Attorney general should remain an elected official


(Anderson) Herald Bulletin

It’s so nice when everyone agrees. There’s no need for debating or arguing or going through the hassle of gathering more information.

The problem with so much head-nodding, though, is the outcome is often sub-par.

The best decisions are made and actions taken when a variety of strongly held viewpoints are taken into consideration.

And so it is with government.

But some would rather government officials all get along, all pull together toward the same objectives on the same agenda with the same priorities.

Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar on Nov. 19 strayed in that direction at the chamber’s annual legislative preview lunch.

After referencing the Indiana General Assembly’s decision last year to make the state superintendent of public instruction an appointed, rather than elected, position, Brinegar added, “Should the legislators choose to include the attorney general in that legislation, that would be a good thing, as well.

“The attorney general should be the governor’s lawyer and represent the executive branch. We’ve had several in a row now that sort of had their own agenda and gone off in different directions.”

It was a mistake, in the first place, for the Legislature to take the selection of the superintendent of public instruction out of voters’ hands. Doing the same with the attorney general would further erode Indiana citizens’ ability to determine who sits in leadership roles in the Statehouse.

If the attorney general were appointed, why not the secretary of state, auditor and treasurer?

Soon, our executive branch of state government would be solely dependent on who wins the governor’s office.

And that would foster a head-nodding state leadership team with a narrow perspective, a flat agenda and a limited connection with Hoosier voters.

Make the state attorney general an appointed position? Not a good idea.

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