Tuesday, October 22, 2002
Steamboat Springs Marti Allbright said she believes the attorney general needs to be a lawyer, not just another politician.
It's one of the slogans she has been running on as the Nov. 5 election nears, and it is what she believes distinguishes her from her opponent, Attorney General Ken Salazar.
"I'm running because we need better legal representation than what we are getting," Allbright said. "I feel very strongly the attorney general, first and foremost, is the lawyer for the state. I am running as a lawyer, not as a politician."
Allbright is headquartered in Steamboat Springs this week as she visits towns in Northwest Colorado.
She owns a condo here with her husband, Ed.
Her children, Susan and Jeff, attend Lowell Whiteman.
The Colorado attorney general is responsible for doing much of the state's legal work and has the primary responsibility over consumer protection, antitrust, criminal appeals, complex white-collar crime matters, training and certification of peace officers and some natural resources and environmental matters.
Green Party candidate Alison Maynard and Libertarian Dwight Harding are also running for the office.
After facing a summer of one of the state's worst-ever droughts, how the attorney general should protect Colorado's water has become a significant campaign issue.
Allbright said if Colorado is not diligent in protecting its water from other states and the federal government, the internal policy debates on how and where to use water would be moot.
She criticized Salazar for his stance to allow the federal government to take Colorado water for the United States Forest Service.
She points to the Division 3 Water District, where in stream flow rights in the Arkansas River were given to the Forest Service.
She also said as the overseer of training for peace officers, she wants to increase the state's ranking, which is 37th out of the 50 states in terms of amount of training.
"I want to ensure the rural communities are getting the support and resources they need in terms of training. To do a better job of giving them resources," Allbright said.
In a year where large national and state corporations have been accused of fraud, Allbright said prosecuting consumer fraud is one of the attorney general office's key jobs, regardless of whether it is small businesses or large corporations who do the fraud.
"Large corporations that defraud the public by using accounting games, which misleads the public, are crooks. It is no different than someone who walks into a 7-Eleven and robs the cash register. They need to be dealt with harshly," Allbright said.
She pointed to her work prosecuting tobacco companies while she was chief deputy for Attorney General Gale Norton.
But Allbright also noted most businesspeople are not bad actors, and she wants to be careful to not engage in corporate shakedowns, which she said would raise the price of consumer goods.
She also talked about protecting the rights of child from domestic violence, saying too many fall through the cracks.