Gnorb.NET Florida (although mostly Broward) Voter Guide

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Attorney General

The race for Attorney General is pretty tight and while I’d love to bring you an in-depth report on the candidates — Bill McCollum (Republican) and Walter “Skip” Campbell (Democrat) — I can’t, namely because their websites don’t really offer much information, other than the basic rhetoric of “We’ll protect you from insurance companies” (duh) “we’ll protect you against terrorism” (I hope so) and “we’ll get those child predators out of your neighborhood.” As such, I’ve had to simply go out and do my own research, based on the amount of coverage they’ve gotten in the press.

By the way, in case you want to know, here’s what the Attorney General does: The attorney general is Florida’s chief legal officer, overseeing 14 branches across the state with about 1,100 employees. The office represents the state when it’s sued, handles all felony appeals, investigates whether companies are exploiting consumers and issues advisory legal opinions to government agencies.

The attorney general also serves on Florida’s three-member Cabinet that, along with the governor, oversees several state agencies, including the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Department of Revenue.

Sources:
Sun Sentinel
The Ledger

  • Bill McCollum (Republican): McCollum, of Longwood, served 20 years in Congress from 1981 to 2001, experience he says would be invaluable for the attorney general job. During his tenure, he founded and was chairman of a House task force on terrorism from 1989 to 1995. Some also might remember him as one of the 13 House managers in President Clinton’s impeachment trial.
    • Used to be a lobbyist.
    • Has held chairmanship of a terrorism panel in the House.
    • Has blamed Campbell for having “weird liberal policies”, without explaining exactly what those weird liberal policies were.
    • McCollum wants to use the office to push for tort reform, fighting to curb what he says are unnecessary lawsuits.
    • Port security, strengthening U.S. border security and beefing up fraud protections for senior citizens are also among his priorities.
    • Supported state intervention in the Terri Schiavo right-do-die case, although he now says state and federal efforts should have ended after courts ruled in favor of cutting off life support for the severely brain-damaged woman.
    • Opposes any restoration of rights to felons.
    • Supports the death penalty.
  • Walter “Skip” Campbell (Democrat): Campbell, of Coral Springs, has spent the past decade representing western parts of Broward in the Florida Senate. He also has developed a reputation as one of South Florida’s top civil attorneys, putting together a string of multimillion verdicts and settlements. That combination of political and legal experience makes him the right fit for the job, he says.
    • Opposed state intervention in the Terri Schiavo right-do-die case.
    • Campbell is against any effort to reduce access to courts and argues that enough reforms have been enacted.
    • Used to be a trial lawyer; has been an attorney for 33 years.
    • Supports restoration of civil rights, including the right to vote, to convicted felons except in capital cases or for sexual predators.
    • Supports the death penalty.

Gnorb’s Impressions: I seriously wish their websites were as informative as the news stories about them freely available on the Internet.

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