Anderson would rebuild AG’s office

Published 10:57 pm Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Could you imagine a better situation — a better office to run for in this election cycle than that of Alabama attorney general?

Let’s be honest, Republican nominee Luther Strange and the Democrat’s James Anderson, have stumbled onto the best possible political situation they could have ever hoped for.

The mere fact the two men have a pulse, common sense and solid plans for the office’s future puts either one of them miles ahead of the person they are succeeding in current Attorney General Troy King.

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For the past few years, King has not only become an embarrassment to the State of Alabama in the way he has handled the illegal gambling issue but as of lately, has added to the mounting financial and legal disaster that is the BP oil spill along the Gulf Coast.

In our endorsement of this race, we feel confident the next person will do a good job if for no other reason than they are not Troy King.

But, while our strong displeasure with King’s performance is based on his bumbling of situations and the weakening of the AG’s office, we also believe his two terms have set forth a terrible trend of politicizing the office that needs to be and must be removed immediately.

The next attorney general also must work to rebuild the office’s hard stance on public corruption and reinvest in the office’s investigative services, both of which seem to have dwindled under King’s leadership.

The office must also focus on the issues facing Alabama — not the United States — and direct the full weight of the office behind cleaning up investigations that have drawn on for years, thus chipping away at the office’s credibility.

It is for this reason, and this need for intense focus on the issues at home and not abroad, that the Times-Journal endorses James Anderson.

As we have said, both candidates have strong records and without a doubt would do much to restore the attorney general office’s strength and effectiveness, but Strange’s desire to continue the lawsuit over the recently passed federal health care legislation is not immediately in the best interest of Alabamians and offers a scent of politicization that we have smelled for far too long from King.

Regardless of who wins, the work to rebuild, restore and re-energize the attorney general’s office must begin immediately. For eight years, Alabama has had to endure the work of an AG working on his own agenda and not that of its citizens.