Office of the Attorney General

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    Andrew McCullough (L) Attorney

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    Dee W. Smith (Dem)

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    John E. Swallow (Rep) Chief Deputy Attorney General

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Biographical Information

What differences do you see between yourself and your opponent(s)?

What specific measures should be taken to fix the nation's economy?

What needs to be done to reform the nation's health care system?

What is your position on the Affordable Care Act? If opposed, what specific alternatives would you suggest to improving the nation's health care system? If favor, what specific provisions do you believe will improve the nation's health care system?

What federal actions should be taken to ensure the United States is a world leader in educating children?

What is the most important issue your electoral position faces? How would you resolve this issue?

I support a more free society than do my opponents. I am running to change the debate from how tough law enforcement can be to how can we achieve a more free society. I believe the "war on drugs" is an expensive disaster that ruins lives of our young people. Our jails should not be full of those who have committed nonviolent, victimless crimes. The government should not be dictating morals or telling us how to live our personal lives. The state should interfere less in family and personal affairs, including taking children from homes without a showing of substantial harm.
I will work to make my office smaller, leaner and less expensive. That will help save the state money and contribute to lower taxes. It is not, however, the job of the Utah Attorney General to fix the nation's economy. I will try and avoid telling congress what to do if they will do the same for me.
As Utah Attorney General, I will work to see that Utah citizens are treated legally and fairly by health care providers and program administrators. I will not, however, insert myself into a debate that is not relevant to my job as Utah's chief legal officer.
See above.
Why are you asking a candidate for Utah Attorney General this question? I do think education is primarily a state function; so I am not going to tell the Federal government what they should do about it.
The Utah Attorney general is in the forefront of policy making on legal issues, including law enforcement. He also is charged with protecting the State's interest in many areas. Within the guidelines I have set above, I will be very active in supporting the cause of freedom in Utah. I will hope to see fewer people in jail for nonviolent crimes, I will hope to see less interference with family life, and I will hope to see Utah government smaller and less intrusive.
The Attorney General's office is the top law enforcement officer in the state, as well as the top prosecutor in the state. As the only candidate in this race who is an experienced prosecutor I feel like I am the right candidate to keep our families and communities safe.
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As the top law enforcement officer in the state I feel that the most important issue for the Attorney General's office is to keep our communities safe for our families. My background as Weber County Attorney gives me the unique qualifications of being a prosecutor, running an executive level attorney's office, and working with our local law enforcement officers to make Weber County safer for our families. If elected I would take that experience to make all areas of our state a great place for all of Utah's families.
I have three years experience as an executive in the attorney general’s office working with our attorneys to defend the state, representing government agencies, working with the governor and the Legislature and serving on state committees, such as the Constitutional Defense Council. My opponent has none of that experience, nor has he helped manage the largest law firm in Utah.I have significant experience as a litigator and shareholder in a well-respected law firm and experience as a member of the Utah Legislature, where I sponsored and passed legislation dealing with law enforcement and criminal justice and was recognized by law enforcement for my efforts.My experience working with attorneys general across the country on such issues as the health care litigation, tobacco settlement issues and public land issues, my experience in the attorney general’s office as chief deputy and my legislative experience set me apart in this race.
As attorney general, my job will not be to vote on legislation or set executive or regulatory policy for the state of Utah. My job will be to ensure that people and businesses are following the law so that there is order and predictability in business. Those in business need to know that if they do not follow the law, there will be consequences. They also need to be confident that if they do follow the law, they will not be treated unfairly by an overly aggressive government regulator. This will encourage more investment, more jobs and a stronger economy. The attorney general can also fight against unlawful government over-regulation. For example, in 2010, Utah joined more than two dozen other states in filing against President Obama’s Affordable Care Act on the basis that it infringed on the sovereignty of the states by exceeding its constitutional limitations. We won on the Medicaid fight and on the Commerce Clause fight in that lawsuit. We are also fighting, under my leadership, to preserve access to public lands. We sued the interior secretary over an unlawful order to create quasi wilderness by executive order, and we have filed lawsuits of intent to litigate against the government on over 12,000 RS-2477 roads. Utah is an energy-rich state, and we need access to our resources to create jobs, fund schools and contribute to an energy-independent America. Taxes also play an important role in maintaining a healthy economy. Utah’s attorney general represents the State Tax Commission. As attorney general, I will continue to have our attorneys prepare cases and litigate when necessary to ensure that taxes are fairly assessed and collected so that those who pay their taxes are not carrying an unfair burden for the cost of government.Furthermore, the attorney general has a role in ensuring that Washington does not overstep its bounds by over- regulating business. I understand that role and will aggressively fight to protect states’ rights.
Our nation’s health care system needs to be taken out of the hands of the federal government and put back in the hands of the states. We need to stop spending more than we can afford, and our entitlement programs need to be reformed. We must elect a president and Congress that understand fiscal responsibility.
I have worked to oppose the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in court, both at the federal district court level and at the Supreme Court, because, among other reasons, the individual mandate is something Congress does not have the authority to pass under the US Constitution. The President and Congress said it was not a tax when it was passed, but rather was a penalty passed under the Commerce Clause. However, the Supreme Court decided that the mandate is enforced by a tax. Constitutionality aside, the ACA violates personal liberties, it is unaffordable and needs to be repealed by Congress. As attorney general, I will continue to defend the state from legislation and regulation that unlawfully infringes on the rights of Utahns. I will fight to defend the right of Utahns and the state to make their own health care choices, and I will continue to hold the line against federal encroachments.
Education should be controlled by the states, not by the federal government. I opposed No Child Left Behind, and I will continue to oppose one-size-fits-all federal legislation on education. Here in Utah, we need to make good laws governing the education process, and we need to have the appropriate funds to run our schools.The attorney general’s office is responsible for ensuring that Utah law is followed regarding the protection of the money held in trust for Utah’s schoolchildren with the State and Institutional Trust Lands (SITLA). I will see that SITLA lands are properly managed and the trust for schools is healthy.As attorney general, I will also ensure that school districts and schools follow laws related to curriculum, instruction and school-related activities.
As attorney general, I have several equally important responsibilities to the people of Utah. It would be my job to protect the citizens of Utah from crime and to use the courts to hold the line against federal encroachments on state sovereignty and individual rights.The economy is a major issue, and my role will be to help strengthen Utah’s economy by promoting job creation through opposing unlawful regulations at the federal level. Utah is a state rich in natural resources, and thousands of high-paying jobs are at stake. Each of those lost jobs represents thousands of dollars of income tax which would go directly to educating our children. Each of those lost jobs prevents a family from buying a home or pursuing the American dream. My role as attorney general will be to ensure that Utah maintains every right to develop those resources and that Washington follows the Constitution and the laws passed by Congress so that we can create jobs and contribute to the energy independence of America.Since joining the attorney general’s office in 2009, I have been involved in this fight over access to our resources through my involvement in protecting grazing rights, access rights over public roads, hunting, fishing and riding trails and fighting to keep the BLM from ignoring its agreements with our local counties.Protecting children and families from crime is another priority. I’ll continue to support the Utah AMBER Alert system. As attorney general, I will do more to expand our resources to educate and protect our vulnerable children and teenagers from sexual predators. As attorney general, I will also strive to balance the need to protect children from abuse with protecting the rights of families and parents. Finally, as attorney general, I will fight to protect our constitutional right to keep and bear arms. I am proud to be a member of and be endorsed by the National Rifle Association for my record on defending the Second Amendment.