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Testifying on PRC Reform Legislation (w/ Fred Nathan)
Speaking in solidarity with Wisconin employees outside the Roundhouse
|New Mexico Attorney General - The
Overview of the New Mexico Attorney General's Office
The Attorney General runs the state’s Department of Justice, represents the state in all causes in the Supreme Court and at Court of Appeals, prosecutes or defends state officials, advocates on behalf of the pubic interest, and issues opinions on questions of law submitted by government officials. (NMSA 8-5-2.) The Attorney General enforces many consumer protection laws and advocates in front of the Public Regulation Commission on behalf of residential and small commercial consumers. New Mexico’s AG fills a variety of roles: advocate, advisor, or prosecutor, depending on what the circumstances warrant.
The Attorney General's Office is currently organized into three administrative and ten functional divisions:
A strong public interest vision, backed by effective management, is the key to successfully meeting the challenges of the Attorney General's Office.
|Jason Marks on the
As Attorney General, I will make creating a state ethics commission a top priority. Too often, there is no meaningful resolution and accountability when complaints are lodged against public officials. When evidence indicates a violation of criminal statutes by a public official, investigation and prosecution will be swift and effective, without regard to party or position.
The public is entitled to transparency and accountability. Attorney General lawyers are active today in identifying violations of the state's Open Meetings Act. My Attorney General's Office will extend oversight to public officials who frustate public records requests under IPRA through excessive delay and even suppression. I will join the Foundation for Open Government in supporting a change in law to impose personal penalties on officials who intentionally violate IPRA disclosure requirements
Money can have a corrosive effect on fairness of our political system. Though the U.S. Supreme Court has made it increasingly hard to limit political speech in the form of campaign contributions, there's at least one very abusive area that we can and must regulate: "late train contributions" after an election has already been decided. As A.G., I will advocate for a campaign finance black-out period beginning the day of the election and running until 18-months before the next general election.
Local District Attorneys are responsible for prosecuting the overwhelming majority of criminal cases in our state courts. The Attorney General has primary criminal prosecution responsibilities for a few specialized areas such as Medicaid fraud and Internet crimes against children, and represent the state in all criminal appeals. As Attorney General, I will use the office to coordinate the statewide response to DWI, domestic violence, emerging drugs (e.g., "bath salts"), and other widely occuring threats to public safety; I'll also improve the effectiveness of the AGOs direct prosecutions.
The DWI problem continues to plague our state. We've strengthened criminal penalties for DWI, but many offenders continue to drink and drive because they've figured out that the odds of being stopped are low, not to mention the obvious problems we've been having ensuring that prior DWI convictions are counted. My Attorney General's Office will increase coordinate DWI activities statewide and bring a targeted, researched-based approach to surveillance and apprehension.
I will personally engage with the Medicaid Fraud investigation and prosecution Division to improve targetting and conviction rates.
The Attorney General's Office investigates and resolves around 3,000 consumer complaints each year, most through informal means. Under my leadership, we will not hesitate to use all tools at our disposal, including public education, regulatory enforcement actions, negotiations, and courtroom litigation to protect consumers from abusive and illegal practices. I will ensure that my staff has the resources needed to vindicate the public interest when we go to court.
Expect special scrutiny for financial services under my leadership. Predatory lending practices and abusive fees, whether by street-corner payday lenders, car financers, or large national banks, will not be tolerated .
As a PRC Commissioner, I found millions of dollars in "money left on the table" when settlements were negotiated. As A.G., my staff will vigorously pursue every dollar in utility rate case, and will vigorously contest unjustified health insurance rate increases.
I support more telecom competition and initiatives like community broadband that can bring advanced services to rural areas. At the federal level, I'll fight for strong net-neutrality regulations to ensure carriers don't use monopolistic practices to further their own interests, while reducing consumer choice and slowing business innovation.
Under my leadership, the New Mexico Attorney General's Office will support renewable energy and energy efficiency. We will keep our eyes on costs and not allow waste, but will recognize that when the well-being of future generations is at risk, the public interest requires that we look at more than short-term costs in constucting an energy portfolio. We must drastically reduce greenhouse gas emmissions over the next few decades.
My Attorney General's Office will vigorously pursue environmental law violations, while always seeking creative solutions that protect our state's natural heritage and allow responsible economic development.
We will protect our state's interest in increasingly scarce water resources in multijurisdictional litigation.