Current Office:Attorney General
Would you continue to fight against federal healthcare reform as AG Cox has?:
Yes, I will continue the fight against Obamacare. I am a strong supporter of 10th Amendment rights: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” I oppose this unprecedented expansion of the federal government into health care, which is one-seventh of the economy. Government needs to take care of first things first, rather than continue to expand its reach and scope, and increase both the debt and the deficit.
What law (or laws) would you like to see more aggressively enforced if you are elected Attorney General?:
First, we need to put public safety first. That means stopping and reversing the Granholm policies of emptying out prisons, releasing dangerous prisoners and cutting law enforcement. We need to focus on public corruption. No more Kwame Kilpatrick’s. If you break the law, if you violate the public trust, then you should go to jail. I will be a voice for victims. So I will move swiftly to establish a Crime Victims’ Rights Advocate. And I would establish a new unit in the AG's office, the RPM, (Rapid Permits for Michigan), using existing funds, to ensure timely compliance by the state with issuing permits, to improve our state's economic climate.
Given the ongoing budget problems in the state, what could you do to further reduce the cost of running the AG's office?:
Government must go on a diet. We must reduce spending. That means shared sacrifice and cutting costs. Currently, there are three bureaus: Consumer & Environmental Protection; Government Affairs; and the Criminal Justice Bureau, along with the Solicitor General. I would look at every aspect of the office. Everything must be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure the most cost-efficient government. Reducing costs means we all have to do more with less.
Which function of the Attorney General's office do you see as more important, criminal prosecution or consumer protection?:
It is not an either/or, but the first responsibility of all government is public safety – keeping families safe in their homes, neighborhoods and schools. The Attorney General is the top Law Enforcement official in the state, and that means defending citizens from crime, and protecting consumers, seniors, children, and the most vulnerable among us. The Attorney General is the People’s Attorney. My job is to protect the public. I will work with the Governor; but I work for the People. That includes protecting seniors from Medicaid fraud and protecting children from Internet predators. It also means safeguarding consumers from Identity theft, and helping struggling homeowners defend themselves against unscrupulous mortgage fraud and debt relief scams. And it means continuing the AG’s Child Support Division that has recovered more than $75 million, directly benefiting more than 9,000 children and indirectly helping more than 60,000 children receive the child support they need and deserve. And in addition to protecting the public, it is also the job of the Attorney General to protect and defend their rights. That is why I feel so strongly about continuing the lawsuit against Obamacare, and continuing the lawsuit in favor of the State of Arizona’s right to defend its citizens.
Birth Date: 10/13/1953
Birthplace: Midland, MI
Home City: Midland
Graduated cum laude from Georgetown University in 1976, receiving a Bachelor of Science in the Foreign Service. Also studied at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Earned my law degree from the University of San Francisco in 1979. In 2005, received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Northwood University.
Of Counsel, Warner, Norcross & Judd. I serve of counsel to one of Michigan’s most prestigious law firms, the Grand Rapids-based Warner, Norcross & Judd, specializing in appellate strategy.
United States House of Representatives, 1985 to 1990. As a Congressman, I joined the Reagan Revolution that lowered taxes, rebuilt our national defense and restored respect for America around the world. I made a promise that I would serve on the Ag Committee. And I kept that promise. I worked with both MFB and AFB on the 1985 and 1990 Farm bills. Director, Michigan Department of Agriculture, 1991 to 1994. As Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture, I was a tireless advocate for Michigan’s second largest industry, opening export markets around the globe for our products. I developed innovative environmental stewardship initiatives for our state’s strongest conservationists, our farmers. And my wife Cynthia and I founded the Michigan Harvest Gathering, an annual event that has collected millions of dollars and thousands of pounds of food to feed those in need. Michigan State Senate, 1995 to 2002. As a state senator, my focus was on building Michigan’s economy and creating jobs, reforming the state’s broken welfare system, and passing tough laws to protect Michigan families from crime. Judge, Michigan Court of Appeals, 2003 to 2008. As a Judge on the Michigan Court of Appeals, I served six years as one of the 28 appellate judges in Michigan. A strong, tough judge, I protected our constitution from special interests and applied our laws as written. The Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police named me their 2008 Public Servant of the Year.
I have been a member of various boards and organizations in Midland and throughout Michigan. Currently, I serve as vice president of the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation and as a trustee of the Elsa U. Pardee Foundation. I serve on the board of trustees of Albion College and am also a Fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation.