville, NC, 7/20/16)

In the second quarter of 2016, billionaire liberal activist Tom Steyer contributed the maximum $5,100 to Stein’s campaign. (Josh Stein for Attorney General - 2016 Second Quarter Disclosure Report, Filed 7/12/16)

About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

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Josh Stein: Perfect for the DNC, Too Radical for North Carolina

Washington, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association released the following statement regarding Josh Stein and the Democratic National Convention:

"Josh Stein is a radical Harvard liberal, so it is no surprise that he is all in for the Clinton-Sanders platform, the most extreme liberal party policy document ever written,” said Scott Will, Executive Director of RAGA. “Hillary Clinton is struggling to unite her party because even Democrats know she is untrustworthy, but they are completely unified in their desire to kill the Second Amendment, raise taxes, and expand Obamacare. Josh Stein may be skipping his party’s convention, but his radical record and ideology would be right at home in Philadelphia this week.”

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

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Divided Democrats, The Far-Left Platform, and Josh Shapiro: Wrong for Pennsylvania

Washington, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association released the following statement regarding Josh Shapiro and the Democratic National Convention:

"Hillary Clinton cannot unify her party because even Democrats know she is untrustworthy," said Scott Will, Executive Director of RAGA. "Their convention has barely begun and is descending into chaos thanks to the revelations of primary rigging by the DNC against Bernie Sanders. Now, Hillary Clinton is desperately seeking to appease Sanders' supporters by endorsing a far-left party platform that would destroy Pennsylvania's energy industry and massively increase taxes, spending, and the national debt. Josh Shapiro, a donor to Hillary Clinton, enthusiastically supports the job-killing platform of the Democratic Party, which, in addition to being unqualified, makes him too extreme to be Pennsylvania’s attorney general.”

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

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Three Republican AGs to Speak at RNC Convention

Three Republican Attorneys General will deliver speeches during the course of this week’s Republican National Committee Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge are all slated to make remarks during the four-day event, speaking on a variety of issues, ranging from law enforcement to the distinctions between the two Presidential candidates in this year’s election.

The RNC Host Committee has released a tentative schedule for when speakers are expected to make their addresses. General Schuette will speak on Monday, July 18, at 2:15PM; General Rutledge will speak on Tuesday, July 19, during prime time coverage; and General Bondi will speak on Wednesday, July 20, at 8:30PM.

“The RNC Convention is not only a terrific platform for our AGs to highlight the important issues of the day, such as defending the rule of law and fighting federal government overreach, but also a great opportunity to showcase their incredible talents and the good work they do each and every day on the national stage,” said Scott Will, RAGA Executive Director. “We congratulate each of them for having this honor bestowed upon them, and look forward to hearing what they have to say.”

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

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Where Does Josh Shapiro Stand On Sanctuary Cities?

Washington, D.C. – Ahead of today’s vote in the U.S. Senate on Sen. Pat Toomey’s legislation to strip sanctuary cities of their federal funding, the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is calling on Josh Shapiro to state his position on the bill and Philadelphia’s status as a sanctuary city.

"Despite having virtually no qualifications for the office he seeks, Josh Shapiro refuses to share his views on crucial law enforcement issues,” said Scott Will, Executive Director of RAGA. “What we do know is Josh Shapiro voted against cracking down on illegal immigration and backs Katie McGinty, a pro-sanctuary cities candidate, for Senate. McGinty also supports Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s refusal to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement officials and opposes Senator Toomey’s bill. Voters deserve to know where Josh Shapiro stands, and why he has been silent for so long.”

Fact Sheet:

Mayor Jim Kenney Reinstituted Sanctuary City Policy:

“As one of his first acts in office in January, Kenney reinstituted the city policy that bars police and prison officials from telling U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents about the pending releases from detention of undocumented prisoners, unless a prisoner was previously convicted of a violent felony and ICE has a warrant…Pressed for an opinion on Kenney's policy, McGinty said she was not "rejecting" it…”

– Philadelphia Inquirer – 7/5/16

Hiring Undocumented Workers – Key Vote

Josh Shapiro Voted Nay – votesmart.org – 11/15/11

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About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

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ICYMI: RAGA Exposes Josh Shapiro’s Ties to Corrupt Democrats

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Scott Will, Executive Director
press@republicanags.com
202-296-5910

Washington, D.C. - Yesterday, the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) demanded Democratic attorney general nominee Josh Shapiro return donations from Herbert Vederman, who was convicted last week on federal racketeering, bribery, and bank fraud charges along with former U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah. 

“The attorney general is the chief law enforcement officer in the state and candidates for this office should be held to the highest standards,” said Scott Will, Executive Director of RAGA. “Fortunately, Pennsylvanians have a better choice in State Senator John Raffterty, a straight shooter who will take the politics and corruption out of the Office of Attorney General.” 

From The Philadelphia Inquirer:

“Josh Shapiro, the Montgomery County commissioners chairman and Democratic nominee for state attorney general, saw the political hit coming.

Shapiro had received $11,500 in campaign contributions in the last decade from Herbert Vederman, the lobbyist and former Philadelphia deputy mayor who was convicted last week on federal racketeering, bribery, and bank fraud charges along with former U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah.

The Republican Attorneys General Association on Tuesday called on Shapiro to return the $5,000 he received from Vederman in March 2015. The Washington-based group called it "shameful" that Shapiro had not done so already…

…Mike Barley, a spokesman for Rafferty's campaign, said Shapiro had been silent as Fattah's legal troubles played out.

"The issue he has is his close relationship with the former congressman," Barley said of Shapiro. "It wasn't that long ago that he was accompanying Congressman Fattah to the president's State of the Union address."

Shapiro in 2013 issued a statement that he was "honored and grateful" for Fattah's invitation.”

Read the full story at philly.com.

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RAGA Chairman Bill Schuette's Statement on the SCOTUS Ruling on Immigration Law

RAGA Chairman and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette released the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court's immigration ruling:

"Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States is a tremendous victory for the rule of law and again demonstrates the critical role attorneys general play in fighting federal government overreach. President Obama's unilateral executive order was an unconstitutional end-run around Congress. I applaud Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and all my colleagues who participated in this important action to uphold the Constitution.”

About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

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RAGA Reserves Media Buy in North Carolina Attorney General Race

The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) announced it has placed reserves for the final five weeks leading up to the fall election across North Carolina in broadcast and cable advertising to support the Republican Attorney General nominee, State Senator Buck Newton. The $3.8 million reserve is the largest RAGA has made to date. 

“RAGA is on the offense in 2016, and we are committed to expanding our already strong majority of Republican attorneys general, with North Carolina being a prime pick-up opportunity,” said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. “RAGA is investing heavily in this race because North Carolina voters want leaders like Republican State Senator Buck Newton, who will stand up to the Obama-Clinton machine and rein in the federal government. Meanwhile, liberal Democrat Josh Stein has made a career in the state legislature raising taxes that hurt families, stifle economic growth and obstruct job creation. North Carolinians have rejected the tax-and-spend approach to government, and will have a clear choice between Buck Newton and Josh Stein in this year’s election for attorney general.”

About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

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RAGA Releases First TV Ad in the West Virginia Attorney General’s Race: “Fighter”

The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) today launched its first television advertisement in the West Virginia attorney general’s race, highlighting Republican Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and his fight against the EPA and work to protect West Virginia jobs.

View the ad here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMt58GBMBcs

“It is abundantly clear that the Obama-Clinton machine will do everything in its power to destroy the coal industry at the cost of cutting jobs across the state,” said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. “West Virginians can count on Attorney General Patrick Morrisey to fight federal government overreach which threatens West Virginia jobs and families. Patrick Morrisey will continue to protect and defend West Virginians when the federal government attempts to encroach on their rights and liberties.”

About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

http://www.republicanags.com/

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RAGA’s Statement on Curtis Hill Clinching the Republican Nomination for Attorney General at Today’s Indiana GOP State Convention

Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette released the following statement on Curtis Hill securing the Republican nomination for Indiana Attorney General:

“I want to congratulate Curtis Hill on securing the Republican Party nomination for attorney general during today’s GOP State Convention. Today, Hoosiers gathered in a show of support and excitement to select the person best qualified to serve as the state’s top legal enforcement officer. As the Prosecuting Attorney for Elkhart County, Curtis understands the importance the American justice system has in our society. Since 2002, Curtis has used his office to take a hard line against career and hardened criminals, initiating creative programs in alternative justice and addressing the growing drug problem. Curtis will defend the rule of law, push back against overreaching federal regulations that kill jobs, and serve as a strong partner in the ongoing fight against the Obama-Clinton job-killing initiatives. I can’t think of a better person to succeed our friend and colleague, Attorney General Greg Zoeller, who has served with honor and distinction since 2009. I look forward to joining Curtis on the campaign trail to help him become Indiana’s next attorney general.”

About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

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RAGA Launches West Virginia Spending

The Republican Attorneys General Association today launched a statewide campaign effort through its affiliated West Virginia arm, Mountaineers Are Always Free PAC.

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“This effort, both on radio and through extensive digital advertising, will remind West Virginia voters of the critical work Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is doing on behalf of West Virginia families,” said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. “General Morrisey has led the fight against the Obama Administration’s anti-coal efforts; defended our Second Amendment freedoms against liberal extremists; and is working to stop the opioid epidemic affecting West Virginia families.”

“RAGA is committed to making sure that West Virginians know their Attorney General is standing up for West Virginia jobs and families every day in the face of the Obama-Clinton machine,” Will continued. “West Virginians can count on Patrick Morrisey to fight back against Obama, Clinton, and their extreme liberal agenda that is devastating the Mountain State.”

The radio and digital advertising campaign announced today is RAGA’s first major investment of the 2016 campaign cycle in any state in the country.

About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

http://www.republicanags.com/

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RAGA Chairman Bill Schuette's Statement on Presidential Directive

Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette released the following statement:

"In recent months, President Obama and various officials have attempted to stretch the Constitution, ignore the doctrine of separation of powers and the meaning and precise language of several federal statutes," stated RAGA Chairman and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette. 

"Whether the issue is immigration policy, EPA overreach, the specific language governing the application of Title IX or free speech rights and scientific debate on environmental policy, Republican Attorneys General will work with Governors and responsible elected officials to enforce the law and defend the Constitution."

About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

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RAGA’s Statement on John Rafferty’s Victory in Tonight’s Republican AG Primary Election

Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette released the following statement on State Senator John Rafferty’s victory intonight’s Republican Party Primary Election for Pennsylvania Attorney General:

“I want to congratulate State Senator John Rafferty on securing the Republican Party nomination in tonight’s Pennsylvania Primary Election for attorney general. As a current state senator serving his fourth term, Senator Rafferty has an extensive background in public service, where he also served as a deputy attorney general. Senator Rafferty has been endorsed by the State Troopers Association and the State Fraternal Order of Police as the strongest candidate who will take drugs off the streets, combat human trafficking and stop scam artists who target Pennsylvania seniors. As the state’s top law enforcement officer, Senator Rafferty will defend the rule of law, push back against overreaching federal regulations that kill jobs, and serve as a strong partner in the ongoing fight against President Obama’s job-killing initiatives. More importantly, Senator Rafferty will restore integrity and honesty back to the state attorney general office. I look forward to joining Senator Rafferty on the campaign trail to help him become Pennsylvania’s next attorney general.”

About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

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W.Va. Attorney General Morrisey leading the charge in lawsuit challenging EPA’s Clean Power Plan

BLUEFIELD — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is taking on one of the largest and most powerful agencies in the country, and he’s winning.

Morrisey is leading the charge in a lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA)  Clean Power Plan, a proposal, he said, that would once again increase emission standards for coal-fired power plants and eventually cost more jobs in West Virginia.

West Virginia, along with  other states and agencies, requested a stay on the plan from the U.S. Supreme Court in January. That stay was granted and the EPA plan is “frozen in place,” he said, until the case goes back to the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. where arguments will be presented June 2 and 3.

Morrisey, who is running for reelection this year, said this is more than an isolated court case challenging an agency. It has ramifications well beyond the Clean Power Plan.

“The EPA has become a command and control agency,” he said. “My job is to challenge it when it crosses the line. This (Clean Power Plan) goes well beyond the EPA’s original mission.”

Read more here.

 

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Rising GOP Star in West Virginia Fight for Coal Against EPA

Patrick Morrisey, the West Virginia attorney general taking on President Obama's clean power plan, is no stranger to the hot seat: He parlayed a love of tennis as a young adult into becoming a line judge at the U.S. Open and other tournaments, regularly standing up to second-guessing by irate players and fans.

Fast forward to 2016. The 48-year-old transplanted New Jersey native is challenging the Obama administration's calls, joined by several mostly Republican states in suing to try to overturn federal greenhouse gas rules. He says taking the heat on the courts taught him to stay cool in court years later.

"You learn how to handle pressure when you have a crowd of people screaming at you for one of your calls," Morrisey told The Associated Press. " ... Of course, I'd not like to repeat being booed out of the stadium. But that could be good practice for politics."

Elected in 2012, West Virginia's first GOP attorney general in eight decades has made fighting "federal overreach" his mantra. He's leading a coalition of attorneys general that won a U.S. Supreme Court stay last month against Obama's clean power plan.

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RAGA’s Statement on Buck Newton’s Victory in Tonight’s Republican AG Primary Election

Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette released the following statement on Buck Newton’s victory in tonight’sRepublican Party Primary Election for North Carolina Attorney General:

“I want to congratulate Buck Newton on securing the Republican Party nomination in tonight’sNorth Carolina Primary Election for attorney general. As a State Senator in leadership who currently serves as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Newton has keen insight on the legal issues the attorney general faces. He will defend the rule of law, push back against overreaching federal regulations that kill jobs, and he will be a strong partner in the ongoing fight against President Obama’s job-killing initiatives. I look forward to joining Buck on the campaign trail to help him become North Carolina’s next attorney general.”

Scott Will, Executive Director for RAGA added “Josh Stein’s voting record in the state senate is as liberal as they come.  There’s never been a tax he didn’t applaud nor a federal program he didn’t promote.  He would continue the do-nothing approach to President Obama’s federal regulations that have stymied economic growth and job creation.”

About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

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4 States Have Competitive Attorney General Races in 2016

In a hotly contested presidential election year, developments in the state attorney general races aren’t attracting much attention. But in four states, the contests are turning out to be competitive and surprisingly tricky to handicap.

In this rundown -- our first since October -- we have categorized three AG contests as tossups and one as lean Republican. Each is an open seat, and all feature wide-open primaries for at least one party, and in most cases both.

The three contests we’re currently rating as tossups are all held by Democrats: Missouri, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

The fourth competitive contest is the GOP-held seat in Indiana. With this handicapping, we’ve changed the rating from tossup to lean Republican, although the race is fluid enough to easily return to the tossup category later in the campaign season.

Beyond these four states, the other races for attorney general have actually become less competitive. We’ve shifted the GOP-held seat in Montana from likely Republican to safe Republican, and we’ve shifted the Democratic-held seat in Washington state from likely Democratic to safe Democratic. The contests in Oregon, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia remain safe for the incumbent party.

Meanwhile, we’ve removed from our list the three AG contests that were settled in November. The results in each state ended up leaving the incumbent party in control.

In Louisiana, the GOP held onto the post even though incumbent Buddy Caldwell lost to his Republican challenger Jeff Landry. Caldwell prevailed in the all-party primary but later lost to Landry by double digits in the all-GOP runoff. In Mississippi, Democrat Jim Hood held off a challenge by Republican Mike Hurst, winning by a double-digit margin. And in a close race in Kentucky, Democrat Andy Beshear won an open-seat race against GOP state Sen. Whitney Westerfield. (Beshear is the son of former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear.)

As usual, we have categorized the races as safe Republican, likely Republican, lean Republican, tossup, lean Democratic, likely Democratic or safe Democratic. In the handicapping below, the seats are rank-ordered from most likely to go Republican to most likely to go Democratic.

Currently, the GOP holds 27 AG offices, with 23 for the Democrats. If the GOP can run the table -- holding the Indiana seat and flipping Missouri, North Carolina and Pennsylvania -- its lead would jump to a dominating 30-20. But in the absence of a national partisan tide, the GOP stands to gain one or two seats. Democrats, by contrast, look likely to have a shot, at best, of making a net gain of one seat.

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RAGA Thanks Patrick Morrisey for Defense of Coal

WASHINGTON, DC (February 17, 2016) - Today the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) launched a statewide digital ad campaign in West Virginia that praises Attorney General Patrick Morrisey for his defense of the coal industry.

“West Virginia’s coal industry has suffered greatly from President Obama’s rampant over-regulation," said RAGA Chairman and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette. "Were it not for Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s efforts to stymie the Clean Power Plan, the President would’ve been successful in inflicting even more damage to the industry that employs tens of thousands of hard working West Virginians. The Republican Attorneys General Association is grateful for General Morrisey efforts and are 100% committed to joining West Virginians in re-electing him to a second term."

About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

http://www.republicanags.com/

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Statement from Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman Bill Schuette Regarding Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s Decision Not To Seek Re-Election

WASHINGTON, DC (February 16, 2016)  - Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) released the following statement from RAGA Chairman and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette concerning Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane's decision to not seek a second term.

"Pennsylvania deserves an attorney general who embodies the highest level of ethics and integrity.  The Republican Attorneys General Association will work tirelessly to help elect an attorney general who will restore trust and win back the confidence of the good people in the Keystone State.”

About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2014 Republican attorneys general became the clear majority, for the first time in our country’s history, increasing the total number of Republican attorneys general from 24 to 27, protecting all our 12 incumbents and turning three states from blue to red, by investing nearly $14 million into political spending.

http://www.republicanags.com/

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Statement from Chairman Schuette on the passing of Justice Scalia

On behalf of the Republican Attorneys General Association, we are saddened by the sudden loss of Justice Antonin Scalia.  Justice Scalia’s passion for the rule of law and defense of our Constitution will have a profound impact on this country for generations to come.  His unmatched vision and intellect will be sorely missed.  Our deepest condolences go out to the Scalia family.

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GOP attorneys general take victory lap on power plan

The Republican attorneys general leading the charge against President Obama’s power plant rules said Wednesday they are encouraged by the Supreme Court’s decision to temporarily halt the rule.

Patrick Morrisey of West Virginia and Ken Paxton of Texas told reporters that the 5-4 stay ruling validated their concerns about the Clean Power Plan and confirmed their argument about executive overreach that makes up the bulk of their lawsuits against the regulation. 

“It’s my hope that the American public will begin to learn just how far reaching Obama’s power plan is. It represents a radical transformation of energy policy and will have a sweeping impact on American life,” Morrisey said.

“It’s not legal under the Clean Air Act, case law precedent, or the Constitution and that’s why we won a stay yesterday from the Supreme Court.”

The Supreme Court announced its stay of the Clean Power Plan on Wednesday night. The order — after an appeals court had denied an earlier stay request — is considered unprecedented, and opponents of the power plan note that it means justices believe those suing over the plan have a strong case against it.

Morrissey and Paxton led 26 states in suing over the rule, saying the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) overstepped its bounds in issuing the regulation. They and others have warned the Clean Power Plan would raise energy rates and hurt jobs in the energy industry.

“The EPA had placed the livelihoods of far too many people on the line when they attempted to impose these rule,” Paxton said. 

A final decision on the legality of the rule isn’t expected until next year. An appeals court will hear oral arguments on the rule this summer and it’s virtually certain to go before the Supreme Court.

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RAGA Statement Regarding the United States Supreme Court’s Stay of the Clean Power Plan

(February 9, 2016) WASHINGTON, DC – Today’s extraordinary action by the United States Supreme Court, staying President Obama’s sweeping and unprecedented “Clean Power Plan,” is a watershed moment in state attorneys general’s fight against the overreaching Obama Administration.  Importantly, it thwarts the Obama Administration’s attempt to implement as much of the Plan as possible before the courts have had the opportunity to determine its legality. According to the Supreme Court’s order, the Plan is put on hold until it is reviewed by both the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.

“It is no small matter when more than half the states come to together to challenge the federal government,” said RAGA chairman and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, “and we are proud that Republican attorneys general have once again led the charge against this Administration's unconstitutional overreach, just as they did in stopping the Administration’s unlawful Waters of the United States Rule and illegal immigration executive actions.”

“We are convinced that the Supreme Court will agree with the States that the Clean Power Plan far exceeds the President’s power to control the energy industry and command the economy through environmental regulation,” stated Oklahoma Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt. “Today’s order is confirmation that the Supreme Court believes there is a strong likelihood that the States will ultimately prevail in their challenge to the Administration’s actions. Just as important, the stay prevents the EPA from doing what it has repeatedly done in the past: forcing States and businesses to comply with their regulations while they are being challenged in court, only to have the courts determine that the regulations were illegal after the damage from executive overreach has already been wrought.”

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who has led the litigation effort, said: “This is a great victory for West Virginia, the country, and the rule of law.  We are grateful that the Supreme Court realized that the devastating impact this clearly illegal rule is having on States and our citizens, and put a stop to the rule while it is being challenged in court.  Those who have been harmed by this rule should take hope from this win.  Together with our sister States, we will keep fighting this rule and are confident the courts will ultimately strike it down.”

 

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Attorney general begins marking territory

Anyone who has followed Attorney General Jeff Landry's political career shouldn't be surprised that he's using the Louisiana Constitution as a shield and sword to cut a new path for his office. As a congressman, he once joined 70 other lawmakers in using a provision from the U.S. Constitution to block the House and Senate from recessing. And as a candidate for attorney general in the 2015 election cycle, he repeatedly described himself as a “ferocious advocate” for the state's and nation's guiding charters.

The talk in legal circles last week was that Landry, by cracking open the Louisiana Constitution, was more laying down markers than agreeing to a compromise when his office took over anti-abortion litigation. The Department of Health and Hospitals had awarded the cases, during the last administration, to outside counsel through private contracts. But now Landry's office has ownership, and they could be the tip of an interesting political spear.

In a separate press release, Gov. John Bel Edwards said his administration agreed to let the AG's office assume active management of the cases. Those involved say there was no push or shove, describing it as “very friendly” and “not contentious.”

While some state departments and agencies have the authority through statute to take on and sometimes contract out certain legal actions without the AG's involvement, Landry is relying upon his interpretation of the Louisiana Constitution and he has so far cited Article 4, Section 8 twice in press releases. The section gives his office the authority to institute, prosecute or intervene in any civil or criminal action or proceeding.

 Read more here.

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State AGs bullish about challenge to 'unlawful' Obama climate rule

The state attorneys general leading the court fight against President Obama’s landmark climate change rule say they are optimistic that their unusual legal strategy will work.

While admitting that asking the Supreme Court to block the rule before a lower court decision is a gamble, the officials for West Virginia and Texas say their argument is sound.

 

“We acknowledge that an application for a stay at this stage isn’t typical,” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) told reporters Wednesday.

“But what the EPA has done here is literally unprecedented, and they’re acting in a manner that’s clearly in violation of the rule of law, and recent Supreme Court cases,” he said.

Morrisey and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R), along with representatives of 24 other states, asked the Supreme Court last week to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from enforcing the power plant rule while it is being litigated in federal court.

The states took the unusual step after the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which is considering the merits of their lawsuit, declined earlier in January to issue a judicial stay.

The attorneys general argue that their states will experience irreparable harm during the litigation and that only a stay would prevent that.

Morrisey cited last year’s Supreme Court ruling in against the EPA’s mercury rule for power plants as an example of when a ruling comes too late, since most power plants had already complied with the standard.

Read more here.

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How West Virginia Is Leading the Charge Against Obama’s Environmental ‘Power Grab’

The Mountain State has its back against the wall, and time is running out. Leading a coalition of more than two dozen coal states, West Virginia is asking the Supreme Court for an emergency stay of President Obama’s new regulations governing the coal industry.

West Virginia and 26 other states argue that the Environmental Protection Agency overstepped its authority by circumventing Congress to unilaterally implement the package of rules.

The EPA calls it the Clean Power Plan. The states call the move an unconstitutional power grab and complain that it will bankrupt their local coal industries.

But while they’re confident the law is on their side, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says time is not. That’s why the states have asked the Supreme Court for an emergency stay to temporarily freeze the Clean Power Plan as the case moves through the legal system.

Read more here.

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Doug Robinson: Sean Reyes — Out of the ’hood, into the AG's office

SALT LAKE CITY — As many in political circles know, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes debuted his talents a year ago when the Republican National Committee named him one of the party’s four rising stars. He flew to San Diego to accept the award and was the first in line among the honorees to be interviewed by national political reporter Mark Halperin. That was a mistake. Reyes was such a tough act to follow, that no one followed.

Attempting to refute the boring reputation of Republicans, Halperin asked Reyes, a man who grew up in the ’hood, if he could rap. Reyes took it from there.We’re the partners of rhyme, the legion of doom / when we’re on stage, sucka, emcees make room for us … cause they know we’re the best, I’m the Pineapple Crush, she’s the emcee Kid Fresh / So when we’re on the mike, we never lose a fight / in the light of day or the still of night. …” Egged on, he followed that with a Maori war dance and an Elvis impression in which he sang “Love Me Tender.”

Halperin didn’t bother with the other three interviews, and Reyes’ performance became an Internet hit.

At 44, Reyes lacks the guardedness and cynicism that might infect most men who have spent two decades witnessing the worst in human behavior. There are days when he leaves the office with tears in his eyes because of the “destruction, carnage and dysfunction” he sees, but he’s just optimistic enough to believe his work is making a difference.

 Read more here.

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RAGA Statement Regarding President Obama's Announcement on Gun Control

(January 5, 2016) WASHINGTON, DC – Today the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman Bill Schuette (MI) released the following statement in response to President Obama's announcement to use executive action to implement restrictions to the 2nd Amendment:

"As the chief law enforcement officers of our respective states, attorneys general are deeply concerned about public safety and the impact of gun violence on our neighborhoods.

With today’s announcement, however, the President is ignoring the separation of powers grounded in our Constitution by bypassing the legislative process. The people's representatives in Congress rejected these proposals, yet the President is doing what he has done time and time again, which is to ignore the will of the American people and rule by executive fiat.

As Attorneys General, we believe in the rule of law, and we believe the people deserve a President who respects the Constitution, rather than end runs it."

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Georgia's Advocate

He’s a lot more, but Sam Olens is basically a good guy. Georgia’s Republican attorney general, in the middle of his second term, is a plays-well-with-others, roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-to-work consensus-builder, a lawyer’s lawyer who is quick to share credit and gives every sign of loving what he does.

“What greater honor can there be for an attorney than to represent the state?” Olens asks.

He and his staff have worked with the governor – no open hostilities between the two offices as in some other states – and the General Assembly to toughen penalties for sex traffickers and strengthen sunshine laws; they are immersed in a program to alert citizens – young ones in particular – to the dangers of prescription drug abuse. They are also recovering funds paid for fraudulent Medicaid claims and gearing up to attack identity theft and shore up cyber security.

For his work leading Georgia’s Department of Law and his focus on matters that affect the well-being of Georgia citizens, Attorney General Sam Olens is Georgia Trend’s 2016 Georgian of the Year.

Prior to his first statewide race in 2010, there was speculation that Olens, a former chairman of the Cobb County Commission and the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), might run for governor in what was a pretty crowded field. Instead, he opted for attorney general.

“I was at the point as Cobb County Commission chairman where I loved the job and loved the people,” Olens says, “but I frankly missed not being more involved with the law.” It was also, he says, a rare opportunity, the first time in nearly 50 years there was an open seat for attorney general – no strong incumbent – something that had not happened since the time of Arthur Bolton, who served from 1965 until 1981 when he retired. (Mike Bowers, appointed by Gov. George Busbee to replace Bolton, resigned in 1997 to run for governor; Gov. Zell Miller then appointed Thurbert Baker, who resigned in January 2011 to make his own unsuccessful gubernatorial run.)

Read more here

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E.P.A. Broke Law With Social Media Push for Water Rule, Auditor Finds

WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency engaged in “covert propaganda” and violated federal law when it blitzed social media to urge the public to back an Obama administration rule intended to better protect the nation’s streams and surface waters, congressional auditors have concluded.

The ruling by the Government Accountability Office, which opened its investigation after a report on the agency’s practices in The New York Times, drew a bright line for federal agencies experimenting with social media about the perils of going too far to push a cause. Federal laws prohibit agencies from engaging in lobbying and propaganda.

“I can guarantee you that general counsels across the federal government are reading this report,” said Michael Eric Hertz, a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York who has written on social media and the government.

An E.P.A. official on Tuesday disputed the finding. “We use social media tools just like all organizations to stay connected and inform people across the country about our activities,” Liz Purchia, an agency spokeswoman, said in a statement. “At no point did the E.P.A. encourage the public to contact Congress or any state legislature.”

Read more here.

 

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Frontier, West Virginia attorney general agree on $160m settlement to resolve speed complaints

CHARLESTON, West Virginia — Frontier Communications has agreed to spend an additional $150 million over three years to improve Internet speeds for about 28,000 rural customers in West Virginia, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said Thursday.

The capital investment is part of a $160 million settlement that resolves customers' complaints about the company's high-speed Internet service. Customers had complained to the attorney general's Consumer Protection Division that they expected Internet speeds of up to 6 megabytes per second but frequently received speeds of 1.5 megabytes per second or lower, Morrisey said in a news release.

As part of the settlement, Frontier will temporarily reduce eligible customers' monthly rates to $9.99 until their download speeds increase, which will save them $10 to $20 a month. Customers automatically will receive a credit on their bills beginning Jan. 25.

Frontier, which denied any wrongdoing, estimated the rate cut will cost it about $1.5 million quarterly.

The company also agreed to contribute $500,000 to West Virginia's Consumer Protection Fund.

"We have always provided our customers with honest information about the service they receive from us. By our voluntary assurance with the attorney general in response to his concerns, we have made a binding legal commitment to continue our strong investment in West Virginia and we have effectively created an additional price tier for certain Frontier Internet Max customers," Mike Flynn, Frontier's area president, said Thursday in a news release.

Frontier spokesman Andy Malinoski said the company had planned to address the speed issues and that the settlement will accelerate the improvements.

"This is a significant hunk of infrastructure that will get upgraded thanks to the attorney general's effort," Malinoski told The Associated Press.

Morrisey called the settlement a "game changer for the Mountain State."

Read more here.

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Statement on Jeff Landry’s Election as Attorney General of Louisiana

Michigan Attorney General and Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman Bill Schuette issued the following statement on Jeff Landry’s election victory in tonight’s General Election for Louisiana Attorney General:

“Congratulations to Jeff Landry on being elected Louisiana’s 45th Attorney General.  I am excited to have Jeff join us as one of 27 Republican Attorneys General committed to protecting the constitution and fighting against an overreaching federal government. I have all the confidence that Jeff will be a great Attorney General for the people of Louisiana.'

'I also want to thank Buddy Caldwell for his eight years of service as Louisiana's chief legal officer. It was an honor to serve alongside him."

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Schuette Named Chairman Of The Republican Attorneys General Association

Michigan Attorney General will lead RAGA's mission to elect Republican AGs and provide a unified voice against federal government overreach

PHOENIX, AZ -- The Republican Attorneys General Association today announced that Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has officially assumed the chairmanship of the organization at its annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona. 

Schuette will lead the 27-member strong group through the 2016 elections. 

"It is my honor to serve as chair during this critical time in which federal government overreach is hurting job creation and economic growth in our states and our country as a whole," said Schuette.  "I look forward to working with the other 26 Republican Attorneys General in the fight to protect free enterprise, liberty and our constitution."

As chair of RAGA, Schuette will lead election efforts in the 2016 cycle. 

Schuette also praised the 2015 RAGA chair, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.  "General Bondi set a high standard of leadership as RAGA chair and I am honored to receive the baton and continue moving RAGA forward." 

Schuette will serve as chair until November 2016.  Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange will serve as RAGA's 2017 chair. 

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Democrats on Defense in 2015-2016 Attorneys General Races

Observers often ignore attorneys general (AG) contests, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be good races. At this point, it appears that almost half of the AG elections in the 2015-2016 cycle could be exciting.

While slightly more than half of the AG contests in 2015 and 2016 look solid for the incumbent party -- four of them currently held by Republicans and three by Democrats -- the other six are tossups. They include a Republican-held open seat in Indiana, along with Democratic-held open seats in Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, and an embattled Democratic-held incumbent seat in Mississippi.

Democrats can take some comfort in the likelihood of a favorable turnout in 2016, but on the downside, the AG elections next year are in a tough mix of states, including the red-leaning battlegrounds of Missouri and North Carolina. In addition, each of the three contests taking place in 2015 are in difficult terrain for the Democrats -- Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi.

The Democrats have eight seats to defend during this cycle, five of which are tossups. By contrast, the GOP is defending just five seats, with just one tossup. Currently, the GOP holds 27 AG offices, with 23 for the Democrats. Republican wins in the Kentucky and Mississippi AG races in 2015 could boost the GOP lead to 29-21, with the possibility of three more gains in 2016, pushing the Republican edge to 32-18. Because the GOP has only one AG seat in significant jeopardy this cycle, the Democrats would be fortunate to keep what they have now.

Overall, there are 13 races in 2015-16 (the 2015 races are in italics). They are categorized as being either safe Republican, likely Republican, tossup, likely Democratic or safe Democratic. In the handicapping below, the seats are rank-ordered from most likely to go Republican to most likely to go Democratic.

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Governors, Attorneys General at Odds Over Obama Policies

Colorado’s Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper wants to help implement the Obama administration’s new environmental rules, but he has been relegated to a spectator role as his state’s attorney general joins three lawsuits to invalidate them.

In North Carolina, Republican Gov. Pat McCrory wants his state in court fighting White House environmental and immigration initiatives he views as federal overreach, but is working around the state’s top lawyer—a likely candidate for governor himself—who has criticized that approach.

Such disagreements highlight a different kind of divided government in about a dozen states where governors and attorneys general come from opposing parties. That can leave these states speaking with conflicting voices on crucial cases that are testing President Barack Obama’s top policy priorities.

“As the parties have become more polarized, there are more opportunities to back or oppose the president,” said William & Mary law professor Neal Devins. “So many AGs are seeking higher office that there’s a lot of political strategy in the decision on whether to participate in a case.”

Multistate litigation has become a hallmark of recent challenges to the White House as Mr. Obama seeks to cement his legacy through executive orders and agency actions. More than two dozen states are challenging the administration’s plan to defer deporting millions of illegal immigrants. Dueling groups of states have clashed in cases challenging the president’s signature health-care law.

Twenty or more states could end up in a coalition challenging Environmental Protection Agency rules that would require power plants to cut greenhouse emissions, while a different batch of states is preparing to intervene in defense of the EPA.

A state’s legal stance in these cases often, though not always, depends on which party won the last election. But the situation gets murkier when a state’s chief executive and its top legal officer see the world differently.

That risks sending mixed messages to courts, residents and other states, especially when one part of the state government is preparing to adopt rules while another part is trying to kill them.

Colorado’s wide-ranging litigation efforts, for example, have been spearheaded by GOP Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, who was part of a state coalition that won a ruling last week blocking Interior Department rules for hydraulic fracturing on public lands. She also had Colorado join a group of 13 states that won an August ruling blocking an EPA plan putting more small bodies of water and wetlands under federal protection. And Ms. Coffman recently said she would have Colorado join the suit against the EPA greenhouse-gas rule, expected to be filed as soon as this month.

Read more here.

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RAGA Announces New Senior Staff Hire

The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) announces the addition of Samantha Dravis to its senior staff, where she will serve as Policy Director and General Counsel. Dravis will also serve as President of the Rule of Law Defense Fund (RLDF), a 501(c)(4) policy organization affiliated with RAGA.

"We are thrilled to welcome a talent like Samantha to our team," stated RAGA Chairman and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. "Samantha's extensive experience and strong record of success working on behalf of Republicans in political and policy roles will make an immediate impact on RAGA and the Rule of Law Defense Fund, and we are confident she will be a great asset to our organization."  

Before joining RAGA, Dravis served as legal counsel at Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, where she was responsible for FEC and IRS compliance and handled a range of legal issues. She was previously an associate at the law firm Taft, Stettinius & Hollister, and, in 2012, worked as elections day operations director in Michigan for the Romney for President campaign. Prior to attending law school, Dravis was associate director for political affairs at the White House during the  administration of President George W. Bush, and served as a Legislative Assistant in the office of Congressman Dan Lungren of California. Dravis is an honors graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School, where she served as Executive Solicitation Editor of the Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics, and Public Policy, and the University of Kansas, where she studied political science. 

 

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Statement from Chairman Pam Bondi, Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) on Federal District Court Issuing Preliminary Injunction in WOTUS Case

Today the U.S. District Court in North Dakota placed EPA’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule on hold.  In granting the preliminary injunction, the District Court found that the 13 party States were likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that EPA’s rule is unlawful.

“I am thrilled that Chief Judge Erickson agrees EPA’s WOTUS rule should be enjoined,” said RAGA Chairman and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.  “EPA overstepped its authority, again.  The EPA should not be permitted to intrude unlawfully on state authority and burden farmers, businesses and landowners."  

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Statement from Chairman Pam Bondi, Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) on Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s Decision to Run for Congress

Florida Attorney General and RAGA Chairman Pam Bondi released the following statement on Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s decision to run in Indiana’s 9th Congressional District in the 2016 General Election:

“Attorney General Zoeller has been a great colleague of mine and a strong advocate for the Republican attorneys general since first being elected in 2008. During his two terms in office, Attorney General Zoeller has made consumer protection and public health and safety a priority. His expansion of the Do Not Call law and his fight to provide a way for parents to protect their children from identity theft has enhanced the privacy and security for countless Hoosiers. Attorney General Zoeller has been a strong defender of states’ rights and would be a real leader in the fight against an overreaching federal government as a member of Congress. I wish Attorney General Zoeller the best of luck in his race in Indiana’s 9th Congressional District and look forward to devoting my time and efforts to help elect another strong defender of the rule of law to serve as Indiana’s 43rd Attorney General in 2016.”

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When EPA worries about regulating puddles, it has gone too far

The latest example of Obama Administration overreach is here. A new regulation issued by the Environmental Protection Agency would greatly expand federal authority over Alabama waters. The administration is selling the rule as protecting drinking water, but make no mistake — this is about power and control.

Just how bad is the new rule? It is so broad and so expansive that the EPA was forced to specifically exclude puddles from the regulation's reach. While I'm grateful that the federal government won't be inspecting Alabamians' front yards every time it rains, the fact that such an exemption was needed speaks to just how dangerous — and costly — this regulation will be if it is allowed to stand.

The rule expands EPA's authority far beyond what was intended by the Clean Water Act — protecting America's lakes and rivers from pollution — arguably to every stream, ditch, and pond within our state, even those that only occasionally hold water. And it's entirely unclear how this expansion of federal power comports with one of the main goals of the Clean Water Act — facilitating cooperation between the states and the federal government.

Every day, the hard-working men and women of Alabama's Department of Environmental Management are on the ground, protecting Alabama's rivers and lakes in a way that is beneficial to all. EPA should support them in that work, not make it more difficult.

Not surprisingly, EPA's rule has faced intense criticism since a preliminary version was first unveiled in April 2014. But rather than respond to these complaints, the EPA has launched an unprecedented public relations campaign, flooding social media in an attempt to drown out complaints about a rule that cannot be defended on the merits.

But clever tweets and Facebook posts can't hide the truth — this new rule is bad for Alabama. It is rife with ambiguities and loose language, opening the door for EPA to regulate in unpredictable and ever-expanding ways.

Alabama's farmers will be among the hardest hit. Every time they plant a crop, apply fertilizer, or move cattle across a stream, they may be subject to new permitting requirements. EPA assures us that they will refrain from applying the rule so broadly, but Alabama's farmers deserve better than empty promises from the federal government. They deserve a rule that clearly defines their rights and responsibilities and that properly limits EPA's power.

Our farmers feed the world. They are up before dawn and work till well after sunset. They face any number of challenges they can't control, from too much rain to not enough, from disease to insect infestations. My office is fighting to ensure that they don't have to add EPA permitting requirements to that list.

Read more here

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RNC: 5 reasons Pam Bondi is a GOP Woman to Watch

She’s A Trailblazer

Pam Bondi, a Florida native who grew up in Temple Terrace, ran a successful campaign in 2010 and became the first female attorney general in Florida’s history.

She’s a Legal Leader

An admired prosecutor with 18 years of trial experience, Bondi’s career leading up to her position as attorney general was filled with a wide array of challenging cases—from homicides, to domestic violence, to gang activity—that demonstrates an unwavering commitment to public service and combating injustice.

Read the Rest...

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Statement from Chairman Pam Bondi, Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) on U.S. Supreme Court Obamacare Ruling

Florida Attorney General and RAGA Chairman Pam Bondi released the following statement regarding the United States Supreme Court ruling today in King v Burwell:

"While I believe every citizen should have access to quality health care, today's decision in King v Burwell unfortunately chooses Obama's  government-run health care over free market patient-based solutions that are the most efficient and cost effective insurance for the millions in need."

The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. 

 

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Guest column: Shattering records, saving lives together by Attorney General Brad Schimel

We work best when we work together. I am excited to share with you the results of Department of Justice Drug Take Back Day which far surpassed previous drug collection efforts in the state. It was the partnership among Wisconsin law enforcement, the Department of Justice and you, the community, that made that possible.

For the past four years, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had coordinated Drug Take Back days on which unused prescription drugs were collected and safely and responsibly incinerated.

Prescription medications flushed down the drain and put into landfills contaminate our water supply, and unused medications left in medicine cabinets, particularly prescription opiates, are being stolen and sold on the street.

Prescription opiate overdoses have skyrocketed over the past decade.

Furthermore, they are the gateway drug to heroin, which is devastating families across our state.

Battling the opiate epidemic is my number one priority as attorney general.

Read more here

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West Virginia Record (WV)—Patrick Morrisey: Continuing the fight against the EPA

CHARLESTON – As West Virginia’s Attorney General, it’s my duty to stand up for the legal rights of our state and its people.

That’s why when President Barack Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency launched an aggressive assault last June to impose onerous federal regulations requiring states to reduce carbon dioxide emission by a staggering 30 percent in 15 years, which would do significant harm to our economy, my office launched an equally aggressive assault to block them.

We have helped to develop a coalition of 15 states to fight this unlawful power grab by anti-coal Washington bureaucrats.

Earlier this week, a three-judge panel decided that because the administration has yet to formally finalize the rule, it was too early to decide the case on its merits. While we were disappointed in this outcome, we believe this early effort exposed the weaknesses of the EPA’s arguments, which will help us later on as we press this case.

Once the rule is finalized, which is expected to occur later this summer, we can continue our fight – and it’s important we do.

Read more here

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Statement from Chairman Pam Bondi, Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) on West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s Decision to Seek Re-election in 2016

Florida Attorney General and RAGA Chairman Pam Bondi released the following statement on West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s decision to seek another term as attorney general in 2016:

“I am thrilled that my friend and colleague, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, has decided to seek re-election in 2016. Since taking office in 2013, Attorney General Morrisey has become a national leader on fighting back against the EPA’s job-killing regulations.  His efforts, along with his colleagues in the Republican Attorneys General Association, are vitally important to job growth and economic prosperity, not just in West Virginia but throughout the country.   I am proud to support Attorney General Morrisey in his bid for re-election in 2016.”

 

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Attorney General Adam Laxalt: Executive orders can't trump the Constitution

A June 1 opinion piece on RGJ.com claims that by joining a majority of the states in seeking to uphold the balance of power in the federal government, I sent a message that I somehow favored separating immigrant families in Nevada. This assertion could not be further from the truth, and confuses the real issue – namely, the president's executive order on immigration was unlawful.

My choice to join this lawsuit against the president's unauthorized unilateral action on immigration was rooted in my belief in the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law. This lawsuit meant to send one, and only one, message: Nevada will go to great lengths to support our constitutional system and protect the rule of law. As a former military officer and as Nevada's attorney general, I swore an oath to uphold and defend our Constitution. The test of that oath is standing by the Constitution whether it's popular or not.

I too am a descendant of immigrants, and the third generation of Nevadans in my family to be born at Saint Mary's Hospital in Reno. My family was drawn to this state because it represents the American dream – where the son of an immigrant sheepherder grew up to be Nevada's governor and a U.S. senator, as well as the "first friend" of President Ronald Reagan. Indeed, I believe the great strength of our country stems from being a nation of immigrants and our commitment to the pillars of the Constitution will continue to draw immigrants to our borders for generations to come. The rule of law is what has always made our nation great.

To ensure that immigrant families are not unnecessarily separated, our nation needs real and lasting immigration reform. But that reform must come from the U.S. Congress, the branch of government that the Constitution grants power to enact laws. Anything less is a false hope. If a president can simply rewrite our immigration laws at will, then what confidence can immigrants have that this president's immigration law will last into the next administration? Our constitutional order was designed to prevent this sort of shortsightedness and political gamesmanship.

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Statement from RAGA Chairman Pam Bondi

On behalf of the Republican Attorneys General, we are heartbroken by the loss of our good friend and colleague, Beau Biden. Beau's courage, humility and service to our country will always be remembered. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Hallie, their two young children and the entire Biden family during this difficult time. 

-Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chairman, RAGA

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Attorney General Adam Laxalt: Limiting executive power upholds rule of law

In his May 20 column, the Review-Journal’s John L. Smith accused me of being on the wrong side of history. Earlier this year, with a majority of the states, I joined Nevada to a federal lawsuit to uphold the separation of powers under our Constitution. Mr. Smith believes that President Barack Obama’s unilateral executive actions on immigration reach the right policy outcome. He then argues that the lawsuit to stop those executive actions must be political in nature.

As I said at the time we joined the lawsuit, before the U.S. Congress, in an op-ed for the Review-Journal and once again now, the lawsuit is not about taking a political or even a policy position on immigration. As citizens of Nevada and of the United States, we cannot and we must not circumvent the Constitution every time we see an important policy objective we wish to achieve — that goes for Republicans, Democrats and everyone else. The structure of our Constitution must transcend politics. The Founding Fathers understood that separating legislative power from executive power protects our liberty. That insight is just as true in 2015 as it was in 1789.

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Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi Expands Her Role on the National Political Stage

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi expanded her national profile this week, agreeing to serve on the board of a national political organization and getting involved in an attorney general race in another state.

On Tuesday, Bondi announced that she had joined the national board of Maggie’s List, a PAC focused on electing female candidates to federal office who are fiscal conservatives and supporters of strong defense policies.

“We are thrilled to have Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi join the Maggie’s List national board,” Mortham said on Tuesday. “General Bondi’s proven track record for standing up for conservative principles and her commitment to service women through her work on some of the toughest issues of our times make  her an outstanding person to help address representation of women.

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Attorney General Alan Wilson: The Meaning of Memorial Day

This Memorial Day, it is important for every one of us to honor, respect and cherish the meaning of the holiday while we also enjoy the unofficial start of summer.

Memorial Day traces its origins to the earlier Decoration Day, when flowers were placed to decorate Civil War soldiers’ graves. Congress designated it a national holiday in 1971. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan spoke on Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery, where my biological father is buried, and stated that, “In America's cities and towns today, flags will be placed on graves in cemeteries; public officials will speak of the sacrifice and the valor of those whose memory we honor.”

 

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Statement from Chairman Pam Bondi, Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) on Whitney Westerfield winning the Kentucky Republican Attorney General Primary Election

Florida Attorney General and RAGA Chairman Pam Bondi released the following statement on Whitney Westerfield’s victory in tonight’s Republican Party Primary Election for Kentucky Attorney General:

“I want to congratulate Whitney Westerfield on securing the Republican Party nomination in tonight’s Kentucky Primary Election for attorney general. I look forward to joining Whitney on the campaign trail to help him become the next attorney general. Whitney has the right experience to serve as the state’s top law enforcement officer. He will defend the rule of law, push back against overreaching federal regulations that kill jobs, and he will be a strong partner in the ongoing fight against Obama initiatives, such as the President’s executive order on immigration, which is a blatant abuse of power and undermines the U.S. Constitution. I have all the confidence that Whitney will make an extraordinary attorney general.”

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Attorney General Tim Fox: Legislators worked together for public safety, privacy

While news coverage of the 2015 legislative session focused on high-profile and often contentious issues, legislators in both parties worked together diligently to pass bills I brought forward to improve public safety, protect privacy and strengthen consumer-protection laws.

Leading up to session, the Montana Department of Justice crafted an ambitious and important legislative agenda aimed at addressing real needs. To pass these bills, we enlisted the help of a diverse group of legislators, including Republican and Democratic men and women from all over the state.

Building on our landmark DUI reforms from the 2013 session, Rep. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell, sponsored our bill doubling the minimum fines for DUI offenses and requiring people to pay an administrative fee when they refuse to provide a breath sample. These changes, along with our efforts to expand the 24/7 Sobriety Program around the state, are important in my goal to reduce the number of repeat DUI offenders.

Rep. Kim Dudik, D-Missoula, carried our bill taking a comprehensive approach to addressing human trafficking. It helps ensure that human traffickers are brought to justice, but it also will help foster a victim-centered approach to those impacted by what truly is modern-day slavery.

Working with Rep. Stephanie Hess, R-Havre, we asked the Legislature for authorization to create a permanent sexual assault prosecution unit within the Montana Department of Justice. This will help us dedicate resources to train prosecutors and law enforcement throughout the state to better deal with sex crimes that affect so many Montanans. Much more needs to be done on this issue, and I look forward to working with prosecutors, law enforcement, victim advocates and legislators to achieve real results.

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Sean Reyes: 'One with Courage' initiative protects Utah children, families from abuse

We often limit the meaning of the word "courage" to the bravery of those on our front lines. Our soldiers, police officers, firefighters and other agents are certainly courageous as they stand up and fight to keep us safe from harm.

But in today’s world, we must expand our definition of "courage" to include the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger and fear. It is critical to consider those who push stigma and discomfort aside to talk about tough issues that are often left in the shadows. Courageous people make it possible for the most vulnerable among us to find protection from harm.

Child sexual abuse is a crime of silence that thrives because not only the perpetrators, but often the victims, do not share their dark secrets. Sadly, many of these situations are based on trusted relationships, and the threat of exposure ignites instinctive reflexes to preserve familiar surroundings, even when they are damaging and destructive.

The Attorney General’s Office houses and administers the Utah Children’s Justice Center (CJC) Program, dedicated to helping local communities respond to allegations of child abuse in ways that are effective and efficient and that minimize trauma for the child. Each of the 22 centers in Utah is a child-focused, facility-based program in which representatives from law enforcement, child protection, prosecution, mental health, medical services and victim advocacy work together to conduct interviews and make team decisions about investigation, prosecution and treatment of child abuse cases. In an average year, Utah’s CJCs conduct 4,500 interviews, handle 5,500 cases and serve as many as 15,000 people.

Keeping families safe is a top priority in our office. In addition to our statewide CJCs, there are 36 Child Protection Division assistant attorneys general and the necessary staff to ensure safe living environments for children in every county throughout Utah. We work in tandem with our partners at DCFS and many of our attorneys work cases at all hours of the day and night to seek judicial protection for children who are in imminent danger of abuse or neglect, while also respecting parental and family rights.

Our office also administers the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), a statewide multi-jurisdictional task force that investigates and prosecutes people who use the Internet to exploit children. ICAC includes 32 affiliate law enforcement agencies, 80 officers and three full-time prosecutors. In addition, our SECURE Strike Force investigates and prosecutes human trafficking threats that often include children.

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Strange: Solve AL’s budget crisis with conservative principles, not tax hikes or gambling

A budget is about more than dollars and cents. It’s about setting priorities and cutting waste while supporting the programs that matter the most. And that’s why the latest budget proposals we’ve seen coming out of Montgomery are so very troubling.

In this day and age, government does many things, but its primary job hasn’t changed—keeping the people safe and secure so they can live their lives as they see fit. But the men and women who are charged with carrying out that duty—the first responders, the police, the prosecutors and courts—are now being asked to carry another burden. They are facing the brunt of the cuts meant to close the current budget gap.

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West Virginia Record (WV) – Attorney General Patrick Morrisey: Obama’s illegal coal regulations must be stopped

Since announcing the proposed regulation, the Administration’s EPA has employed unprecedented, threatening tactics designed to bully states into compliance, irrespective of the feasibility or legality of its proposal. States that don’t comply face the potential of losing regulatory control on energy matters to the federal government.

On April 16, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard arguments on two separate but related lawsuits filed by numerous states and energy companies in the wake of last June’s proposed rule. The lawsuits contend that the rule and EPA’s compliance threats are illegal.

This case is vitally important to the nation. If the EPA’s proposed rule is permitted to go forward, it will cause great harm to the states and their citizens. The agency’s threats to finalize the plan this summer already have had a dampening effect on states, the energy industry, and its employees.

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Attorney General Alan Wilson: Don’t drink and drive; call Uber or a cab

In the United States, nearly 88,000 people die each year from alcohol-related cases. It’s the third leading preventable cause of death in the nation. While alcohol is legal for adults 21 and older, it can be deadly if used irresponsibly, regardless of age.

It’s important for individuals of all ages to learn the importance of alcohol responsibility. As a parent, I understand that it will be my duty to talk with my children at the appropriate age so that when presented with the opportunity to consume alcohol, they are prepared with all of the facts. It’s never too soon to begin the conversation, as there are age-appropriate ways to explain alcohol to children.

As a society, we have come a long way when it comes to alcohol responsibility. Over the last two decades, drunk driving fatalities have declined 36 percent nationwide. In South Carolina, we passed legislation known as Emma’s Law in 2014 which greatly strengthened our DUI laws and helps fight against repeat offenders with the required use of Ignition Interlock Devices (IID).

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), underage drinking kills approximately 5,000 people each year. That’s more than all illegal drugs combined. Teenagers often think they know everything, but as parents, we understand that there is a lot they don’t understand.

Underage drinking can lead to other negative behaviors, such as unwanted or unintended sexual activity, drug use, tobacco use or even academic problems.

At the same time, our children should understand that if they choose to drink, they should never drive while intoxicated, or allow a friend to. Of the approximately 5,000 young adults who die as a result of underage drinking, 38 percent of those deaths involved motor vehicle crashes.

It’s important to remind children that if they do consumer alcohol, they should never get behind the wheel of a car.

It isn’t just our children who need to be reminded of alcohol responsibility. Adults can be just as irresponsible when it comes to alcohol.

When I first met the Longstreet family, I was forever impacted by their story of losing their then six-year-old daughter, Emma, because of a drunk driver. The driver was of legal drinking age, and had previously been arrested for a DUI.

This tragedy was 100 percent preventable and completely inexcusable.

Luckily, the General Assembly passed Emma’s Law and it is now law. However, this is just one step toward eradicating this reckless behavior.

In South Carolina, the Department of Public Safety reports one person is killed or injured in a DUI crash every 2.1 hours. Compared to other states, South Carolina is among the worst in the nation for DUI related deaths at 46th out of 50, with 358 fatalities in 2012.

As an adult of legal drinking age, it’s important to know your limit. What does it really mean to drink responsibly? There are many factors that determine how alcohol will affect you, such as gender, height and age. Alcohol affects everyone differently, it’s important to know how much you can handle before you take the first sip.

If you do drink, never get behind the wheel. In today’s world, there are many services, such as Uber, that make it easy to get home safe and sound. A DUI can cost up to $10,000, but a cab ride can cost $20. The risk is not worth it. Designate a driver, take a taxi or call an Uber – there’s no excuse to drink and drive.


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Attorney General Sam Olens: Rule of law must trump political agendas for liberty to thrive

We often think of the Constitution as protecting the rights of the people, but that document also provides the foundation for our liberty by securing a structure of government.

Over the past six years we have seen President Obama govern with seemingly total disrespect for the Constitution, and the roles of the states and the legislative branch. What he cannot achieve legislatively, he accomplishes through unilateral action without regard for Congress or the states.

While this may be the most expeditious way to achieve his agenda, it leads to lawlessness and flies in the face of the constitutional principles of the rule of law, federalism and separation of powers upon which our democracy is built.

STATE ATTORNEYS GENERAL are the last line of defense against the burdensome, and oftentimes unconstitutional, policies of the Obama administration. We have banded together time and time again to protect our states and constituents from the unconstitutional executive overreach of the federal government. Currently we are engaged in two high-stakes challenges to what we believe are unlawful actions by the Obama administration.

The first case is a direct challenge by a coalition of more than half of our states to the president’s proposed revision of the nation’s immigration laws by regulatory action. The Department of Homeland Security directive issued last fall usurped the power of Congress to make and change laws. That rule not only puts on hold deportations of 4 million undocumented immigrants, but also grants affirmative rights that Congress has not debated or passed.

As the complaint itself states, the lawsuit is not about immigration. It is about the rule of law. We are a nation proudly strengthened by immigrants, and everyone agrees that immigration reform is sorely needed. But we are also a nation of laws. The president simply does not have the authority to bypass Congress and single-handedly change the law. As the president himself recognized on April 20, 2011, “I can’t solve this problem by myself. ... We’re going to have to change the laws in Congress... .”

On Feb. 16, federal Judge Andrew Hanen granted the injunction sought by the states to block the implementation of the president’s directive, saying “the public interest factor that weighs the heaviest is ensuring the actions of the Executive Branch ... comply with this country’s laws and its Constitution.”

WHILE I AM PLEASED with the judge’s ruling, I was deeply troubled to subsequently learn that the Obama administration already had begun granting expanded employment authorizations to people who came to this country illegally. On April 7, Judge Hanen ruled that the administration’s lawyers had engaged in “misconduct” by repeatedly suggesting that no implementation had yet been initiated. We should expect more from our federal government.

The second is the case of King v. Burwell, which was brought to challenge the president on his refusal to follow the language of the Affordable Care Act as enacted by Congress. The law clearly states that only exchanges established by the states will be eligible for subsidies. In fact, the drafters of the Affordable Care Act intentionally excluded subsidies for federal exchanges from the law to pressure states into establishing their own exchanges. One architect of the law has even admitted as much.

Now that this coercive approach has proven unsuccessful, the president has chosen to disregard the plain wording of the law. If President Obama wishes to revise the Affordable Care Act and the ensuing problems it he has created, he must follow the Constitution – and that means working with Congress to amend the law.

Any problems caused by the Supreme Court’s ruling rest squarely on the president’s shoulders, but I believe Congress can fulfill its constitutional responsibilities in the face of a ruling against the Affordable Care Act. The people deserve that, and our Constitution demands it.

I spend considerably more time than I would like monitoring – and fighting – the rules, regulations and executive decrees handed down by the president and his agencies. But I took an oath to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States, and it is my duty to do just that – even if it means challenging the president of the United States.

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Statement from Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi regarding Obama's removal of Cuba from terror list

The following is a statement from Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi:

"I, along with many Cuban-Americans living in the United States, are disappointed in President Obama's continuous pursuit to loosen the reins on a country that is known for human rights violations and was labeled last year by the U.S. State Department as one of the worst offenders of human trafficking. I believe the safety and security of the citizens of our state, our country, and the people of Cuba should come before political points and legacy building.”

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Weekly Standard: Full Court Press

President Obama’s legacy is in jeopardy. The fates of his main achievements—Obamacare, his amnesty for five million illegal immigrants, the Dodd-Frank financial institution reforms—are now in the hands of the federal courts.

This is extraordinary. Until Obama, no president has been in a situation in which judges rather than the elected branches of government can decide if his successful initiatives—successful in having been enacted by Congress or himself—live or die.

The instigators of putting Obama in a legal box are Republican state attorneys general. Once they began banding together in lawsuits to protect states from encroachments by the federal government, they became a powerful force and a thorn in Obama’s side.

There are 27 of them, a majority of state AGs. And they are determined to elect three more in the next two years. When they met in Washington last week, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell showed up to encourage them. He committed himself to help elect a GOP attorney general in Kentucky’s odd-year election this November.

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Republican AGs a Powerful Force for Good, says Fred Barnes

Join the fight with a $25 donation to RAGA!

On Saturday, noted conservative pundit Fred Barnes, one of the co-founders of The Weekly Standard magazine and a regular contributor on Fox News, called the 27 Republican state attorneys general the most effective opposition to President Barack Obama.

“Republican state attorneys general ... have a common enemy,” Barnes said in his keynote address at a Federalist Society event at Walt Disney World on Saturday before labeling their foe as a “remorseless federal government.”

Barnes found a receptive audience in the 250 or so Federalist Society members attending the lunch. The Federalist Society is a right-of-center group focused on legal reform and interpreting the U.S. Constitution as the Founding Fathers intended.

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Republican AGs Pleased with Court’s Ruling

Court issues order staying President’s executive action

WASHINGTON, DC – RAGA Chairman, and Attorney General of Florida, Pam Bondi released the following statement regarding Monday’s ruling in Texas federal court enjoining President Obama’s unconstitutional executive action with regard to immigration policy. The court granted the motion for preliminary injunction filed by the State of Texas and 25 other states related to their lawsuit against the Administration.

"The federal court has taken the first step towards ensuring the rule of law is upheld.  We cannot set a precedent where the President is given the ability to unilaterally change laws that are enacted by Congress.  As our states’ lead attorneys we are committed to ensuring that we remain a nation of laws enacted as prescribed by our Constitution,” said Chairman Bondi.

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Hitting the Ground Running

Nevada's new attorney general joins the fight against Obama's immigration policy. 

 By Hans A. von Spakovsky

ust weeks into his tenure as Nevada’s new Republican attorney general, Adam Laxalt has boldly joined 25 other state attorneys general in a lawsuit claiming that President Obama’s immigration plan is both unconstitutional and a violation of federal law. Laxalt’s decision to join the lawsuit flies in the face of opposition from the state’s popular Republican governor, Brian Sandoval. But under Nevada law, Laxalt needs neither Sandoval’s approval nor his permission, and Sandoval’s criticism of the legal action seems short-sighted.

Nevada law gives Laxalt wide latitude to determine the state’s best interests in filing or joining lawsuits. Under Article 5, Section 22 of the Nevada Constitution, the duties of the attorney general are those “as may be prescribed by law.” The state legislature has prescribed that “[w]henever the Governor directs or when, in the opinion of the Attorney General, to protect and secure the interest of the State it is necessary that a suit be commenced or defended in any federal or state court, the Attorney General shall commence the action or make the defense” (NRS 228.170).

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Statement from Chairman Pam Bondi, Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA)

State Senator Whitney Westerfield Announces His Candidacy for the Office of Kentucky Attorney General

Florida Attorney General and RAGA Chairman Pam Bondi released the following statement in regards to State Senator Whitney Westerfield entering the 2015 Kentucky Attorney General race:

“I want to congratulate State Senator Whitney Westerfield, who has officially entered the race for Kentucky Attorney General. As Chairman of the Kentucky Senate Judiciary Committee and a former prosecutor, Whitney has the right experience to serve as the state’s top law enforcement officer.  He will defend the rule of law, push back against overreaching federal regulations that kill jobs, and he will be a strong partner in the ongoing fight against Obama initiatives, such as the President’s executive order on immigration, which is a blatant abuse of power and undermines the U.S. Constitution.  I am looking forward to Whitney’s candidacy and joining with him to address issues critical to the Commonwealth of Kentucky and our country.”

Senator Whitney Westerfield was first elected to the Kentucky State Senate in 2012, representing the citizens of Christian, Todd, and Logan counties in Western Kentucky. He is presently an Attorney with the Fletcher Law Firm in Hopkinsville after serving over five years as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney. His prosecutorial record has included successful convictions on charges ranging from misdemeanors to murder. Whitney received his B.S. in Communication, with university and departmental honors, at the University of Kentucky in 2003 and earned his J.D. in the spring of 2006 from Southern Illinois University School of Law. Whitney’s wife is a local elementary Spanish teacher, and together are the proud parents a new baby girl.

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RAGA Applauds Decision Upholding the Rule of Law

WASHINGTON, DC – RAGA Chairman, and Attorney General of Florida, Pam Bondi released the following statement regarding today’s ruling from a federal court in Pennsylvania on President Obama’s unconstitutional executive action.

"The federal court ruling demonstrates that President Obama has violated his constitutional oath and cannot use executive action as a ‘bargaining chip’ against a democratically elected Congress.

“While this decision from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania is not related to the lawsuit filed by Attorney General Abbott of Texas, along with 23 other states, we are pleased with the decision by the federal court. We agree with the Court’s conclusion that ‘President Obama’s unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause, and therefore, is unconstitutional.’ 

“As our states’ lead attorneys, we are committed to the rule of law and ensuring that we remain a nation of laws, enacted as prescribed by our Constitution." 

 

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Republican AGs react to President Obama's remarks

Republican Attorneys General and Attorneys General-Elect released the following joint statement regarding President Obama’s immigration remarks:

Along with many of our fellow Americans, Republican Attorneys General listened carefully to President Obama’s remarks about his intended, unilateral actions regarding immigration. We agree with the President, “people who live in this country should play by the rules.” The American people also believe the President should play by the rules and respect the rule of law. The President cannot ignore the American people, the states or an entire branch of government.

Our country’s unique strength derives from its history of immigration. The values of immigrants are the values of our Republican Party, those of freedom, optimism, self-reliance, family and respect for the rule of law. We want our immigration laws to be enforced and our borders to be secure. We also want our country to be welcoming to those who want to join us on this American journey in the manner established by our laws.

As our states’ lead attorneys, however, we are committed to the rule of law and ensuring that we remain a nation of laws, enacted as prescribed by our Constitution. Each president takes an oath to “faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and … to the best of [his] Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” We expect President Obama to fulfill this oath. As attorneys general we will uphold our constitutional oath to take whatever actions may be appropriate to uphold the rule of law.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chairman, Republican Attorneys General Association
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange
Arizona Attorney General-Elect Mark Brnovich
Arkansas Attorney General-Elect Leslie Rutledge
Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens
Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette
Montana Attorney General Tim Fox
Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning
Nebraska Attorney General-Elect Doug Peterson
Nevada Attorney General-Elect Adam Laxalt
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson
South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott
Texas Attorney General-Elect Ken Paxton
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey
Wisconsin Attorney General-Elect Brad Schimel

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"Politico Playbook: “[Republican Attorneys General Association] announces Leadership”

“[Republican Attorneys General Association] announces Leadership” – “2014-2015 Executive Committee: Chairman – Attorney General Pam Bondi, Florida Chairman-Elect 2015-2016– [AG] Bill Schuette, Michigan Chairman-Elect 2016-2017– [AG] Luther Strange, Alabama Immediate Past Chairman – [AG] Alan Wilson, South Carolina [AG] Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma [AG] Sam Olens, Georgia [AG] Tim Fox, Montana [AG] Patrick Morrisey, West Virginia [AG] Sean Reyes, Utah.”


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RAGA announces Leadership

Today, the Republican Attorneys General Association released the following statement regarding the announcement of their new Executive Committee.

“We are pleased to announce the new members of RAGA’s Executive Committee and the succession plan for the next three years,” said Jessica Medeiros Garrison, RAGA Executive Director.

“It is an honor to be selected by my fellow Republican Attorneys General to lead RAGA at such a critical time in our country’s history. We will continue to stand up for the rule of law and protect the citizens of our states,” said the newly elected Chairman, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

“With the announcement of our new team, RAGA will have strong, aggressive and seamless leadership in the years to come,” said Chairman-Elect, Attorney General Bill Schuette of Michigan. “I am delighted to be a part of this outstanding organization.”

“I look forward to serving in the leadership of RAGA so we can maintain and expand upon the current support for Republican Attorneys General,” said Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange. “These AGs are dedicated to defending the constitution of their respective states as well as safeguarding the U.S. Constitution.”

RAGA Chairmanship:
2014-2015 Chairman – Attorney General Pam Bondi, Florida
2015-2016 Chairman – Attorney General Bill Schuette, Michigan
2016-2017 Chairman – Attorney General Luther Strange, Alabama

2014-2015 Executive Committee:
Chairman – Attorney General Pam Bondi, Florida
Chairman-Elect 2015-2016– Attorney General Bill Schuette, Michigan
Chairman-Elect 2016-2017– Attorney General Luther Strange, Alabama
Immediate Past Chairman – Attorney General Alan Wilson, South Carolina
Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma
Attorney General Sam Olens, Georgia
Attorney General Tim Fox, Montana
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, West Virginia
Attorney General Sean Reyes, Utah

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"Rule Of Law: Republican AGs Join GOP Election Wave"

By: Jessica Medeiros Garrison 

The message could not be clearer. The American people roundly rejected President Obama and his policies on election night. Up and down the ticket, Republicans claimed victory. What many consider to be the last line of defense against Obama and federal overreach, Republican attorneys general, bolstered their ranks. This is good news for the rule of law, to have more defenders as the states’ top lawyers.

All incumbent Republican AGs on the ballots were reelected. Additionally, the Republican candidates for attorney general won in both red and purple states. Leslie Rutledge in Arkansas, Brad Schimel in Wisconsin, Ken Paxton in Texas, Doug Peterson in Nebraska, Cynthia Coffman in Colorado, Mark Brnovich in Arizona, and Adam Laxalt in Nevada all claimed victory. These AG-elects vowed not only to uphold the rule of law within their states but also protect their citizens from this administration’s egregious overreach.

Read more from the Daily Caller's article.

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Statement on Adam Laxalt’s Election as Nevada’s Attorney General

November 5, 2014

Statement on Adam Laxalt’s Election as Nevada’s Attorney General

South Carolina Attorney General and Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman Alan Wilson issued the following statement on Adam Laxalt’s victory in tonight’s General Election for Nevada Attorney General:

“Congratulations to Adam Laxalt on being elected Nevada’s 33rd attorney general. As a former Lieutenant in the United States Navy, Adam served his country as a Judge Advocate General and is uniquely qualified to enforce states’ rights and fight back against federal government overreach.  I look forward to serving with Attorney General-elect Laxalt once he is sworn in as Nevada’s next attorney general.”

The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of Attorney General. RAGA concentrates on supporting our current attorneys general and recruiting outstanding candidates, providing them with research and financial support and assisting in message development. In doing so, RAGA is improving the talent base from which many future Governors and U.S. Senators will be drawn. 

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Statement on Attorney General Lawrence Wasden’s Re-election

November 5, 2014

Statement on Attorney General Lawrence Wasden’s Re-election

South Carolina Attorney General and Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman Alan Wilson issued the following statement on Attorney General Lawrence Wasden’s victory in tonight’s re-election for Attorney General in Idaho: 

“Congratulations to my friend Attorney General Lawrence Wasden on securing a fourth term as Idaho’s Attorney General. Since first taking office in 2003, General Wasden has been a strong advocate of the rule of law and a staunch defender of states’ rights. I look forward to working alongside General Wasden for another four years.”

The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of Attorney General. RAGA concentrates on supporting our current attorneys general and recruiting outstanding candidates, providing them with research and financial support and assisting in message development. In doing so, RAGA is improving the talent base from which many future Governors and U.S. Senators will be drawn.

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Statement on Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes’ Election

November 5, 2014

Statement on Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes’ Election

South Carolina Attorney General and Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman Alan Wilson issued the following statement on Attorney General Sean Reyes’ victory in tonight’s election: 

“Congratulations to my friend Attorney General Sean Reyes on emerging victorious in tonight’s election for attorney general. Since his appointment to the office last year, General Reyes has worked to increase transparency in the attorney general’s office, and has been lauded by legislators from both sides of the aisle for his work ethic and legal acumen. I wish General Reyes all the best as he continues to carry out the Office of the Attorney General to the highest standards.”

The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of Attorney General. RAGA concentrates on supporting our current attorneys general and recruiting outstanding candidates, providing them with research and financial support and assisting in message development. In doing so, RAGA is improving the talent base from which many future Governors and U.S. Senators will be drawn. 

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Statement on Mark Brnovich’s Election as Arizona's Attorney General

November 4, 2014

Statement on Mark Brnovich’s Election as Arizona's Attorney General

South Carolina Attorney General and Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman Alan Wilson issued the following statement on Mark Brnovich’s victory in tonight’s General Election for Arizona Attorney General:

“Congratulations to Mark Brnovich on being elected Arizona’s newest attorney general.  As an accomplished federal and state prosecutor, Mark is uniquely qualified to fight against federal government overreach and enforce states’ rights. Attorney General-elect Brnovich will defend the rule of law with regards to both illegal immigration and federal encroachment. I look forward to serving with Mark once he is sworn in as Arizona’s 26th attorney general.”

The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of Attorney General. RAGA concentrates on supporting our current attorneys general and recruiting outstanding candidates, providing them with research and financial support and assisting in message development. In doing so, RAGA is improving the talent base from which many future Governors and U.S. Senators will be drawn. 

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Statement on Brad Schimel’s Election as Wisconsin’s Attorney General

November 4, 2014 

Statement on Brad Schimel’s Election as Wisconsin’s Attorney General

South Carolina Attorney General and Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman Alan Wilson issued the following statement on Brad Schimel’s victory in tonight’s General Election for Wisconsin Attorney General:

“Congratulations to Brad Schimel being elected to serve as Wisconsin’s 44th Attorney General. I am looking forward to serving with Brad, as he carries on the same drive to push back against federal government overreach as our good friend Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. Brad will be a great advocate for states’ rights, a staunch defender of the Constitution and will work side-by-side with law enforcement officials throughout the state. There is no doubt in my mind that Brad will make an extraordinary attorney general for the people of Wisconsin.”

The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of Attorney General. RAGA concentrates on supporting our current attorneys general and recruiting outstanding candidates, providing them with research and financial support and assisting in message development. In doing so, RAGA is improving the talent base from which many future Governors and U.S. Senators will be drawn. 

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Statement on Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens’ Re-election

November 4, 2014

Statement on Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens’ Re-election

South Carolina Attorney General and Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman Alan Wilson issued the following statement on Attorney General Sam Olens’ re-election victory in tonight’s General Election: 

“Congratulations to my friend Attorney General Sam Olens on securing a second term as Georgia’s Attorney General. As Georgia’s 53rd Attorney General, Olens has been committed to serving Georgians by defending the both the U.S. and Georgia Constitutions and upholding the rule of law. I congratulate General Olens on his hard-fought victory and look forward to working alongside him for another four years.”

The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of Attorney General. RAGA concentrates on supporting our current attorneys general and recruiting outstanding candidates, providing them with research and financial support and assisting in message development. In doing so, RAGA is improving the talent base from which many future Governors and U.S. Senators will be drawn. 

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Statement on Leslie Rutledge’s Election as Attorney General of Arkansas

November 4, 2014

Statement on Leslie Rutledge’s Election as Attorney General of Arkansas

South Carolina Attorney General and Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman Alan Wilson issued the following statement on Leslie Rutledge’s victory in tonight’s General Election for Arkansas Attorney General:

“Congratulations to Leslie Rutledge on being elected Arkansas’ 56th Attorney General.  Voters in Arkansas made history tonight; not only did they elect the first Republican attorney general in the state’s history, but they also elected the state’s first woman attorney general as well.”

Leslie will fight against Washington overreach and stand up for all Arkansans. I have all the confidence that Leslie will be a great Attorney General for the people of Arkansas.”

The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of Attorney General. RAGA concentrates on supporting our current attorneys general and recruiting outstanding candidates, providing them with research and financial support and assisting in message development. In doing so, RAGA is improving the talent base from which many future Governors and U.S. Senators will be drawn.

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Statement on Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange’s Re-election

November 4, 2014

Statement on Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange’s Re-election

South Carolina Attorney General and Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman Alan Wilson issued the following statement on Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange’s re-election victory in tonight’s General Election:

“Congratulations to my friend Attorney General Luther Strange on securing a second term as Alabama’s Attorney General. Since being elected in 2010, Luther has made protecting Alabama’s citizens his number one priority, whether working to defend states’ rights from the Obama administration’s overreach or safeguarding the rights of consumers. I look forward to working alongside General Strange for another four years. 

The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of Attorney General. RAGA concentrates on supporting our current attorneys general and recruiting outstanding candidates, providing them with research and financial support and assisting in message development. In doing so, RAGA is improving the talent base from which many future Governors and U.S. Senators will be drawn. 

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Statement on Cynthia Coffman’s Election as Colorado Attorney General

November 4, 2014

Statement on Cynthia Coffman’s Election as Colorado Attorney General

South Carolina Attorney General and Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman Alan Wilson issued the following statement on Cynthia Coffman’s victory in tonight’s General Election for Colorado Attorney General:

“Congratulations to Cynthia Coffman on being elected to serve as Colorado’s 38th Attorney General. Cynthia’s experience as a public servant for over 20 years, including her most recent role as Attorney General John Suthers’ Chief Deputy, makes her the best choice to serve as the state’s top law enforcement officer. She will be a great advocate for states’ rights and will fight to defend Colorado against federal government overreach.”

The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of Attorney General. RAGA concentrates on supporting our current attorneys general and recruiting outstanding candidates, providing them with research and financial support and assisting in message development. In doing so, RAGA is improving the talent base from which many future Governors and U.S. Senators will be drawn. 

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Statement on Doug Peterson’s Election as Nebraska’s Attorney General

November 4, 2014

Statement on Doug Peterson’s Election as Nebraska’s Attorney General 

South Carolina Attorney General and Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman Alan Wilson issued the following statement on Doug Peterson’s victory in tonight’s General Election for Nebraska Attorney General:

“Congratulations to Doug Peterson on being elected to serve as Nebraska’s 32nd Attorney General. Doug’s experience in private practice as well as previously serving Nebraskans as a Deputy County Attorney in North Platte and serving as Nebraska’s Assistant Attorney General will serve him well in this capacity. He will be a great advocate for states’ rights and will fight against an overreaching Federal government as our good friend Attorney General Jon Bruning. I have all the confidence that Doug will make a great Attorney General for the people of Nebraska.”

The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of Attorney General. RAGA concentrates on supporting our current attorneys general and recruiting outstanding candidates, providing them with research and financial support and assisting in message development. In doing so, RAGA is improving the talent base from which many future Governors and U.S. Senators will be drawn.

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Statement on South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley’s Re-election

November 4, 2014

Statement on South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley’s Re-election

South Carolina Attorney General and Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman Alan Wilson issued the following statement on Attorney General Marty Jackley’s re-election victory in tonight’s General Election: 

“Congratulations to my friend Attorney General Marty Jackley on securing a second term as South Dakota Attorney General. Since 2009, General Jackley has established a proven record of leadership. He has fought to protect families by working with the legislature to strengthen the sex offender registry and develop a prescription drug monitoring program that emphasizes crime prevention over prosecution. I congratulate General Jackley on tonight’s victory and look forward to working alongside him for another four years.”

The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of Attorney General. RAGA concentrates on supporting our current attorneys general and recruiting outstanding candidates, providing them with research and financial support and assisting in message development. In doing so, RAGA is improving the talent base from which many future Governors and U.S. Senators will be drawn.

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Statement on North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem’s Re-election

November 4, 2014

Statement on North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem’s Re-election

South Carolina Attorney General and Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman Alan Wilson issued the following statement on Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem’s re-election victory in tonight’s General Election:

“Congratulations to my friend Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem on securing an unprecedented fifth term as North Dakota’s Attorney General. As the state’s longest-serving attorney general, Stenehjem has worked to enact drug enforcement legislation, launched the state’s first sex offender website and established the Rx Take Back Program. I congratulate General Stenehjem on tonight’s victory and look forward to working alongside him for another four years.”

The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of Attorney General. RAGA concentrates on supporting our current attorneys general and recruiting outstanding candidates, providing them with research and financial support and assisting in message development. In doing so, RAGA is improving the talent base from which many future Governors and U.S. Senators will be drawn. 

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Statement on Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s Re-election

November 4, 2014

Statement on Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s Re-election

South Carolina Attorney General and Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman Alan Wilson issued the following statement on Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s re-election victory in tonight’s General Election:

“Congratulations to my friend Attorney General Derek Schmidt on securing a second term as Kansas’ Attorney General. As Kansas’ 44th Attorney General, Schmidt has pushed back strongly against federal agencies whose unlawful overreach inhibits Kansas’ ability to govern itself. He has fought to protect Kansans by objecting to actions taken by the Environmental Protection Agency, Fish & Wildlife Service, and National Labor Relations Board and by fighting Obamacare. I congratulate General Schmidt on tonight’s victory and look forward to working alongside him for another four years.”

The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of Attorney General. RAGA concentrates on supporting our current attorneys general and recruiting outstanding candidates, providing them with research and financial support and assisting in message development. In doing so, RAGA is improving the talent base from which many future Governors and U.S. Senators will be drawn.

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Statement on Ken Paxton’s Election as Texas’ Attorney General

November 4, 2014

Statement on Ken Paxton’s Election as Texas’ Attorney General

South Carolina Attorney General and Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman Alan Wilson issued the following statement on Ken Paxton’s victory in tonight’s General Election for Texas Attorney General:

“Congratulations to Ken Paxton being elected to serve as Texas’ 51st Attorney General.  I am looking forward to serving with Ken, as he carries on the same drive to push back against federal overreach as our good friend Attorney General Greg Abbott. Ken will be a great advocate for states’ rights and a strong protector of the Constitution. There is no doubt in my mind that Ken will make an extraordinary attorney general for the people of Texas.” 

The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of Attorney General. RAGA concentrates on supporting our current attorneys general and recruiting outstanding candidates, providing them with research and financial support and assisting in message development. In doing so, RAGA is improving the talent base from which many future Governors and U.S. Senators will be drawn.

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Statement on South Carolina Attorney General and RAGA Chairman Alan Wilson’s Re-election

November 4, 2014

Statement on South Carolina Attorney General and RAGA Chairman Alan Wilson’s  Re-election

Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Executive Director Jessica Medeiros Garrison issued the following statement on South Attorney General and RAGA Chairman Alan Wilson’s re-election victory in tonight’s General Election:

“Congratulations to South Carolina Attorney General and RAGA Chairman Alan Wilson on securing a second term as the state’s top law enforcement officer. As South Carolina’s 51st Attorney General, Wilson has protected South Carolina’s right-to-work, helped lead the 26-state challenge to the federal health care mandate, and successfully safeguarded the state’s voter identification and immigration laws in court. I congratulate General Wilson on tonight’s victory and thank him for his leadership.”

The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of Attorney General. RAGA concentrates on supporting our current attorneys general and recruiting outstanding candidates, providing them with research and financial support and assisting in message development. In doing so, RAGA is improving the talent base from which many future Governors and U.S. Senators will be drawn.

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Statement on Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s Re-election

November 4, 2014 

Statement on Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s Re-election

South Carolina Attorney General and Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman Alan Wilson issued the following statement on Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s re-election victory in tonight’s General Election:

“Congratulations to my friend Attorney General Bill Schuette on securing a second term as Michigan Attorney General. Since being elected in 2010, Bill has been Michigan’s voice for victims. His work to end human trafficking, protect Detroit retirees, and defend the Constitution has yielded real results. I congratulate General Schuette on a well-deserved victory and I look forward to working alongside him for another four years.”

The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of Attorney General. RAGA concentrates on supporting our current attorneys general and recruiting outstanding candidates, providing them with research and financial support and assisting in message development. In doing so, RAGA is improving the talent base from which many future Governors and U.S. Senators will be drawn.

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Statement on Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Re-election

November 4, 2014 

Statement on Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Re-election

South Carolina Attorney General and Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman Alan Wilson issued the following statement on Attorney General Pam Bondi’s re-election victory in tonight’s General Election:

“Congratulations to my friend Attorney General Pam Bondi on securing a second term as Florida’s Attorney General. Since being elected in 2010, Bondi has worked diligently to crack down on pill mills and drug abuse and has made Florida a zero tolerance state for human trafficking. This is a great victory for all Floridians and I look forward to working alongside General Bondi for another four years.”

The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of Attorney General. RAGA concentrates on supporting our current attorneys general and recruiting outstanding candidates, providing them with research and financial support and assisting in message development. In doing so, RAGA is improving the talent base from which many future Governors and U.S. Senators will be drawn.

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Statement on Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s Re-election

November 4, 2014 

Statement on Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s Re-election

South Carolina Attorney General and Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman Alan Wilson issued the following statement on Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s re-election victory in tonight’s General Election:

“Congratulations to my friend Attorney General Scott Pruitt on securing a second term as Oklahoma’s Attorney General. As Oklahoma’s 17th Attorney General, Pruitt has been dedicated to fighting corruption, safeguarding Oklahoma’s most vulnerable citizens, and championing public safety measures to reduce violent crime. This year General Pruitt won a high-profile case that prohibits Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges from handing out subsidies. I congratulate General Pruitt on tonight’s victory and look forward to working alongside him for another four years.”

The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of Attorney General. RAGA concentrates on supporting our current attorneys general and recruiting outstanding candidates, providing them with research and financial support and assisting in message development. In doing so, RAGA is improving the talent base from which many future Governors and U.S. Senators will be drawn.

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Statement on Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Re-election

November 4, 2014

Statement on Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Re-election 

South Carolina Attorney General and Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman Alan Wilson issued the following statement on Attorney General Mike DeWine’s re-election victory in tonight’s General Election:

“Congratulations to my friend Attorney General Mike DeWine on securing a second term as Ohio’s Attorney General. As Ohio’s 50th Attorney General, DeWine has had a long and distinguished career of public service. He has made it his top priority to protect Ohio families by providing cutting-edge criminal investigation and law enforcement training services, rooting out public corruption and helping create a legal climate that encourages businesses to invest in the state and create jobs. I congratulate General DeWine on tonight’s victory and look forward to working alongside him for another four years.”

The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of Attorney General. RAGA concentrates on supporting our current attorneys general and recruiting outstanding candidates, providing them with research and financial support and assisting in message development. In doing so, RAGA is improving the talent base from which many future Governors and U.S. Senators will be drawn.

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"Rule Of Law: The Scourge Of Human Trafficking"

Human trafficking is a scourge. It is not limited to third world countries or a place in history. It is happening now, around the worldwide, including here in the United States. It cuts across race, gender, religion, and socioeconomic status. It not only violates the basic precepts of the rule of law, it is anathema to the dignity of the human person and freedom in a civil society. According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, there are 27 million people enslaved globally — human trafficking is the 2nd largest criminal industry worldwide.

Human Trafficking facts:

  • It is not a choice. A person cannot consent to become enslaved. Victims want to escape, but cannot.
  • It is not smuggling. Smuggling is transportation; trafficking is exploitation.
  • It does not require that a victim be moved over state or international borders.
  • Approximately 17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked into the U.S. every year.
  • It is a $32 billion global industry.

    Read more from Jessica M. Garrison's article in The Daily Caller.

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"Rule Of Law: How Obama’s EPA Is Trying To Regulate Your Creek Beds And Ditches"

Have you ever seen some water runoff in your yard during a hard rain and attempted to put a boat in it for an afternoon cruise?

I didn’t think so. Such a thing is almost as ridiculous as the continued actions by the Obama Administration, and such runoff isn’t far from the type of “water” it is trying to put under the EPA’s control. Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (CoE) proposed a new regulation under the Clean Water Act (CWA) that would sweep in, as “waters of the U.S.,” millions of new miles of rivers and streams and, more alarming, areas of land that are dry most of the year and aren’t near a body of water.

Read more from Jessica Medeiros Garrison's Op-Ed in The Daily Caller.

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Rule What's More Threatened, The Prairie Chicken or The Rule of Law?

By: Jessica Medeiros Garrison 

The answer is not the punch line in a legal comedy. Unfortunately, it is the recurring, Groundhog Day-like reality playing out at the Department of the Interior. Once the staid agency most known for preserving our national parks, Interior now has made a more infamous mark for cozying up to green, special interest ideologues bent on destroying jobs and economic growth through a tactic known as “sue and settle.” It’s the antithesis of the rule of law, and Republican Attorneys General are on the front lines fighting it.

Here’s how the scheme operates. Big green groups, such as WildEarth Guardians, petition the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), organized under Interior, to review the status of certain wildlife species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). When FWS does not meet its very short, congressionally-mandated deadline for review under the ESA, the environmental activist groups sue to force a decision. Instead of defending the suit, FWS settles with the group by setting up a timetable to decide if the species are endangered or threatened. The settlement precludes Fish and Wildlife from considering a species a “candidate species,” which subjects it to an annual review based on certain criteria but does not place them on the endangered or threatened list. It ignores the process mandated by Congress for a transparent review and public comment. As a kicker, the settlement sweeps in many species that were not part of the original petition.

Read more from The Daily Caller's article.

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Rule of Law: An Abuse of Discretion - How Republican AGs are Fighting Obamacare

Chalk up another win for the rule of law and a loss for an administration bent on making policy outside the framework set by our Constitution. President Obama’s namesake law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is anything but affordable and caring. It’s pocked with outrageous spending, extreme swelling of the federal government, and chronic denial of any notion for cooperative federalism.

Republican attorneys general have been administering the right medicine against this law since it was enacted. Just this week, a federal judge in Oklahoma agreed with Attorney General Scott Pruitt and declared unlawful certain regulations written by the IRS to implement the bloated statute.

As Fred Barnes noted, the Republican attorneys general are the last line of defense against the Obama administration and federal overreach. They jumped to the front of the line in responding to the damaging provisions of the ACA, filing suit against the law only hours after its passage. Florida’s early suit, led by Attorney General Pam Bondi, ultimately went to the Supreme Court where the ACA’s massive Medicaid expansion was found unconstitutional in June 2012.

Read more from this article at The Daily Caller.

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Oklahoma Wins Affordable Care Act Lawsuit Challenging IRS Subsidies

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY
 – Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt hailed the state’s victory in its lawsuit challenging the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. In September 2012, Oklahoma was the first to challenge the legality of an IRS rule that caused billions in illegal subsidies to be paid out, despite Congress having never authorized those payments. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Ronald White ruled in favor of the state’s lawsuit challenging that IRS rule.

“Today’s ruling is a consequential victory for the rule of law. The administration and its bureaucrats in the IRS handed out billions in illegal tax credits and subsidies and vastly expanded the reach of the health care law because they didn’t like the way Congress wrote the Affordable Care Act. That’s not how our system of government works,” Attorney General Pruitt said. “The Obama administration created this problem and rather than having an agency like the IRS rewrite a law it didn’t like, the administration should have done the right thing and worked with Congress to amend the law. Oklahoma was the first to challenge the administration's actions and today's ruling vindicates what we recognized early on and that is the administration can't rewrite the Affordable Care Act by executive fiat.”

Oklahoma’s lawsuit challenges an IRS rule from May 2012 that called for 1) tax subsidies to be issued in states like Oklahoma without a state-based health care exchange and 2) assessed “large employer” penalties in states that did not establish state health care exchanges. Both parts of the rule contradict the language of the ACA, which plainly states that tax subsidies can only be issued and tax penalties are only to be assessed in states that established state-based health care exchanges.

The ruling in the Eastern District of Oklahoma can be appealed by the Department of Justice to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. Click here for a copy of the judge's order.

“Today’s ruling is a huge win for Oklahoma, but it’s just a first step. Since Oklahoma filed the first lawsuit in 2012, others have followed our lead and made similar claims in other jurisdictions. It’s likely this issue will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. We look forward to making our case and continuing the effort to hold federal agencies accountable to their duty to enforce the laws passed by Congress,” Attorney General Pruitt said.

Attorney General Pruitt expressed thanks to the attorneys in the AG’s Office who worked on this case.

“I want to thank Solicitor General Patrick Wyrick and the attorneys in our federalism unit for their dedication and outstanding legal work on this important case,” General Pruitt said.

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"Rule of Law: An Eggs-traordinary Tale of Economic Reasoning"

By Jessica Medeiros Garrison 

American eggs seem as wholesome as apple pie. A California law, however, puts the breakfast favorite at the center of a less than sunny side-up plan to cost American egg producers and consumers billions of dollars. The only obstacle remaining until the law’s 2015 effective date is the 225 year old Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law championed by Republican Attorneys General.

In 2008, California voters approved a ballot initiative, Proposition 2, which set new “living standards” for certain types of farm animals and significantly increased the minimum cage size for egg-laying hens. The law effectively made all conventional chicken cages obsolete in California.

Californians restricting their own agriculture economy fits squarely within the animal liberation agenda which has gripped the state. The cost to Californians is not nominal. According to a UC-Davis study, the law, set to go into effect on January 1, 2015, will increase the cost of egg production in California by 20 percent as compliance with the law will force significant investments of almost $400 million by California farmers – a cost that will certainly be passed along to the consumers.

Read more from Jessica Medeiros Garrison's Op-Ed in The Daily Caller.

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"Rule Of Law: How Republican AGs Are Fighting The EPA, And Fighting For Federalism"

By Jessica Medeiros Garrison 

Far from the universe of federalism, an interesting constellation has formed. Democratic state attorneys general have circled around the EPA to support a proposed federal agency action, commonly referred to as Rule 111(d). The rule would have uncommon results, raising electricity rates and the costs of goods and services under the guise of reducing emissions. Republican AGs have opposed the tactic for over a year and last month filed suit to return the regulatory authority to the states, as Congress originally intended.

At issue is the overreach of the Obama administration and the EPA. The group of 12 states, led by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, asked the U.S. Court of Appeals to invalidate a 2011 settlement agreement in which the EPA promised to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal-fired power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

The agreement is illegal because coal-fired power plants are already regulated under a separate section of the Clean Air Act and the law explicitly forbids the “double-regulation” of these plants.

Read more from Jessica Medeiros Garrison's Op-Ed in The Daily Caller.

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RAGA Congratulates Tennessee Attorney General

For immediate release: September 15, 2014

Contact: Scott Will 202.296.5910

RAGA Congratulates Tennessee Attorney General

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Republican Attorneys General Association, the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of Attorney General, released the following statement congratulating newly appointed Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery.

RAGA Chairman, and Attorney General of South Carolina, Alan Wilson praised the selection of Mr. Slatery. “We are very pleased by the appointment of Mr. Slatery. His previous experience in private practice coupled with his current role as legal counsel to Governor Haslam will make the transition to Tennessee Attorney General seamless,” said Attorney General Wilson.

The appointment of Herbert Slatery brings the total number of Republican AGs across the country to 25.  

 

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"The Growing Focus on AGs" by Ciara Matthews

Ciara M. Matthews wrote an excellent article on the growing focus on state Attorneys General in the National Review: 

It’s only just recently that so many state attorneys general have been garnering the kind of attention worthy of national headlines. The multi-state lawsuit over Obamacare set in motion a growing wave of Republican AGs taking on the federal government for what many of them argue is unprecedented overreach.

From Nevada to New York, Republicans are seizing the opportunity to turn mounting discontent with the president and members of his party, into AG election wins. 

Read More from the National Review here.

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RAGA supports Adam Laxalt for Nevada Attorney General

Check out the first TV ad supporting Adam Laxalt for Nevada Attorney General.

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Statement from Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman Alan Wilson on Mark Brnovich becoming the Republican Nominee for Attorney General in Arizona

Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman Alan Wilson (South Carolina) issued the following statement on Mark Brnovich’s victory in tonight’s Republican Party Primary Election for Arizona Attorney General.

“I want to congratulate Mark Brnovich on securing the Republican Party nomination in tonight’s Arizona Primary Election for attorney general.  As an accomplished federal and state prosecutor, Mark is uniquely qualified to enforce states’ rights and fight against Washington overreach.  Mark is this only candidate in this race who will defend the rule of law, both on illegal immigration and federal encroachment.  I look forward to joining Mark on the campaign trail to help him become the next attorney general in Arizona.”

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Attorney General Sam Olens Prevails in Lawsuit Defending Open Government

On August 21, 2014, Judge Robert Adamson ruled in favor of Attorney General Sam Olens in a lawsuit filed in June 2012 against the City of Cumming and Mayor Henry Ford Gravitt for violations of the Open Meetings Act. Judge Adamson ordered the defendants to pay $12,000 in penalties, the highest amount possible under the law. Defendants have also been ordered to pay attorney’s fees in an amount to be determined at a later hearing.

“This ruling is a major victory for government transparency,” said Olens. “Georgians deserve a government that operates openly and honestly. The essence of our democracy is that elected officials are held accountable to the citizens and that citizens are allowed to exercise their rights granted by the First Amendment.”

To learn more about General Olens’ fight for government transparency, go to http://law.ga.gov/press-releases/2014-08-26/attorney-general-sam-olens-prevails-lawsuit-defending-open-government

 

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Cahill and Gregg Release First TV Ads

  • Iowa Republican attorney general candidate Adam Gregg release two new TV ads, "Words," and "Testimonials."   Gregg stated, “I’ve had the opportunity to meet thousands of Iowans across this great state. Their feedback and input has been overwhelmingly positive, and that’s reflected in our message. Unfortunately, I can’t meet them all personally, and our advertising will help us continue to share our message as we begin the final months of this campaign.”

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  • New York Republican attorney general candidate John Cahill released his first TV ad, "Tough," in which he talks about his experience as Chief of Staff to former Governor George Pataki, and his mission to fight public corruption.

    Screen_Shot_2014-08-22_at_3.18.55_PM.png 

 

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Republican Attorneys General Featured in Panel at RNLA National Conference

Las Vegas, Nevada - The Republican Attorneys General Association and the Rule of Law Defense Fund will be featured today during a panel discussion at the Republican National Lawyers Association’s annual Election Law Seminar in Las Vegas. The panel, entitled “State Attorneys General Enforcing the Rule of Law,” will be led by South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, Chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) and the Rule of Law Defense Fund (RLDF). He will be joined by the Nevada Republican Nominee for AG, Adam Laxalt, and Colorado Republican Nominee for AG, Cynthia Coffman

The panelists will highlight the efforts made by Republican AGs as they continue fighting to protect the states from extreme federal government overreach and excessive regulations put in place by President Obama. Brian Sanderson, policy director for RAGA and RLDF, will moderate the discussion. For more reports from the panel discussion, be sure to follow RAGA and RLDF on Twitter @RepublicanAGs and @RuleofLawDfense; and visit www.republicanags.com and www.RLDF.org.

Contact: Brian Sanderson, Policy Director, Republican Attorneys General Association and Rule of Law Defense Fund; (228) 223-1922 or BSanderson@RuleofLawDefenseFund.org

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100 Days Until Election Day

"Today marks 100 days until Election Day. Our group of Republican attorneys general have been busy fighting against the Obama administration and federal government overreach. In 100 days, voters in 36 states will have a chance to cast their vote for a Republican attorney general and add to the current team of 24 Republican attorneys general. Please support Leslie Rutledge for ArkansasAdam Laxalt for Nevada, Susan Riedel for New Mexico, Cynthia Coffman for Colorado, Brad Schimel for Wisconsin, Doug Peterson for AG for Nebraska, Ken Paxton for Texas and Ted Kittila for Delaware Attorney General. We couldn’t do it without Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, Florida Attorney General Pam BondiSam Olens, Attorney General of Georgia, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, North Dakota's Wayne Stenehjem, Attorney General (Official), Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWineOklahoma Attorney General E. Scott PruittMarty Jackley, South Dakota Attorney General and Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes. We are counting on the voters to give us more resources to defend this great country’s constitution and get back to the principles upon which America was founded."

-RAGA Chairman, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson

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Friends and family champion Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's Bid for Re-election

Friends and family are strongly supporting  Pam Bondi's bid for re-election as Florida Attorney General. 

Well over 100 family members and friends and came together for Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who grew up in Temple Terrace and whose family’s roots in the town run four generations deep.

But the many hugs and handshakes served an even greater purpose – the guests were there in support of Bondi’s bid for a second four-year term as the state’s chief legal officer. 

“She’s a homegrown Temple Terrace girl and we’re proud of that,” said Mayor Frank Chillura, who among several others served on the community’s host committee to champion Bondi’s campaign.

 Read more about Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's bid for re-election from the Tampa Tribune.

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Republican AGs rejoice at Obamacare ruling

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an opinion Tuesday that held a part of President Barack Obama’s health care plan is invalid.

Circuit Judge Thomas B. Griffith and Senior Judge A. Raymond Randolph voted in the majority, with Griffith authoring the majority opinion and Randolph authoring a concurring opinion.

Senior Judge Harry T. Edwards authored his dissenting opinion.

“After resolving several threshold issues related to its jurisdiction, the district court held that the [Affordable Care Act']‘s text, structure, purpose and legislative history make ‘clear that Congress intended to make premium tax credits available on both state-run and federally-facilitated Exchanges,’” Tuesday’s opinion states.

“Our review of the orders is de novo, and ‘[o]n an independent review of the record, we will uphold an agency action unless we find it to be arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law.’”

Because we conclude that the ACA unambiguously restricts the section 36B subsidy to insurance purchased on exchanges ‘established by the State,’ we reverse the district court and vacate the IRS’s regulation.”

Republican attorneys general released statements in support of the court’s decision.

To learn more about Republican AG's response to U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued opinion on Obamacare, visit: http://m.washingtonexaminer.com/republican-ags-rejoice-at-obamacare-ruling/article/feed/2150975

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Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller partners up against prescription drug abuse

In an effort to raise awareness for the state of Indiana's widespread prescription drug abuse, Attorney General Greg Zoeller is teaming up with the Indianapolis Colts. 

"Statistics show that the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs is not limited to a specific age group, gender, or economic class," Zoeller said in a news release. "Teaming up with the Colts and their professional athletes will allow us to focus public attention on this epidemic and the need to help those held in the grasp of pain and addiction."

The partnership will give the Indiana Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force a presence during Colts games, at Colts special events and during Colts radio and TV programming.

To read more about AG Greg Zoeller's partnership with the Indianapolis Colts against prescription drug abuse, visit http://www.theindychannel.com.

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Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine Reveals Sex Offender Reverese Lookup Feature

Ohio AG Mike DeWine reveals a new reverse lookup feature that allows anyone to determine if unfamiliar phone numbers, email addresses, social media screen names, and video game handles belong to a registered sex offender.

The new feature allows anyone to input unfamiliar phone numbers, email addresses, social media screen names, and video game handles into the database to try to determine if they belong to a registered sex offender in Ohio.

“In this age of technology, knowing which sex offenders live in your neighborhood isn’t always enough,” said Attorney General DeWine. “Digital communication allows people to break geographical boundaries, and sexual predators can use this to their advantage to pose as peers and develop cyber friendships with unsuspecting children. The new reverse lookup feature is just another tool that parents can use to screen who their children are communicating with.”

Read more about Attorney General DeWine's new reverse lookup feature at www.xeniagazette.com

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Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's Office and the FTC Sue Businesses for Alleged Business Directory Scams

Attorney General Pam Bondi's office and the Federal Trade Commission are suing businesses for alleged business directory scams. The companies facing these allegations have purportedly charged consumers up to $1,800 in extra charges that were not authorized to be made. 

"I urge Florida consumers and businesses to watch for unauthorized charges on invoices. We will continue to pursue illegitimate businesses that seek to deceive consumers into giving up their hard-earned dollars,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi.

To learn more about the lawsuit from AG Pam Bondi's Office and the FTC, Read more from wctv.tv's article.


 

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Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott Plans To Increase Jobs for Veterans

This week, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott discussed a plan to increase jobs for Veterans in the state of Texas. 

"The unemployment rate is too high for veterans... These are men and women who have tremendous skills, tremendous commitment, and tremendous work ethic. They are they kind of people that employers are looking for."

"I want to make sure that employers have economic incentives to create jobs for veterans to get them back to work," Abbott said.

 To learn more about AG Greg Abbott's plan for higher employment for vets, read on in the article from ValleyCentral.com

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Article from The Daily Caller: "Accusing Obama Of Overreach, Prominent Republicans Look To Attorney General Candidates"

Last week, The Daily Caller had a great article discussing how some of America's most prominent Republicans are rallying behind Attorney General candidates nationwide to fight back against federal overreach of the Obama Administration. 

“President Obama has proven he’s willing to violate all laws and the Constitution to enact his radical agenda,” Jessica Medeiros Garrison, the executive director of the group the Republican Attorneys General Association, told The Daily Caller. “That puts the attorneys general on the front lines to stop his power grab.”

Well-known Republicans are publicly offering their support to attorneys general candidates in Nevada, Arkansas, New Mexico, Texas and Florida, among other states.


To read further from the article featuring Republican Attorneys General Executive Director Jessica Garrison, go to http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/10/accusing-obama-of-overreach-prominent-republicans-look-to-attorney-general-candidates/#ixzz37AiETfTp

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RAGA Statement on Texas AG Runoff Election

REPUBLICAN ATTORNEYS GENERAL ASSOCIATION (RAGA): Statement from RAGA Chairman Alan Wilson on Ken Paxton winning the Texas Republican Attorney General Runoff

Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Chairman, Attorney General Alan Wilson (South Carolina), issued the following statement on Ken Paxton’s victory in tonight’s Republican Party Runoff Election for Texas Attorney General. 

“I want to congratulate Ken Paxton on securing the Republican Party nomination in tonight’s Texas Runoff Election for attorney general.  I am looking forward to joining Ken on the campaign trail this year to help him become the next attorney general in Texas. We look forward to Ken carrying on the same drive to push back against federal overreach as our good friend Attorney General Greg Abbott. Ken will be a great advocate for states’ rights and a strong protector of the Constitution. There is no doubt in my mind that Ken will make an extraordinary attorney general for the people of Texas.”

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Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell: “Louisiana Has Worked Hard and Earned its Newfound Business Friendly Reputation”

By: James D. "Buddy" Caldwell

When I first ran for Attorney General seven years ago, I pledged to work as hard as I could to make Louisiana a better place to live, work and raise a family.   Just last week, we found out that Louisiana is the “Cinderella story” among the 2014 list of states voted “best for business” by over 500 leading CEOs across the nation.  According to Chief Executive magazine in its just released 10th Annual Survey, Louisiana’s meteoric rise from a pro-business ranking of 40th place among the 50 states in 2010 to 9th place in 2014, is proof “that a concerted effort to transform old habits and policies can truly pay off.”

I am proud to have been a part of this positive pro-business transformation along with members of my office, other Louisiana office holders and the citizens of this great state.  We here in Louisiana have known for years that this state is a great place to establish roots and grow a business.  And now, as the 500 leading CEOs have confirmed, others are also waking up to this fact.

My office has made a priority of pursuing large, international companies who have committed fraud in the marketplace, hurt our citizens and obtained an unfair advantage which they have used against our good, honest Louisiana businesses.  We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars from these fraudulent companies using statutes passed by the legislature which were seldom used until I took office.  

Evidence of my commitment to the businesses and industries in this state can be found in my office’s recent pursuit of a Chinese corporation which had misappropriated Microsoft software which was being used against a manufacturing business located in the Lafayette Parish area.

Former Washington State Attorney General and current President of the National Alliance for Jobs and Innovation, Rob McKenna, confirms Caldwell’s contributions to the creation of Louisiana’s current pro-business environment by saying, “Our nearly 400 members appreciate and thank Attorney General Caldwell for helping protect U.S. manufacturing jobs by going after overseas software piracy. He recognizes that modern manufacturing depends heavily on software, and that competitors who steal it give themselves an unfair advantage over companies in Louisiana and elsewhere.”

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Indefensible

By: Terry Eastland

Mar 17, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 26

In a speech the other day to state attorneys general, the U.S. attorney general, Eric Holder, offered an ideal job description for himself and his state counterparts: “not merely to use our legal system to settle disputes and punish those who have done wrong, but to answer the kinds of fundamental questions—about fairness and equality—that have always determined who we are and who we aspire to be.” This is what “all justice professionals are called” to do, said Holder, leaving us to wonder what we the mere people are supposed to do.

Diving into one aspect of our legal system, Holder observed that, as with the U.S. federal attorney general (himself), so it is with state attorneys general: They are not obligated to defend laws that they deem unconstitutional. Even so, he added, decisions not to defend a law “must be exceedingly rare.” Yet he noted with approval that five state attorneys general (all Democrats) had recently made such a decision, each concluding that his state’s ban on so-called same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and therefore indefensible.

Holder’s speech, a mini-version of which he shared the day before with the New York Times, was a not-so-subtle preachment that attorneys general still defending such bans should declare them unconstitutional and abandon their defense—in other words, disavow laws they are sworn to enforce. The Republican state attorneys general, some 24 in all, demurred, with the South Carolina attorney general, Alan Wilson, issuing a statement saying the administration was “ignoring the rule of law.”

Read the full article, here. 

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The Resistance

By: Fred Barnes

March 3, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 24

Texas attorney general Greg Abbott has a famous saying: “What I really do for fun is I go into the office [and] sue the Obama administration.” Abbott’s relentless struggle against an administration that routinely exceeds its authority and tramples on federalism made him the ringleader among the two dozen Republican state AGs. He’s now running for governor.

So it’s not surprising that Dan Branch, running to succeed Abbott as Texas AG, is often asked if he would be as tough as Abbott in confronting the Obama administration. “My response is I’ll have to be tougher,” he says. And he goes on to name the federal agencies guilty of overreaching their constitutional bounds and increasingly encroaching on state power.

The key word is “overreach” by Washington. “Given the pattern of this administration, it is becoming synonymous with Obama,” Branch says. And fighting overreach is not only a primary concern of Republican attorneys general, it’s the most prominent issue facing Republican candidates in state AG races in the 2014 election.

Read the full article, here.

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Wisc. AG: Holder's Gay Marriage Comments 'Dangerous'

By: Wanda Carruthers

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's comments giving state attorneys general permission to ignore gay marriage bans was a "dangerous precedent to set."

"The impact, really, is it sends a message to the people that the rule of law does not necessarily prevail. I think that really erodes our entire system," Van Hollen, a Republican, told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" on Wednesday.

Read the full article, here.

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GOP attorneys general: We will continue to defend gay marriage bans

By: Aaron Blake

February 25, 2014

Republican state attorneys general on Tuesday weighed in strongly against remarks from U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., in which Holder suggested the states' top cops could decline to defend gay marriage bans.

Holder said Monday that state attorneys general are not obligated to defend the gay marriage bans if the bans discriminate in an unconstitutional way.

The Republican Attorneys General Association said that's the wrong message from the Obama administration. RAGA Chairman Alan Wilson of South Carolina compared the administration's picking and choosing of which laws to enforce to its last-minute changes to Obamacare.

Read the full article, here.

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STRANGE: Defending faith from federal bullies

By: Luther Strange

Friday, February 14, 2014

Both EWTN and Hobby Lobby have been forced by the government, in the wake of Obamacare, to comply with a mandate that forces them to violate their most deeply held religious beliefs. Both face massive fines for refusing to comply — up to $100 per employee per day.

...No American should be compelled by Washington bureaucrats to violate his religious beliefs in order to start a ministry or run a business. That's the argument of the Becket Fund, and it reflects our Constitution's First Amendment and the bipartisan Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

It's the argument that the nine justices on the United States Supreme Court will hear on March 25 when Hobby Lobby's case is argued. I am proud to say it's Alabama's argument, too.

Here in the cradle of the civil rights movement, we must be ever vigilant for our citizens' liberty, and so we stand with EWTN and Hobby Lobby.

Read the full article, here.

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