My Voter Guide, pt 2: Georgia Attorney General

Sorry for the delay!  Here’s part 2.  But first, for those who haven’t seen the first guide here is a little basic info:

In this guide, you will find brief explanations of the offices and/or amendments up for grabs this election.  For each office, I have provided summaries of the candidates’ political positions, voting records, and histories.  After the summaries, you will find my pick for the office and my reasoning.  For ballot measures, you will find an explanation of the measure, along with my vote and reasoning.

Important things to know:

  1. YOU DON’T HAVE TO VOTE THE WAY I DO.  We may not have the same politics.  That’s okay.  You may not agree with my picks.  That’s okay too.  Just disregard my picks, and use the summary information to inform your own vote.
  2. You can take this guide with you when you vote.  Let this remind you of how you decided to vote so that you are not flustered when you get in the booth.  Alternatively, you can jot down your votes on a sample ballot or a sheet of paper to bring with you.
  3. Share with your people.  This is free info!  Make copies, pass them around, spread far and wide.

Attorney General

The attorney general is basically the lawyer for the state.  The AG represents the state in legal cases, and also provides legal opinions on matters concerning the state.  Additionally, the AG prosecutes public corruption cases (which we know is a problem in our fair state), negotiates contracts, and initiates civil or criminal actions on behalf of the state.

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens. Courtesy of law.ga.gov

Georgia’s current Attorney General, Sam Olens (Republican), is running for reelection.  He has been in office since 2011. In addition to looking at his campaign platform, let’s take a look at his record. Olens has proudly led the state’s legal challenge against the Affordable Care Act and cap and trade environmental regulations.  He has also been a player in the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  His flagship accomplishment has been legislation to end child sex trafficking in Georgia.  Olens has defended Georgia’s immigration laws.  He has also strengthened open records laws, though he has been criticized for not enforcing the laws often enough by seeking punishments for those who violate them.  Though he has not taken a stand on same sex marriage, he has stated that he will defend the ban on same sex marriage unless courts rule it unconstitutitonal.  He is being supported by the gun rights folks and most of the state’s district attorneys, regardless of party.  He is also supported by the Fraternal Order of Police and the Police Benevolent Association.

Democratic Candidate Greg Hecht. Courtesy of greghecht.com

Olens is being challenged by Democrat Gregory Hecht.  The former assistant district attorney, state senator, and state rep is campaigning on fighting to protect consumers from identity fraud, fighting against ethics violations, and working against child abuse and neglect.  He has stated that he will not defend the state’s same-sex marriage ban.  As a legislator, his work focused heavily on preventing child and elder abuse.  Greg Hecht is pro-Death Penalty, and does not believe in early release being granted to people who are incarcerated.  He touts his record as ADA of having represented cops in a number of lawsuits, including lawsuits alleging excessive force, and plans to “work closely with law enforcement” if elected.  He says he will support a Georgia Peace Officer’s Bill of Rights (as would his opponent), which in other states has made it nearly impossible for folks to get justice when assaulted by police.

My Vote

I almost endorsed Hecht.  I was so close.  And then I found the questionnaire he completed for the Fraternal Order of Police.  Though he didn’t win their endorsement, his answers were telling enough that he also doesn’t win my vote.   Should have known, considering his former role as a Special Prosecutor for the DEA. Nonetheless, we’ll have to watch our backs with either of these guys.

I’m writing in Attorney Mawuli Davis.  

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