Ron Volesky promises that he'd be a pain in the ass as Attorney General

In one of the silliest things I think I've read in a while, The Argus Leader is reporting tonight that if elected, Ron Volesky promises he'd be like the annoying know-it-all at social gatherings. He'd provide you advice whether you wanted it or not:
Ron Volesky promises to be an activist attorney general who will freely advise the governor and Legislature on constitutional matters and aggressively advocate for open government.

In that regard, Volesky, who is running as a Democrat against incumbent Republican Larry Long, says he would have told legislators the abortion ban adopted last spring is unconstitutional.

He also would have told Gov. Mike Rounds to find different ways to fund education.
Read it all here. Now, compare that to the actual duties of the attorney general as dictated by law:
1-11-1. General duties of attorney general. The duties of the attorney general shall be:
(1) To appear for the state and prosecute and defend all actions and proceedings, civil or criminal, in the Supreme Court, in which the state shall be interested as a party;
(2) When requested by the Governor or either branch of the Legislature, or whenever in his judgment the welfare of the state demands, to appear for the state and prosecute or defend, in any court or before any officer, any cause or matter, civil or criminal, in which the state may be a party or interested;
(3) To attend to all civil cases remanded by the Supreme Court to the circuit court, in which the state shall be a party or interested;
(4) To prosecute, at the request of the Governor, state auditor, or state treasurer, any official bond or contract in which the state is interested, upon a breach thereof, and to prosecute or defend for the state all actions, civil or criminal, relating to any matter connected with either of their departments;
(5) To consult with, advise, and exercise supervision over the several state's attorneys of the state in matters pertaining to the duties of their office, and he shall be authorized and it is made his duty, whenever in his judgment any opinion written by him will be of general interest and value, to mail either written or printed copies of such opinion to the auditor-general and to every state's attorney and county auditor in the state;
(6) When requested, to give his opinion in writing, without fee, upon all questions of law submitted to him by the Legislature or either branch thereof, or by the Governor, auditor, or treasurer;
(7) When requested by the state auditor, treasurer, or commissioner of school and public lands, to prepare proper drafts for contracts, forms, and other writings, which may be wanted for use of the state;
(8) To report to the Legislature, or either branch thereof, whenever requested, upon any business relating to the duties of his office;
(9) To prosecute state officers who neglect or refuse to comply with the provisions of statutes of this state prohibiting officers of the state from accepting any money, fee, or perquisite other than salary for performance of duties connected with his office or paid because of holding such office and the statute requiring issue and delivery and filing of prenumbered duplicate receipts and accounting for money received for the state;
(10) To pay into the state treasury all moneys received by him, belonging to the state, immediately upon the receipt thereof;
(11) To attend to and perform any other duties which may from time to time be required by law.
Read that all here. And take special note of this subsection: (6) When requested, to give his opinion in writing, without fee, upon all questions of law submitted to him by the Legislature or either branch thereof, or by the Governor, auditor, or treasurer;

So, by his statements, we can assume that with Volesky as attorney general, he isn't going to follow state law? That he's going to spend his time offering his opinion left and right as if it was requested by someone?

And that statement; where he says "He also would have told Gov. Mike Rounds to find different ways to fund education." Well, whether he thinks one for of taxation is wrong is not a legal opinion. It's a political one. And that's the Governor and Legislature to decide. So he's telling us he's going to usurp the authority of others?

In other words, it sounds like he's still running for Governor, without the benefit of actually running for the office. Sorry Ron. You bailed out on that race. The Attorney General has a distinct, statutory role. Whether you'd prefer to be Governor or not.

The moral of the story? Next time, stay in the Gubernatorial race if that's what you want to be when you grow up. You can't fit Attorney General, Treasurer or PUC Commissioner into that role, no matter how much you might try.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Hmmmm. Doesn't seem to say anything about the authority of the A.G. to give a written opinion to the Secretary of State about ballot matters, now does it? Or to advise the Secretary of State on ANY matter. Of course, that didn't stop Larry Long from meddling anyway.
Anonymous said…
the only bigger boob than Volesky in Democratic legal circles is Mary Ann Giebink
Anonymous said…
Anon 8:31, see SDCL 12-13-9:

"Before the third Tuesday in May, the attorney general shall deliver to the secretary of state an attorney general's statement for each proposed amendment to the Constitution and each initiated measure. The attorney general's statement for each referred measure shall be delivered to the secretary of state before the second Tuesday in July. The attorney general's statement shall consist of the title, the explanation, and a clear and simple recitation of the effect of a "Yes" or "No" vote. The explanation shall be an objective, clear and simple summary to educate the voters of the purpose and effect of the proposed amendment to the Constitution, the initiated measure, or the referred law. The attorney general shall include a description of the legal consequences of the proposed amendment, the initiated measure, or the referred law, including the likely exposure of the state to liability if the proposed amendment, the initiated measure, or the referred law is adopted. The explanation may not exceed two hundred words in length. On the printed ballots, the title shall be followed by the explanation and the explanation shall be followed by the recitation."
Anonymous said…
Anon 8:41, that's not advising, that's a duty created by statute. See AG Opinion 06-05, "Initiated Measures", http://www.state.sd.us/attorney/applications/documents/oneDocument.asp?DocumentID=1020

and show me the statute where Long has authority to give that opinion.
Anonymous said…
after larry long, volesky would be a relief for South Dakota
Anonymous said…
Why does Long now apparently believe he should have advised Rounds earlier about the death penalty issue that Long didn't feel was a problem anyway?

If he's not supposed to offer unsolicited opinions, why is he claiming he should have offered one?

PP, if your claim is that an AG is to speak only when spoken to, I think every AG in the history of South Dakota would take issue with that. The AG is the people's lawyer.
Anonymous said…
A while back, Joel over at SD Straight Talk had a piece about Larry entitled "Competent". Ladies and gentlemen out there in blogger land, you're simply not going to find a more competent and dedicated Attorney General than Larry Long. Like anyone else, he may make a mistake from time to time. But he'll own up to them. He's no flashy politician or slick talker, but if you want good quality prosecution and sound legal advice, Larry is the man for the job. For those of you in Sioux Falls, ask Dave Nelson... I seem to remember our Democrat S.A. endorsing Larry last time around. I'd bet he does it again.
Anonymous said…
Go get'em Larry!!
LARRY! LARRY! He's are man! If he can't find a flaw in the law then no one can!
Anonymous said…
And don't forget that Volesky is native American and graduated from Yale Law School--all those things that turn the red necks into a rash. If there is one thing the party in charge of South Dakota it's someone offering an opinion that might solve some problems.
Anonymous said…
"And don't forget that Volesky is native American and graduated from Yale Law School"

Does this mean Volesky is Indian? Or just born in the USA? If he has been educated at Yale, I'm guessing that he is Indian and helped fill Yale's minority quota at the taxpayer's expense.

Am I right?

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