Home > SD 2014 Ballot, South Dakota > SD Attorney General Marty Jackley at the Brown County Fair

SD Attorney General Marty Jackley at the Brown County Fair

August 15, 2014
SD Attorney General Marty Jackley working his departments booth at the Brown County Fair. Photo by Ken Santema.

SD Attorney General Marty Jackley working his departments booth at the Brown County Fair. Photo by Ken Santema.

I was finally able to chat with a SD constitutional officer while at the Brown County Fair. Going between places I was able get SD Attorney General Marty Jackley to stop for a brief conversation. Over the last year I have been somewhat critical of Jackley on some issues, but for the purpose of this post I was treating him just like any candidate. In this post I wanted to focus on what his top priorities are when reelected.

Before going into his priorities I did ask him why an Attorney General such as himself is personally involved in so many actual prosecutions. Recently certain parties have tried to make the case that the AG doesn’t necessarily need to be a lawyer to do the job. Jackley said he takes on certain cases so he can lead by example. He seems to be focused on leading the AG team, instead of just running it. He mentioned four murder cases he had worked on as Attorney General. This included the Burget case which was just upheld by the SD Supreme Court yesterday. Personally I wished we had a state, and an Attorney General, that didn’t believe in the death penalty. But I do think he makes a good point about leading the team by working with them. I still think there is a case to be made that the AG should be more watchdog than lawyer, but I’ll leave that up to others to make that case for now.

A top priority of Jackley is to work as a defender of the public in the consumer protection area. In this area he specifically went into the area of frauds and scams. His consumer protection office hears the stories first-hand of South Dakota citizens that have been fraudulently ripped-off by scam artists. Jackley said he would like to make sure everyone knows about the consumer protection office and that they are there to help. I will have more about this particular portion of the AG’s office in a future blog post about IRS scams. I agree with Jackley that this is a very important part of his job and maybe doesn’t get the spotlight other areas of the AG office do.

Then the conversation went to an area I disagree with Jackley on. Jackley remains committed to the 24/7 sobriety program and the drug war. Both are areas he is committed to by SD codified law. On the 24/7 sobriety program Jackley believes there has been great success. He has fully committed to making this program continue to work as it is now. Personally I think the program has done little, if anything, to reduce repeat offenders of drug and alcohol abuse; and instead has become overly intrusive in the lives of people. I feel there are better solutions available. On the drug war Jackley remains committed to addressing illegal substances. The main problems his office sees in this area is methamphetamines and prescription drugs. I actually agree both methamphetamines and prescription drugs are big problems. But I don’t think treating them as criminal problems will ever solve anything. Making criminals out of people who want a product will continue to create a black market that decreases overall public safety. Hopefully some day South Dakota can get elected officials that are open to different approaches.

If Libertarian candidate Chad Haber actually makes the ballot (a big if at this point) I don’t see Jackley having any problems getting reelected. There are many areas I disagree with Jackley on, especially on the drug war. But he is the only lawyer in the race and is a Republican. That makes him almost guaranteed his reelection bid. Since he will likely be reelected I hope he does continue to make consumer protection a top priority and go after fraudsters. It is one area I at least have agreement with him on.

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  1. October 22, 2014 at 2:31 pm
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