Stop Electing Attorneys General

OK I admit it—this is my periodic rant about the insanity of electing state attorneys general.

Forty-three states do so while five states (Alaska, Hawaii, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Wyoming) treat the AG as just another cabinet level officer allowing the Governor to select his or her own attorney. The State legislature chooses the AG in Maine and the Supreme Court does so in Tennessee for an eight year term of office.

Imagine what would happen if your own attorney decided he didn’t like the decisions you were making and instead filed a lawsuit different than the instructions you gave him.


That is the fate of 43 Governors charged with managing a complex state organization with its many financial and management operations problems today.  But letting some politically motivated AG out to be Governor run loose speaking for the State as if they were anointed as Moses is democracy run amok.

Fragmentation of accountability is one of the great escapes of politicians.  If we expect to hold our Governors accountable for running the state then give them the authority to do so without having the chief lawyer working his or her own political agenda.

We would not tolerate it in our personal lives, we don’t put up with it in our business lives and we’ve made a mess of our civic life by turning our elected representatives into full-time, mischief making do-gooders for the special interest group willing to give them the most money for the next campaign.

There ends the rant!


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