Q. What, if anything, can the attorney general do to strengthen the state's drug enforcement effort?
A. First of all, the attorney general must serve as a role model for all citizens, especially young persons. His personal and official conduct must be above reproach. Incumbent Atty. Gen. Stephan has failed to meet even minimal standards of personal and official conduct required of the chief law enforcement officer of the state.
As attorney general, I will vigorously lead the state's drug enforcement effort in active cooperation with local officials. My experience as a metropolitan county sheriff, United States marshal, superintendent of the Kansas Highway Patrol and as a lawyer qualifies me to lead this effort.
Q. Does the state need stricter sentencing for convicted felons? What specific changes, if any, do you favor in Kansas sentencing guidelines?
A. The attorney general must take a leading role in the adoption of stricter sentencing policies. We need more definite and determinate sentences of convicted criminals; more certainty of hard time for violent offenders; alternative punishment for non-violent crimes. My law enforcement background has convinced me of the absolute need for both swift apprehension of suspected criminals and the certainty of appropriate punishment for convicted criminals.
Q. Do you support the death penalty? If so, what crimes should be subject to the death penalty?
A. I believe there is still a need for the death penalty in certain, but limited, circumstances. For example, a convicted murderer serving the recently enacted 40 years hard time sentence must know that he will be subject to the death penalty if he commits murder in prison, or while at large after escape. The death penalty can be a deterrent in circumstances such as these.
Q. Do you think the state's consumer protection efforts are adequate? If not, what should be done to better protect the state's consumers?
A. The incumbent attorney general has been active in this area, I commend him and a competent staff for their efforts. As attorney general, I will vigorously enforce the state's consumer protection laws. The citizens of Kansas deserve such protection and leadership from their chief law enforcement officer. I will work with the Legislature to strengthen our consumer protection laws and will pursue violators both large and small. I will not hesitate to intervene in utility rate cases, mergers, or hostile takeovers where customers are put in jeopardy of high utility rates.
Q. If elected, what will be your top three priorities as attorney general?
A. 1) I will restore integrity to the office of attorney general. The chief law enforcement officer of the state must also be the chief law abiding citizen of the state. The incumbent attorney general has spent more time in court as a defendant than as a prosecutor. This will stop when I become attorney general.
2) I will act decisively to halt the alarming increase in violent crime in Kansas up 16 percent over last year and higher than surrounding states and the nation as a whole.
3) I am committed to crime victims' rights and believe that we can reduce the number of victims by reducing the incidence of crime (see No. 2).