Kelly takes aim at Hatch’s use of office

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Republican candidate for Attorney General Tom Kelly visited the Freeborn County Fair Tuesday and vigorously campaigned to Freeborn County voters.

Kelly criticized DFL incumbent Mike Hatch. &uot;He politicized the law enforcement function,&uot; he said.

&uot;The current attorney general has launched investigations and handled cases based on political potential rather than legal merit,&uot; Kelly said. He emphasized that the top law enforcement official needs to separate the political and legal roles endowed by the state constitution, and not to abuse his power over the state’s litigation to take over policy-making powers that belong to others parts of the government.

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Having been an attorney specialized in commercial and business laws, Kelly pledged to make the Attorney General’s office user-friendly. He describes Hatch’s approach as a &uot;government knows best&uot; perspective. Kelly questioned Hatch’s aggressive intervention in private business, and he proposes promoting deregulation to protect interests of both consumers and businesses.

Kelly showed particular interest in the Attorney General’s office involvement in health-care reform.

&uot;Consumer choice and competition,&uot; well propagated Republican remedies, are his prescription for health care. He said he would advocate reforms to give individuals the power and the responsibility to manage their own health care and employers to help pay for health care without having to manage it.

Kelly has been energetically campaigning in rural Minnesota to increase his name recognition. The visit to Albert Lea followed his appearance in the city’s Independence Day parade.

Kelly is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School and has been with Dorsey & Whitney, a Minneapolis-based law firm, since 1987. He was co-chairman of the Lawyers for Bush-Cheney group in Minnesota and has been an active GOP member since 1988.