Saturday, October 30, 2010

Our Stand: A Simple choice between an experienced attorney and a lobbyist

  Despite the anti-incumbency motif running through the races in Alabama and across the country during this election, it seems far too likely than it should that Alabama voters will re-elect conservative judicial activism embodied in the Republican candidate for attorney general Luther Strange. Running on Troy King's six-year record of incompetence, corruption, and scandal, Strange is calling for much of the same; and as the people rejected King himself in favor of Strange in the Republican primary, the people of Alabama must reject Strange in favor of James Anderson, the Democratic candidate.

  There has not been a candidate as qualified as James for the post of attorney general in a long time. If one is looking for a good lawyer to represent the state as opposed to a skillful politician, it would be hard to beat Anderson's qualifications. He has spent more than thirty years practicing law within the state. Anderson has served as vice president of the Alabama State Bar Association and headed the Alabama Ethics Commission, and thus not only has extensive experience practicing law but has also served multiple times in a leadership capacity in some of the most important legal groups in the state.

  During his many decades as a lawyer James Anderson has represented over 2000 clients. Luther Strange has represented seven clients as a lawyer in Montgomery. Seven… in his whole life. And that was only after spending decades working for the multinational oil conglomerate Sonat and, unbelievably, serving as a congressional lobbyist for Transocean, the corporation that owned the Deepwater Horizon rig that last April gave us the largest single man-made natural disaster in human history. Shouldn’t that disqualify him right there? In a more legally sensitive United States, Transocean would have been dismantled by the Supreme Court—and we want one of their guys representing Alabama in Washington, in all our primary lawsuits, and before the Supreme Court itself?

  The attorney general represents the first line of legal protection Alabama has. It isn't exactly a marquee position, but the fact is that the attorney general holds the reigns of the law, and in a constitutional republic the law is everything. With Troy King we have seen the pitfalls of electing an inadequate attorney general. The office of the Alabama Attorney General has become a laughingstock. It is absolutely crucial that Alabama voters elect James Anderson our attorney general. We need a lawyer, not a politician. Luther Strange is a consummate politician but good at nothing else. And not just a politician, either—a lobbyist for some of the most harmful and dangerous corporations on earth. Anderson said it himself: do you want an Attorney General, or a Lobbyist General?

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