Open Letter to Idahoans
My wife, Tracey, and I raised our four children in Idaho and are proud of our ten grandchildren. It has been my privilege to serve as your Attorney General for the past fifteen years. When I went to work for Idahoans, I made five promises that I will always keep.
• Firm and fair criminal prosecution
• Protect Idaho's sovereignty and water rights
• Protect Idahoans from fraud in the marketplace
• Practice wise stewardship for endowment lands, in order to obtain the maximum long-term financial return benefitting schools as the Idaho Constitution requires
• Ensure justice for all Idahoans
I work for you. These promises are meant to protect you and to apply the rule of law. The rule of law means that all of us are subject to the same law and we are equal under the law as, guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, and Idaho law. The rule of law binds us together. It is the source of our freedom and our security and separates us from the rest of the world. As a public official, every four years, I have a job interview with 1.7 million people—the citizens of Idaho.
I ask you to judge my work and record as Attorney General.
Fighting Public Corruption
I have practiced firm yet fair prosecution standards. I have investigated more than 130 public corruption cases resulting in more than 49 convictions or guilty pleas.
Protecting Idaho's Children
I established Idaho's first task force to investigate internet crimes against our innocent children. With help from the Idaho Legislature, I have established new protections for our children from sexual predators through the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit and developed the ProtecTeens program to educate children and parents about the dangers of internet sexual predators. This effort is working and we are saving Idaho children from harm.
Water is the economic life-blood of our state. We have protected Idaho's sovereign claim to control the water in our state. The lawsuit that determines how most of Idaho's water will be used is called the Snake River Basin Adjudication (SRBA). The lawsuit started out with about 159,000 claims for water. The final unified decree was signed on August 25th, 2014. I am continuing to protect Idahos water from claims by the Federal Government in cases such as the Waters of the United States or "WOTUS" rules.
Protecting Idaho consumers from fraud is a daily responsibility. My office has handled nearly 23,000 consumer complaints and undertaken hundreds of enforcement actions. We have recovered more than $66 million in restitution for consumers and $70 million in costs and penalties.
This consumer protection extends to prescription drug sales. As your attorney general, I have recovered nearly $28 million from more than 33 prescription drug manufactures that practiced illegal marketing and other activities.
Our state constitution requires the land board to manage state endowment lands to obtain the maximum long-term financial return for our school children and other beneficiaries. By Constitution, the members of the land board are the Governor, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Secretary of State, State Controller and the Attorney General. As a member of the Idaho Land Board, I successfully challenged the cottage site leasing statutes and increased financial returns to our school children and other beneficiaries by approximately $3 million a year.
The rule of law demands that the Land Board fulfill this constitutional duty fairly and squarely and it doesn't matter if one party or another is upset by what the constitution says. What is important is that we do what the Constitution requires.
Protecting Idahoans and remaining vigilant about our rights is paramount. I offer my record and experience as Idaho's top legal official as we make critical decisions now that will affect generations into the future. I care deeply about Idaho and I look forward to working with you over the next four years to continue the work we started together.