Guest Commentary: Phil Weiser is the Right Choice to Make the Attorney General’s Office An Engine For Progress

Guest Commentary: Phil Weiser is the Right Choice to Make the Attorney General’s Office An Engine For Progress

By Jeni James Arndt, Chris Hansen, and Tracy Kraft Tharp

In 2018, Coloradans have the opportunity to hire a new lawyer to represent us and work as a partner with the State Legislature.  For us, this is straightforward decision:  Phil Weiser is the right person for the job.

Phil’s approach to problem solving and can do attitude promises to provide our State Legislature with a partner and leader who can work with us on a range of issues—from criminal justice reform to addressing the opioid crisis to building a 21st century energy system to water management to bringing broadband to all Coloradans.  One quality that makes Phil special is that he appreciates that bringing lawsuits is only one tool that the Attorney General’s office can use to make life better for all Coloradans.  In this video, Phil explains this important point.

For the State Legislature, the Attorney General can either be an engaged partner, or a hindrance to progress.  Consider, for example, the case of criminal justice reform.  Currently, Colorado has over 20,000 people in prison and is now stretching to find additional capacity.  In some local jails, moreover, there is considerable overcrowding because we are putting opioid users in jail and lack treatment options.  For us to develop a smarter criminal justice system, we need leaders across our State—including those of us in the Legislature, District Attorneys, County Sheriffs, public defenders, social workers, and others—to work together to evaluate when we should be imprisoning people who are a risk to society and when we can use alternatives to incarceration.  Phil is just the type of leader who can help us forge this path. As the Dean of CU Law School, for example, he worked successfully with the State Legislature to develop a program to send recent law school graduates to rural communities to work as assistant district attorneys.

On a range of other issues, from those he knows well (like broadband) to those he is working hard to learn more about (water management), we know that Phil will bring innovative and energetic leadership to the office to get things done.  That’s why leaders like Bernie Buescher, Alice Madden, Ken Salazar, and Tim Wirth are behind him in this race.  We are proud to join them in supporting Phil and transforming our Attorney General’s office into an engine for progress.

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