Yesterday we explored the importance of the Attorney General’s race in Arizona, and how the Republican candidates represent the backwards direction this state is headed in by being involved with SB1070, legalizing racial profiling and giving Arpaio even more power, and HB2281 which bans ethnic studies in Tucson.
The candidates from the Democratic party are in stark contrast to the Republican candidates, with the exception of David Lujan who was the Democratic state House Minority Leader and actually missed the vote on SB1070, and then lied about the reasons why:
Lujan told Simons that he’d worked to kill the bill in the past, but that when it came up for a vote on April 13, he was away from Phoenix.
“I was already out of town,” said Lujan. “I had been out of town on a previously scheduled trip that has been scheduled for four months. [SB 1070] wasn’t scheduled for a vote until the night before…”
But Lujan was in town. He was at a House caucus meeting at the Capitol that morning. And I caught up with him early that evening at a small Democratic party function, specifically to ask him why he missed the most important vote of his career, and one of the most important votes in the history of the state.
At that time, Lujan told me he wanted to be present for the vote, but that he couldn’t make it because it was his parents’ 60th wedding anniversary, and he had to attend a party for them that afternoon.
I thought that was a pretty lame excuse at the time, particularly coming from the leader of the House Democratic caucus. Still, here he was on TV offering a slightly less lame one, that also happened to be untrue.
I called Lujan, confronted him, and asked for an explanation of the inconsistency. He told me that he messed up when responding to Simons’ inquiry.
“I just misspoke,” he said. “I don’t know why it came out of my mouth that I was out of town. I was in town.”
He admitted that he’d been at the Capitol that morning, but was absent for the rest of the day.
The Arizona Republic had recently asked 5 questions to AG candidate Vince Rabago and published the conversation today, which you can read below.
Rabago cites efforts to battle violence, fraud
A conversation with Vince Rabago, Democratic candidate for Arizona Attorney General.
1. Mr. Rabago, you worked in the Arizona Attorney General’s Office for eight years before stepping down to run for attorney general. What do you view as your biggest accomplishments?
(Article continued below)
As a career 16-year prosecutor, as an assistant Arizona attorney general since 2002 and as a California deputy attorney general from 1994 through 2002, my accomplishments include working on successful national and statewide fraud cases and criminal cases. I have sued and obtained a court injunction against a major payday lender for deceptive practices, fought mortgage fraud and enforced justice against violent and hardened criminals, including death-penalty cases.
2. Why are you running for attorney general?
Arizona needs an attorney general with the common-sense experience to fight for Arizonans and against the criminal traffickers, financial crooks and fraudsters.
3. What is your position on Senate Bill 1070?
Having been born and raised on the border, I will be the first to say that our border must be secured. But SB 1070 is a misguided solution to a serious problem and doesn’t provide border security.
4. What would be your top priorities as attorney general?
As for some specific plans:
1. Fighting financial fraud such as cracking down on predatory bankers, payday lenders and mortgage fraud.
2. Improving border security – escalating the battle against cartels, trafficking and continuing to choke off the money supply that funds these criminal syndicates.
3. Increase the focus on protecting seniors, children and consumer protection.
4. And fighting identity theft by working with law enforcement to close the technology gap that allows this crime to occur.
5. What would be the first thing you would do as attorney general?
I would put together the best possible legal staff and bring together law enforcement from all across the state to coordinate all law-enforcement efforts, from Phoenix and Tucson to our rural counties, to have a comprehensive strategy for fighting all crime and border trafficking.