The Miami Herald recommends Dan Gelber for Attorney General, Democratic Primary

Jul 23, 2010

Miami Herald

The Herald recommends: Florida attorney general
In Florida, the attorney general has one of the most prominent and powerful positions in state government, second only to the governor. The decisions made by the state's top legal officer affect a wide range of statewide activities, from gang-related crime to medical fraud, from cybercrime to mortgage fraud and much more.
The attorney general has wide latitude and discretion in wielding the powers of the office. The public interest is best served by an attorney general who can figure out how to use the office's limited resources to make a difference where the needs are greatest. That puts a premium on the priorities and the politics of the individual who fills the position.
As attorney general, for example, Charlie Crist chose not to get involved in the Terry Schiavo end-of-life case, a wise decision. Current Attorney General Bill McCollum chose not to get involved in the case involving his party's state chairman, Jim Greer, even though the allegations were scandalous and merited scrutiny at the highest level.
This is a consideration voters must keep in mind in selecting someone to succeed Mr. McCollum, who is running for governor.
The Democratic primary has drawn two strong candidates in state Sen. Dan Gelber, 49, of Miami Beach, and state Sen. Dave Aronberg, 39, whose district stretches from Palm Beach to Fort Myers.
Mr. Gelber has a long trajectory in public service, including a stint as a federal prosecutor and serving as chief counsel of a U.S. Senate subcommittee that investigated terrorist activities around the world. He is well known to local voters, having served as a state representative from 2000 to 2008. He was elected to the state Senate in 2008.
Mr. Aronberg, a state senator since 2002, worked as assistant attorney general in the economic crimes division under Bob Butterworth and says he wants to depoliticize the office.

Both candidates are savvy, energetic public officials who would make consumer protection a major priority, a marked change in the priorities under Attorney General McCollum. They consider the lawsuit against the federal government's healthcare reform an expensive and pointless exercise that should be dropped.
Our choice is Mr. Gelber, an effective legislator with a strong pro-consumer record and the best grasp of the issues. He consistently offers innovative ideas to solve problems and vows to use the attorney general's powers to protect Floridians hurt by the BP oil spill.
An unfortunate aspect of this race is Mr. Aronberg's attempt to make an issue out of Mr. Gelber's past membership in a law firm that has represented BP. Mr. Gelber, who resigned from the law firm to run, was not involved in BP cases and never profited from the firm's association with the oil company. This issue is a needless distraction.
For attorney general, Democratic primary, The Miami Herald recommends DAN GELBER.

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Political advertisement paid for and approved by Dan Gelber.