Dem attorney general candidate 
seems to have multiple personalities

In 1957 Joanne Woodward won an Academy Award for playing a character afflicted with multiple personality disorder in “The Three Faces of Eve.”

Her portrayal naturally puts me in mind of Democrat candidate for Colorado attorney general, Don Quick.

I read last week’s Daily Sentinel interview with Quick, done while he was here on the Western Slope questing for further government employment. As usual, individuals running for attorney general try to stress criminal prosecutions as part of their campaign, when they are actually a very minor part of the attorney general’s job.

Quick, as a Democrat, is naturally anxious to bring up the topic, even though that’s primarily the local district attorney’s job. The state attorney general mainly represents the various state agencies as their lawyer. Quick knows this because he was the chief deputy for former attorney general and general nuisance, Ken Salazar.

The office is also tasked with defending challenges to existing state law in the courts, such as the new gun-control legislation that was passed last year. We didn’t hear much from Quick about that when he was here, but surely someone as tough on crime as he purports to be has something to say about these draconian and unpopular statutes, which are being challenged in court.

In fact, the conservative-sounding prosecutor portrayed over here seems to be one of the multiple personalities manifested by Quick. His personalities, like those of poor Eve, seem to change with the audience.

So, while he spent most of his interview here talking about his tough stances on prosecution and juvenile crime, here’s what he wrote in an email a couple of days before, about things he could actually be called upon to regularly advocate or defend.

“Too often we hear about Republican leaders across the country attempting to deny women the right to make their own health care decisions or attacking the voting rights of targeted groups. Access to a quality public education is under attack, too, even though children have a right to attend a school where they will be safe and able to learn. The Republican record on marriage equality isn’t much better. At the same time, our state Legislature passed landmark civil union legislation, our Republican attorney general chose to defend California’s ban on same-sex marriage.”

Why, Don, whatever do you mean? Are we not on the same page anymore?

For instance, wouldn’t it be interesting to hear what he has to say about voter identification laws because, if he’s keeping with his party’s position on the subject and it sounds like he is, he’s against such requirements.

It also makes one wonder about his statement that Republicans are “attacking the voting rights of targeted groups.”

Does Quick have some specific groups and actions in mind? Because his statement is very intriguing.

Also, what is he referencing when he says that Republican leaders are attempting to deny women the right to make their own health care decisions? How are they doing that and what decisions is he talking about — abortion, obstetrics, flu vaccines? If it is abortion, he appears too apprehensive to use the word.

Moreover, what exactly is he referring to in his statement about schools that are safe places where children are “able to learn”? Sounds important, but who exactly is against those things?

I’d like to know his position regarding school vouchers or the school choice initiative Douglas County has attempted, that is embroiled in litigation.

Voters over here might find that to be about as interesting as the Environmental Crimes Prosecution Unit that Quick founded under Salazar. Coal miners in Delta County and energy workers in general might be especially interested in his positions on their industries.

The attorney general argues in front of the courts regarding statutes and constitutional rights and makes decisions about how vigorous an offense or defense he or she puts up on any of them. This person doesn’t run an FBI-type agency or the state equivalent of the Justice Department, so don’t be misled.

The attorney general’s job, however, is very much about our rights in the state of Colorado, and only one personality is necessary for the job. We should insist on seeing it.

Rick Wagner writes more on politics at his blog, The War on Wrong.


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