But before we do I want to make one observation on the same old, same old Obamaspeak we heard tonight. When he said medical treatment needs to be defined as something which makes you healthy, that sure sounded like shorthand for the end-of-life care to keep the elderly comfortable will be a thing of the past, since there is no cure for old age and terminal illnesses. We'll point out one item per post this week.
Now--on to the project at hand.
Question #1: Is it possible to briefly describe the duties of the Attorney General? Please try.
Bruce Patterson: Yes. To do so one must begin with our Michigan Constitution. Fundamentally, Article V (Executive Branch) section 3 (Single Heads of Departments) describes the position of Attorney General as being one of the principal departments in the Executive Branch of State government. (The other single executives heading principal departments shall include the Secretary of State and the State Treasurer.) Further, Schedule #1 of the Constitution of 1963 as amended, sets forth: "The attorney general shall recommend to the legislature as soon as practicable such changes as may be necessary to adapt existing laws to this constitution."
Practically, the position of Attorney General is intended to defend, interpret and enforce the laws applicable to our state and uphold our Constitution.
Mike Bishop: The office of the Attorney General is specifically created under Michigan's Constitution. In short, the Attorney General is the chief law enforcement officer in the state and as such serves as the general counsel to the Governor and all state agencies. The Attorney General's top priority must be the protection of the Michigan Constitution and the rights of the people.
Bill Schuette: The Attorney General of Michigan is the chief law-enforcement official of our State and our State's attorney. I believe that working with local law enforcement leaders across Michigan to protect our streets, keep our neighborhoods safe, and maintain our schools as places of learning, not violence, is a key responsibility of the Attorney General.
In addition, past Attorneys General have worked effectively to assist in child-support-enforcement activities, cyber-crime initiatives, and various consumer-protection and consumer-regulatory roles. I also believe that the Attorney General should be an advocate for economic development in Michigan to ensure that job providers have an opportunity to create jobs, issue paychecks, and obtain regulatory permits quickly while protecting our natural resources.
Question #2: What would be your top priority as Michigan's Attorney General?
Bruce Patterson: To protect 'We the People' from infringement of Constitutional rights, especially by the government. I am reminded of Thomas Jefferson's thought: "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."
Mike Bishop: My top priority will be to expand consumer protection and to pursue greater accountability for government and elected officials who hold the public trust. In addition, I would make it a priority within every function of the office of Attorney General to ensure we uphold the constitution and not allow any individual, entity or government itself, to delude or infringe upon the rights of the people.
Bill Schuette: My top priority is to be Michigan's tough and strong law enforcement leader, keeping our streets, neighborhoods and schools safe and secure for our citizenry. I will work closely with local law enforcement officials across Michigan.
I think we'll do just two a day unless there are a few questions on which all the answers were short. Or, unless there is some breaking news and I need to scream about it.
Thanks to the candidates for their cooperation in helping us do this in a timely fashion.
PS-I heard Mark Schauer had made an announcement taking credit for a HUD grant earlier in the week. Today I heard the City Manager of Jackson indicate they had been working on it before he was elected and it has been in the pipeline for quite some time. Back to his old tricks.