Making Democracy Work

Responses to Questions - Attorney General

CANDIDATE STEVE DETTELBACH

Responses are printed exactly as received

Candidate: STEVE DETTELBACH

Political Party: Democrat
Website: http://steveforohio.com
Occupation: Attorney; Prosecutor
Education: Dartmouth College Harvard Law School

Training and Experience:
2009-2016: U.S. Attorney - Northern District of Ohio 2008-2009: Commissioner - Ohio Ethics Commission 2006-2009; 2016-Present: Partner - Baker Hostetler, LLP 2003-2006: Prosecutor - U.S. Attorney's Office, Organized Crime and Corruption Strike Force

What are the most important functions of the state attorney general and why?
The Attorney General's job is to ensure that no one is above the law, no one is below the law, and no one is beyond its reach. Fundamentally, that means protecting people + from violent crime, corrupt politicians, and a broken political system that allows powerful special interests to play by a different set of the rules than everyone else.

What divisions (e.g. consumer protection, environment, civil rights, immigration) would you prioritize and why?
The job of the Attorney General is to enforce the Rule of Law and to protect Ohio's citizens. Right now, our political system is broken. We have corrupt politicians -- both Democrats and Republicans -- who are allowed to play by a different set of rules than everyone else. That is wrong.
As AG, on day one, I will conduct a top-to-bottom review of Ohio's corruption laws to put a stop to the pay-to-play culture running rampant in our Statehouse. It's time to put Ohioans first, and stop letting special interest donors call the shots in our government.

During a time of shrinking budgets for state government agencies, how would you focus resources allocated to the Attorney General's office to make it more efficient and cost effective?
As United States Attorney, I managed the office through one of the most challenging budget periods of all time. Despite sequester, shut down, and shrinking budgets, I am proud that the office continued to maintain high levels of productivity and efficiency during my tenure. The Attorney General's office can improve efficiency and cost savings by investing in new technologies that save resources in the long run. The office should look to partner with county and local governments, law enforcement agencies, and community-based organizations to end duplication of efforts and make sure that the best agent is delivering the critical services Ohioans need. Furthermore, I would end our current AG's policy of wasting money on blatantly political cases and investigations, like those that attack a woman's constitutional right to make her own healthcare decisions.

What is the role of the attorney general's office in addressing the opioid crisis in Ohio? What measures would you pursue in office?
If we want to really combat the problem, we need a comprehensive approach -- what I call a `three-legged stool' approach -- of enforcement, prevention, and treatment.
As U.S. Attorney of the Northern District of Ohio, I was on the front lines of the crisis; this is a fight I know well. I've prosecuted drug traffickers that flooded the streets with opioids, including a case that resulted in one of the largest heroin seizures in Ohio history. I've aggressively gone after corrupt doctors and drug companies who pushed pills into our communities. I also established an award-winning task force, the Northeast Ohio Heroin and Opioid Task Force, to prevent and treat addiction, which has become a national model used in other U.S. cities.
As AG, I will continue this fight. I will make pharmaceutical companies pay for treatment, and aggressively take on those who perpetuate a crisis that has plagued our communities for far too long.

How will you execute your authority as Attorney General to hold accountable online and brick-and-mortar community schools?
The fact that ECOT executives were allowed to defraud the State of Ohio to the tune of nearly $200 million is both inexcusable and a case study of the corruption that has become characteristic in Ohio. This all happened under the watch of our current Statehouse leadership, including my opponent, who was supposed to be auditing them. Make no mistake -- the attempts of politicians to cover their political tracks on ECOT now is not fooling anyone. They failed Ohio children, families, and taxpayers, and continue to do so. As AG, I will work to hold each and every person or entity accountable. I will fight for transparency and accountability throughout state government and without regard for who might be a powerful political donor.

Under what circumstances should AT pursue legal action against federal policies?
When considering whether to intervene in federal policy on behalf of Ohioans, I will implement a two-part test. First, I will consider if the policy violates the protections and requirements of the Constitution. If it does, I will then consider whether the policy is in the best interests of Ohioans. If the policy is unconstitutional and harmful to Ohioans, I will use my authority as Attorney General to intervene.



CANDIDATE DAVE YOST

Responses are printed exactly as received

Candidate: DAVE YOST

Political Party: Republican
Website: http://daveyost.com
Occupation: Auditor of State
Education: B.A. OSU 1984; JD Capital Law 1991

Training and Experience:
Former Prosecuting Attorney, lawyer, newspaper reporter

What are the most important functions of the state attorney general and why?
The attorney general's job is to protect Ohio and its people--from prosecuting crime, to protecting the environment and consumers, I will fight for the best interest of all Ohioans. As attorney general, I will take an oath to uphold the rule of law, defend the Ohio Constitution and fight for all Ohioans. I will apply the law with an even hand, and make Ohio a safer and more predictable place to work and live.

What divisions (e.g. consumer protection, environment, civil rights, immigration) would you prioritize and why?
I will prioritize the rule of law and pound this message: The client is the State of Ohio and its people, not the politicians or the bureaucrats.

During a time of shrinking budgets for state government agencies, how would you focus resources allocated to the Attorney General's office to make it more efficient and cost effective?
While serving as Ohio's Auditor of State for the past eight years, I specialized in finding savings. My office's studies identified more than $260 million in taxpayer savings for state and local governments. I will bring this same eye for efficiency to the attorney general's office, and make sure your hard-earned tax dollars are spent wisely and effectively.

What is the role of the attorney general's office in addressing the opioid crisis in Ohio? What measures would you pursue in office?
The attorney general has to lead on many fronts--through the courts, through law enforcement, through collaboration and education. We need to get tougher on dealers that are flooding our streets with drugs and poisoning our communities, while investing in results-driven treatment, and rethinking how we address prevention.

How will you execute your authority as Attorney General to hold accountable online and brick-and-mortar community schools?
As Auditor of State, I have long been an advocate for stronger charter school accountability and increased transparency to guarantee our kids receive the quality education they deserve, and our tax dollars are used responsibly. I was a proponent of House Bill 2, which brought increased accountability to Ohio's charter school system. I also led efforts to prevent systemic over-payments to charter schools by working to close loopholes in Ohio law. As attorney general, I will continue my oversight, and hold bad actors accountable, while rewarding the quality schools that support our kids.

Under what circumstances should AT pursue legal action against federal policies?
As attorney general, I will take an oath to uphold the Ohio Constitution, bills passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by the governor, and the rule of law. My client will be the people of Ohio, and frivolous political lawsuits have no place in the attorney general's office.
To that end, I have a test for determining whether I will join a multi-state lawsuit as attorney general. I will ask three questions of each case that comes before me prior to signing Ohio's name to a multi-state suit: 1. Was there a clear violation of process, the Constitution or the Ohio Revised Code? 2. Was harm done to Ohioans/is there anything to be gained from adding Ohio's name to the suit? 3. What does the evidence show? Is the case winnable?
To create stability and predictability--and avoid entanglements in drawn-out lawsuits that drain resources--each case must pass through this test.