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Op-Ed: Connecticut’s Attorney General Must Be Part of the Solution

June 5, 2018 By John Shaban
Op-Ed: Connecticut’s Attorney General Must Be Part of the Solution

Republican John Shaban argues that, under him, "the days of sue first, ask questions later" would end.

While most of our nation has put the recent recession behind, poor fiscal policy and mismanagement has kept Connecticut stuck in economic doldrums. Employers large and small try to put down stakes, only to get hit with new taxes, and new regulations and new lawsuits. At the same time, our state and federal governments bleed Connecticut citizens dry through over taxation, overregulation and underperformance.

As the People’s chief civil attorney, the Attorney General’s office can and must be part of the solution by restoring stability to our economy and protecting Connecticut taxpayers from Hartford and Washington overreach and abuse.

To stop Connecticut’s undeniable economic slide, the Attorney General can help create a stable regulatory and legal environment primarily by choosing how, when and whether to act. Shockingly, the current Attorney General’s office filed over 20,000 civil actions in the last fiscal year, which follows decades of litigiousness designed primarily to grab headlines and drive a political agenda. Indeed, for the last two decades our democratic Attorneys General have been part of the cause of our state’s economic decay, along with decades of democratic control in Hartford.

To be part of the solution, I will establish a Business Liaisons Office in the “front of the house” to foment early, private and privileged conversations with citizens and businesses. The Attorney General must know when to sue, when to help, and when to sit quietly on the sideline because the lawsuit not brought is often more important than the legal claim that is. The days of sue first, ask questions later need to end now.

The Attorney General’s office must also work to protect the People’s autonomy and money from Hartford and Washington politicians.

At home, Hartford legislators consistently create single purpose funds — e.g. the Special Transportation Fund — to promote needed public projects, but then raid the funds for political convenience after the spotlights fade. This is why our taxes go up, our infrastructure is in disrepair, and tolls are back on the table. We can and must put trustees/guardians in place to help protect the People’s money from these political shell games.

Similarly, the Attorney General must also challenge federal overreach regardless of what party controls the White House. For every dollar Connecticut sends DC we get back about $0.60 along with restrictions on how we can spend it on state and local needs (e.g. schools, roads and local environmental efforts). We must protect Connecticut’s economic autonomy and prosperity by challenging our growing and gluttonous federal government, and thereby keep Connecticut dollars in Connecticut to be spent as Connecticut citizens see fit.

As the People’s chief civil attorney, the Attorney General stands in a unique position and can accomplish many of these goals outside and/or in spite of the political turbulence surrounding Hartford and Washington. We can help restore promise and prosperity to our great state if we elect a person who knows what to do and has the courage to do it.

John Shaban is a Republican candidate for attorney general.

Op-eds represent the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the editorial views of Reclaim Connecticut. If you’re interested in submitting an op-ed to Reclaim Connecticut, contact Andrew Lautz ([email protected]).