On the issues
What separates you from your primary opponents as your party’s best candidate to serve as Montana's attorney general?
It is not my place to compare the candidates. That's a job for the voting public, and perhaps the media.
Should the state incarcerate fewer people? If so, are there specific criminal justice reform measures you support?
The state should generally not spend taxpayer money to incarcerate people for alleged crimes unless there is a victim of the crime. This would need to be examined on a crime-by-crime basis and is really a policy decision for the Legislature.
And, I find the death penalty, while often deserved, is philosophically offensive. The people are sovereign and the source of all political power, so says Article II, Section 1 of the Montana Constitution. Government may only exercise those powers that the people have and delegate to it. The people have no proper power to take life for any reason except in immediate self-defense — not for retribution, prevention, vengeance, deterrence, gene pool cleansing, or any other reason.
Do you believe abortion should be legal? If so, in which situations? If Montana passed an abortion ban, would you defend it from legal challenges?
This is also a matter for the people's representatives in the Legislature to decide. The Legislature sets policy. One of the duties of the Montana attorney general is to enforce the laws that the Legislature enacts. My personal preference does not enter into it. The attorney general must defend laws passed by the Legislature.
Current Attorney General Tim Fox has initiated litigation against pharmaceutical companies that have distributed opioids in Montana. Do you support that action?
The prescribing physician is in the best position to determine which, if any drugs are to be administered to the patient. If Montana wishes to regulate legal, pharmaceutical opioids, it should do that via its existing authority to regulate health care providers, physicians and pharmacists. Montana has laws to regulate illegal opioids and other narcotics, these fall under the criminal laws.
As the attorney general, you would be one of five seats on the Montana Land Board, which manages state trust lands. What priorities would you advocate for in that role?
Montana should maintain its cherished public lands, and perhaps even add to those by assuming management of some public lands currently managed by the federal government. Montana's proper retention and management of public lands is important for the School Trust and adequate funding for education in Montana. Adding management of selected public lands currently managed by D.C. would enhance the School Trust and education in Montana.
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