Oct 9, 2012 10:34 PM by MTN News
Candidate Profile: Pam Bucy, candidate for Montana Attorney General
We sent the following questions to the candidates for Montana Attorney General; replies below are posted verbatim, with a link to the candidate's website at the bottom.
1. Biographical Information
Name: Pam Bucy
Age & Birthplace: 43, Townsend, MT
Current Occupation: Administrative Council, Montana Department of Labor and Industry
Education: BA in English, Political Science/History - Rocky Mountain College
JD-University of Montana
Political Experience: 1st campaign for public office
2. What are the most important issues facing the Attorney General's office today?
Protecting Montana's children will be my priority as Montana's next chief law enforcement officer. The community where I grew up-Townsend, MT-is a community where neighbors help neighbors, and families watch out for each other. I am the only prosecutor in this race, and I am the only candidate who has put violent criminals behind bars. I know firsthand the role that the attorney general has in ensuring safe communities. As ranking Assistant Attorney General, I wrote Montana's sex and violent offender act strengthen sentences against criminals who endanger our families, and I will continue to prosecute those crimes and work with local law enforcement from preventing them from ever happening in the first place.
I will also partner with local law enforcement in Eastern Montana to address the challenges of growth from the oil boom so that this great economic development is truly beneficial for the residents of communities in Eastern Montana.
Another incredibly important issue facing Montana right now is the integrity of our elections system. Right now, multinational corporations-the same corporations that we at the Attorney General's office have prosecuted for fraud and abuse, are bankrolling a campaign for my opponent, and they do not have the best interests of Montanans or the safety of our children in mind. I will continue Attorney General Bullock's fight to defend Montana's 100-year-old Corrupt Practices Act. This is the states' rights issue of our time, and I will fight for Montanans' right to protect the integrity and sanctity of our election system against corrupting outside influences.
3. As Attorney General you are often asked to defend laws which you don't personally agree with, is this a concern for you?
I am dedicated preserving the Constitutional integrity of the Attorney General's Office as Montana's top lawyer and sole legal representative. I will bring the resources of the office to bear to defend the people's law, and regardless of personal opinion of the law..
The bottom line is, the decision to defend laws passed by the people of Montana is a legal decision, not a political one, and political ideology has no place in the Office of Montana's Attorney General.
4. If elected, what can you do to make sure Montana children are safe?
As I said before, the safety of Montana's kids is my top priority, in fact, my own three kids remind me of this every day. This is why I am committed to prosecuting sex offenders and violent criminals. I am also dedicated to crime prevention. My key prevention initiative, eSm@rt Kids, is a partnership with law enforcement aimed at teaching kids to be smart and proactive online so they do not fall victim to the many dangers and predators that use the internet as a tool to victimize minors. Kids today spent a huge amount of their lives online; it's where they learn, play, interact and connect with friends. eSm@rt Kids is about empowering Montana kids to protect themselves and make smart decisions online. I will also work with schools and after school programs, such as local Boys and Girls Clubs to support their early intervention programs. Countless studies demonstrate that if we can keep kids off the streets and out of the juvenile justice system, we can prevent crime across the board.
5. As Montana's top law enforcement official, how do you plan on enforcing the state's medical marijuana law while balancing federal law which says marijuana is illegal?
I support the people's right to pass law by initiative, and I will enforce Montana's medical marijuana law to ensure that the patients who need this therapy have access without fear of prosecution.
One of the issues Montana has faced in regard to our medical cannabis law is a lack of clarity on how the federal government will enforce their laws. As attorney general I'll work with other attorneys general in the country to get clarification from the federal government on their enforcement strategy. This will allow us to have a clear picture of how we can enforce the law in a way that will protect patients while ensuring that law enforcement have no question about the law and are supported in their enforcement of the law as passed by the people of Montana.
6. Are you proposing any changes to the Office of Consumer Protection?
Consumer protection is one of my top priorities. As ranking assistant attorney general I ushered in the Office of Consumer Protection to the Department of Justice. Once at DOJ, we had the authority to truly prosecute and mediate disputes on behalf of Montana consumers. I will continue to be a strong consumer protection advocate, and I will not be afraid to stand up to multinational corporations who harm or defraud Montana citizens.
I know that no matter how successful we are at finding justice for victims, we rarely can make them 100% whole again, and so I am also dedicated to preventing fraud and abuse before it happens in the first place. Montana's senior citizens have good credit ratings and become targets for identity theft and fraud that targets their good credit standing. As Attorney General, I'll work to provide resources to help protect seniors from falling victims of fraud and scams. With Montana's rapidly aging population, it's incredibly important to provide seniors with the resources to protect themselves. This is why I'd implement a program that would recruit a core group of seniors and provide them with training on the latest scams and frauds targeting Montana seniors, as well as giving them the skills to share this information with other seniors in their communities.
7. When drafting the budget for the Department of Justice, what will be your top priorities?
Montana has some of the best law enforcement and public safety officials in the country. They're well trained and committed to the communities they serve. Unfortunately though, often times they don't have the resources they need to do their job as efficiently as possible.
As Attorney General, my top budgetary priority will be making sure that our law enforcement and public safety officials have the resources they need to keep our communities safe, and to keep them safe on duty as well. Right now the need is greatest for Eastern Montana communities that have seen their populations swell over the last few years.
8. If elected, what will be your top legislative priorities outside budget requests?
As I said, protecting children will be my top priority as Attorney General, and this includes developing policy that helps to prevent and intervene abuse. I believe we must work to prevent child abuse in the first place, but in the cases where we can't prevent it, we must give law enforcement all the tools they need to prosecute it.
One legislative change I'll pursue to help law enforcement with this crimes is closing the mandatory reporting loophole in regard to child abuse cases in the state. Currently not all government officials are required to immediately report cases of serious child abuse. Often times this means law enforcement never hears about some cases of child abuse, so don't have the opportunity to investigate and prosecute the crime. We need to close this loophole in order to protect our children.
We all have a duty to keep our children safe, and as attorney general it will be my top priority.
9. As a member of the Land Board, what is your natural resource development policy?
If I am fortunate enough to be elected, my 8 year old son, Quinn, will serve as a daily reminder that the results of my trustee responsibilities extend long beyond my years of public service.
As a member of the Land Board, I will be a leader in promoting the health and economic vitality of Montana communities to creat good paying jobs and help fund our public school system. As is constitutionally required, I will seek top dollar in every state land contract.
I support the responsible development of our natural resources, and strongly believe that those resources should be developed on Montana's terms and for the benefit of Montana's citizens.
10. Why should Montanans vote for you over your opponent?
The greatest difference between myself and my opponent is our type of experience. I've dedicated my career to gaining the public safety and law enforcement experience necessary to be Montana's top cop. I spent nearly eight years as Attorney General Mike McGrath's ranking assistant attorney general. Here I learned how this office works, and how to get things done there.
I also bring a bipartisan track record of reaching across the aisle to help solve significant policy issues on behalf of Montana families, businesses and communities, while my opponent is running a campaign based on partisan ideology and hot-button talking points. During the 2011 legislative session, which was defined by its partisan battles, Governor Schweitzer called on me to help negotiate a workers comp reform bill. I worked across party-lines to bring all interested parties to the table to get a bill passed that lowered premiums on Montana small businesses, while protecting benefits for injured workers. I believe that reasonable people can still work together, regardless of political party, to get things done to benefit all Montana citizens.