ATTORNEY GENERAL Candidates

The Attorney General (AG) is Michigan's chief law enforcement officer and chief legal advisor to state government. The AG is third in the line of succession to become Governor should the office be vacated. 

This video is not an endorsement of any candidate. VOTE November 6, 2018 in the General Election

Q1. Flint Water Investigation

Current Attorney General Bill Schuette has criminally charged 15 people of different positions including the head of the Department of Health and Human Services, Nick Lyon, for their roles in the Flint water crisis. How satisfied are you with the investigation and charges brought by the AG’s Office and what, if anything would you do differently as Attorney General for the State of Michigan?

ANSWER: It will be incumbent on the next Attorney General to review the specifics of each case relating to the Flint water crisis to ensure that the best possible decisions were made at each juncture (the exact opposite of what transpired in Flint in which many government agencies made mistakes at various points, thereby causing the original problem to spiral further out of control), that sufficient compensation and restitution will be made to the victims, and that jurisdictions and lines of communication be clarified so as to prevent such a situation from occurring again. On a more philosophical level, the Office will have to seriously contemplate the potential problems and the ramifications of discharging its duties to defend government employees on the one hand, and the citizens of our state on the other hand, when a conflict of interest arises. It must be made clear that the chief duty of the Office is to protect the rights of citizens against violations, abuses, fraud and incompetence – including those from government and law enforcement officials.

Q2. Parole Violations

The Mackinac Center reports that nearly half of all new prisoners are those penalized for violating their probation. Last March, Gov. Snyder signed 18 bills into law, including the Parole Sanction Certainty Act, which changes how parole infractions are handled. The law makes penalties for parole violations more immediate but less severe. Do you support the Parole Sanction Certainty Act’s changes to handling parole violations and why? What, if anything would you support changing about parole violations in Michigan?

ANSWER: Our state’s corrections budget amounts to around $ 2 billion a year. Untold millions of dollars - and an untold number of lives - could be saved if we take the obvious step this November of legalizing cannabis and hemp, as well as freeing all persons incarcerated for non-violent, marijuana-related crimes, restoring their full rights, and expunging the records of those previously convicted. With approximately 50% of our prisoners being incarcerated for parole/probation violations, such legalization alone would result in tremendous savings in that persons utilizing or handling cannabis would not be imprisoned in the first place. The Parole Sanction Certainty Act appears to have promise in decreasing the rate of recidivism, because the sanctions applied to those who violate parole are graduated and because it attempt to avoid confinement. However, among those sanctions, the testing for alcohol and drug use seems unjust in that it results in a burden on those who may have difficulty in reporting for testing due to a lack of reliable transportation or due to a full work schedule, which would be completely counterproductive because steady work is clearly an essential component in reducing recidivism.


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This video is not an endorsement of any candidate. VOTE August 7th 2018, in the Primary election and November 6, 2018 in the General Election.

Q1. Flint Water Investigation

Current Attorney General Bill Schuette has criminally charged 15 people of different positions including the head of the Department of Health and Human Services, Nick Lyon, for their roles in the Flint water crisis. How satisfied are you with the investigation and charges brought by the AG’s Office and what, if anything would you do differently as Attorney General for the State of Michigan?

ANSWER: "The Flint water crisis was the result of government failures and flawed decision making at every level, and it requires a top-to-bottom review. Every Michigan resident, and especially the people directly impacted by these awful mistakes, deserves to know exactly what those failures were and who was responsible. Our attorney general must make answering those questions and achieving justice top priorities, and as Michigan’s next attorney general that is exactly what I will do.

As for the ongoing investigation and charges, I know from experience that there is a lot of work that goes into the decision making process during a criminal investigation and prosecution. I was taught early in my legal career as a Genesee County prosecutor that justice requires more than merely seeking a conviction. I did not take lightly the role I played in bringing criminal charges against individuals, and I saw first-hand how vitally important it is to review all the information available before making or second-guessing a decision. These are obviously difficult and complicated cases. Therefore, until I know all of the facts available to the attorney general and his prosecutors, I cannot say for sure which changes in direction may be needed. But once I’m able to see all the evidence available to prosecutors, I will act swiftly to ensure justice is served."

Q2. Parole Violations

The Mackinac Center reports that nearly half of all new prisoners are those penalized for violating their probation. Last March, Gov. Snyder signed 18 bills into law, including the Parole Sanction Certainty Act, which changes how parole infractions are handled. The law makes penalties for parole violations more immediate but less severe. Do you support the Parole Sanction Certainty Act’s changes to handling parole violations and why? What, if anything would you support changing about parole violations in Michigan?

ANSWER: "I do support the changes to the Parole Sanction Certainty Act; I worked with Senator John Proos and Governor Snyder to pass this important legislation. Reducing recidivism and more effectively rehabilitating offenders are very important goals for Michigan. Research shows that immediate, certain sanctions for parole violations advance these goals. Our economy, our communities and our citizens are much better off when those who leave our corrections system lead healthy and productive lives. This legislation, including its strengthening of the Swift and Sure program, brings us closer to that goal.

Two of my top legislative priorities have been improving our mental health system and providing more opportunities in the skilled trades . If we can do that, we will truly help address the root causes of parole violations and a high prison population. Right now, at least a quarter of Michigan prisoners suffer from a mental illness. While they can receive care while incarcerated, I have heard far too many first-hand accounts from law enforcement about individuals who come right back into the system because they did not get the care and support they needed on the outside. I know from experience that those who receive help are far different people when they’re getting the assistance they need than when they are not. While this broken mental health system cannot be fixed overnight, the House has taken strides through our CARES task force to identify and begin to fix some of the most pressing problems.

Unemployment is another barrier that many on parole must face. Violating parole or reoffending becomes much more likely without a job. We are blessed in Michigan to have an economy on the rebound with many employment opportunities available, especially in the trades. However, many of those jobs go unfilled because people who need a job don’t have the skills to fill them. At a state level, programs like the vocational village help fill this void by giving incarcerated individuals the skills they need before they leave. But more must be done outside of the corrections system to create opportunities for people to get trained and help them identify and build skills for in-demand positions."


This video is not an endorsement of any candidate. VOTE November 6, 2018 in the General Election

Q1. Flint Water Investigation

Current Attorney General Bill Schuette has criminally charged 15 people of different positions including the head of the Department of Health and Human Services, Nick Lyon, for their roles in the Flint water crisis. How satisfied are you with the investigation and charges brought by the AG’s Office and what, if anything would you do differently as Attorney General for the State of Michigan?

ANSWER: No Response

Q2. Parole Violations

The Mackinac Center reports that nearly half of all new prisoners are those penalized for violating their probation. Last March, Gov. Snyder signed 18 bills into law, including the Parole Sanction Certainty Act, which changes how parole infractions are handled. The law makes penalties for parole violations more immediate but less severe. Do you support the Parole Sanction Certainty Act’s changes to handling parole violations and why? What, if anything would you support changing about parole violations in Michigan?

ANSWER: No Response


This video is not an endorsement of any candidate. VOTE August 7th 2018, in the Primary election and November 6, 2018 in the General Election.

Q1. Flint Water Investigation

Current Attorney General Bill Schuette has criminally charged 15 people of different positions including the head of the Department of Health and Human Services, Nick Lyon, for their roles in the Flint water crisis. How satisfied are you with the investigation and charges brought by the AG’s Office and what, if anything would you do differently as Attorney General for the State of Michigan?

ANSWER: No Response

Q2. Parole Violations

The Mackinac Center reports that nearly half of all new prisoners are those penalized for violating their probation. Last March, Gov. Snyder signed 18 bills into law, including the Parole Sanction Certainty Act, which changes how parole infractions are handled. The law makes penalties for parole violations more immediate but less severe. Do you support the Parole Sanction Certainty Act’s changes to handling parole violations and why? What, if anything would you support changing about parole violations in Michigan?

ANSWER: No Response


This video is not an endorsement of any candidate. VOTE November 6, 2018 in the General Election

Q1. Flint Water Investigation

Current Attorney General Bill Schuette has criminally charged 15 people of different positions including the head of the Department of Health and Human Services, Nick Lyon, for their roles in the Flint water crisis. How satisfied are you with the investigation and charges brought by the AG’s Office and what, if anything would you do differently as Attorney General for the State of Michigan?

ANSWER: No Response

Q2. Parole Violations

The Mackinac Center reports that nearly half of all new prisoners are those penalized for violating their probation. Last March, Gov. Snyder signed 18 bills into law, including the Parole Sanction Certainty Act, which changes how parole infractions are handled. The law makes penalties for parole violations more immediate but less severe. Do you support the Parole Sanction Certainty Act’s changes to handling parole violations and why? What, if anything would you support changing about parole violations in Michigan?

ANSWER: No Response