Friday, June 06, 2008

AG Candidates Dispute Who Has More Experience

"Experince matters" was the theme which Chief Deputy Attorney General Greg Zoeller used to easily defeat Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas at the GOP convention earlier this week. But his likely Democratic opponent, Linda Pence says she has better experience. The Star's Mary Beth Schneider quotes Pence:

"If experience matters, I'm your next attorney general. And it should matter," said Pence, an Indianapolis attorney, as she kicked off her campaign .
. .

She cited her experience in the U.S. Department of Justice, where she worked from 1974 to 1983, prosecuting "executives who were stealing from Americans and committing corporate crimes."

"I put them behind bars," said Pence, who is in private practice with the law firm of Taft Stettinius & Hollister. "I am tireless. I am relentless. For 34 years I have practiced law, concentrating on protecting those who need it most. I have prosecuted criminals. I have made Big Oil pay. I have punished polluters."

She said she first began "going after oil companies" for price gouging while at the Department of Justice in the 1970s.

Former Gov. Frank O'Bannon brought in Pence to help the state in its lawsuit against an Anderson corporation that illegally released toxins into White River, killing 5 million fish.

"In record time I secured over $14 million, which was used to restore the river and its wildlife. I beat the polluters," she said.

Indiana's Attorney General is not a constitutional officer and, statutorily, the office is one of the weakest in the nation. Defending the state on appeals is one of its primary tasks. On that score, Schneider quotes Marion Co. Prosecutor Carl Brizzi as citing the Office's 93% success in handling criminal appeals.

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