Tuesday, April 05, 2005

What to ask in the debate of the Republican candidates for Attorney General

It says in this SST post that there is a debate tomorrow between AG candidates Bob McDonnell and Steve Baril.

Here's my list of questions, off the top of my head, and in no particular order?

1. Why should Virginia continue to have an elected attorney general - what is the added value to Virginians of having an elected rather an appointed attorney general?
2. Why do candidates for attorney general address topics which do not pertain to the office of the attorney general - and will you refrain from doing so in this debate and for the rest of the campaign?
3. Would you agree that the Attorney General as the person most responsible for pursuing equal justice for all Virginians should be leading the fight to provide fair levels of funding for the legal representation of the poor in criminal and civil matters in the Commonwealth? And full state funding for all the prosecutor slots?
4. Would you agree that another priority for the Attorney General should be to lead the fight for judicial independence in Virginia, including whatever reforms are necessary to make sure that good judges are hired and don't lose their jobs for unpopular decisions?
5. Would you agree that the Attorney General should also be at the forefront of the enforcement of the open government and conflict of interest laws in Virginia - and that this starts with the AG's office itself, which ought to have a better website, one that includes the actual names of all the lawyers who work there?
6. Do you agree that the hiring of outside counsel for the legal work of the Commonwealth should be based on non-partisan factors?
7. What is the relevance of the substance of a candidate's law practice to whether he should be elected Attorney General?
8. Can you state now, unequivocally and for all-time, that a desire to be Governor of the Commonwealth is not even one-tenth of one percent of your motivation for entering this campaign - and, is your answer to this question as honest and truthful as everything else you've said to date as a candidate?
9. What can or will the next AG do to make it so that Time magazine will have to change its Mar. 28 characterization of Tazewell County - if it writes about it again four years from now?
10. Have you heard that all it takes to hire John Behan is an offer of barbecue?

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