Last night, Kentucky heard two very different visions for Attorney General – one built on a lifetime of courtroom experience and public service to others, and one built on the whims of a DC insider turned lobbyist for the opioid distributors. Greg Stumbo is the only candidate with proven independent leadership and experience – qualities vital to be the Attorney General, the state’s chief law enforcement officer and the People’s Lawyer.

Stumbo laid out his plans for the office, focusing on his experience and the unparalleled legal knowledge that he brings to the office. Having experience in exposing public corruption, holding corporate scammers accountable, suing Purdue Pharma and other large corporations, and recovering a record amount of Medicaid fraud dollars are just some of the examples of Stumbo’s leadership during his first term in office.

Stumbo continued to discuss his experience in contrast to his opponent’s lack thereof. When Stumbo’s opponent, Mr. Cameron, was asked by the moderator if he “has ever prosecuted a case or represented a client in court”, Cameron hemmed and hawed before meekly saying he has “taken depositions”, something that a law student is qualified to do. Stumbo rebutted by saying “to answer your question he failed to answer…no. He’s never tried a traffic case, never tried a citation, never tried a jaywalking case. How can you lead a team of prosecutors when you have no idea what they are talking about?”

“This race is about experience,” Stumbo continued on. “I have led that office before and I can do it again.”

Stumbo laid out further plans for the office, highlighting a commitment to criminal justice reform – including bail reform and opening a field office in West Louisville, staffed by people from the area, in order to be a resource for the community. He also advocated for medical marijuana legalization – something he advocated for heavily while in the legislature – and seriously re-evaluating how those convicted of low-level, nonviolent crimes are treated by the criminal justice system. By contrast, Cameron opposes restoring the voting rights of nonviolent felons who have served their debt to society, and has historically flip-flopping positions on just how much of an advocate he will be for comprehensive criminal justice reform.

Perhaps one of the most shocking differences between Mr. Stumbo and his opponent Mr. Cameron, was on the topic of the ‘sewer’ bill from the 2018 session and protecting the pensions of teachers and public employees. When asked by the moderator, “Which side would you have been on, on that sewer bill?” Cameron said that “ultimately [the Attorney General’s] responsibility is to enforce and defend those laws that are passed by the General Assembly.” The moderator pushed for an actual answer from Mr. Cameron, again asking whether he would defend the public pensions and challenge the law as General Beshear did – Mr. Cameron said he would not.

This shocking betrayal of Kentucky’s teachers and public workers should worry all Kentuckians, as Cameron publicly stated he would be a rubber stamp for whatever the General Assembly passed – even if unconstitutional – if he were to be elected. By stark contrast, Greg Stumbo has the legal strength and independence to be the Attorney General Kentucky deserves, promising to challenge anything the General Assembly passes that is unconstitutional. Stumbo immediately affirmed General Beshear’s decision to take the case to Kentucky’s courts to protect teachers and public employees from gross government overreach – something his opponent has now bluntly said he would not do.

Kentucky’s teachers, workers, families, and everyday folks deserve better than what Mr. Cameron has to offer as a Washington DC insider turned big pharma lobbyist trying to cash in on his connections with Mitch McConnell for a job he is sorely unqualified to do. At the end of the day, Kentucky deserves an independent, experienced prosecutor with a history of representing Kentuckians – not big corporations or Big Pharma – and they will have that independent prosecutor in Greg Stumbo.

In wrapping up the hour-long conversation where Stumbo clearly showed his thoughtful policies and plans for the office, he closed with a heartfelt appeal to voters about the opioid epidemic – the main reason he is fighting to return to the Office of Attorney General. “My record’s pretty clear on the opioid epidemic. I don’t stand with the drug companies; I don’t stand with the opioid manufacturers or distributors. I’m on the other side of that fence, I want to see them stand accountable. My opponent dodges questions about his affiliation with that organization. I can tell you for a fact that the law firm he is a part of represents one of the companies [being sued].”

Without a doubt, Greg Stumbo has the experience and the knowledge to be the independent Attorney General that Kentucky deserves.

You can watch the full forum on Kentucky Tonight with Renee Shaw here: https://www.ket.org/episode/KKYTO_002635/

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