Vote for PA Attorney General April 26th

The three below (two Democrats and and one Republican) are candidates for Attorney General in the Pennsylvania Primary April 26. Please be sure to vote.

Official statement from PA Attorney General Candidate (R) Joe Peters:

“Protection of the children of Pennsylvania is unquestionably among my highest priorities, as it should be for all of those, past and present, who hold the position of Attorney General of our great commonwealth. By way of example, if there are still unanswered questions arising out of the Jerry Sandusky case, I will pursue the truth.

“As a part my inquiry, if elected and entrusted with the responsibilities of the attorney general, I will embark upon a review of any remaining questions arising out the Sandusky investigation and prosecution, including any that arose as legitimate complaints received regarding Sandusky’s then-charity, “The Second Mile” or any other charities or organizations. Of course, no individual will be unfairly scrutinized or maligned in this review, as that is as important an obligation in the pursuit of truth and justice. Since oversight of nonprofits is the responsibility of the Charitable Trusts and Organizations Section of the Office of Attorney General (OAG), it is incumbent upon the OAG to explore under the parameters of the law, the handling by the “Second Mile” of complaints and obligations to report, regarding Sandusky’s interactions with children.

“Additionally, given the spending (estimated in excess of $200 million) in the wake of the Sandusky charges, including interactions with the NCAA as may have been revealed through the discovery process surrounding the Corman vs. NCAA lawsuit, it would be reasonable to inquire into the fiduciary decisions of the university’s board of trustees, in order that this unfortunate episode may never again repeat itself.

“Most importantly, to vigorously pursue our obligation to protect our children, we must recognize that pedophiles live among us. Let us heed the lessons learned from the tragedy of the Sandusky case to further our inquiry about their horrific predilections, how they hide in plain sight, and how to earlier recognize their behavior so that we may take them off the streets under the rule of law and bring them to justice sooner…not later. We must ask the daunting question: Are our children safer than they were five years ago? If the answer is no, or just as frighteningly, we don’t know, then we are ignoring valuable lessons of misplaced trust and lack of accountability. Sadly, that would dangerously deny us all a critical opportunity to protect today’s and tomorrow’s children.

“Please know that I am fully committed to protection of all our children, justice for anyone unfairly maligned and accountability for those who should bear it.”

Official statement from PA Attorney General Candidate (D) Josh Shapiro:

“Child abuse, in all its forms, is far too prevalent in our society and must be rooted out. I’m a father of four – I care deeply about protecting the children of Pennsylvania from predators. As Attorney General, I will aggressively prosecute perpetrators of these heinous crimes and work to give victims the support they need to come forward and to heal.

“With regard to Jerry Sandusky and others involved in that scandal, I will follow the evidence wherever it leads, whether that is to Second Mile or any other organization. No one will be off limits, there will be no sacred cows and no powerful interests will be protected. Everyone will be equal in the eyes of the law.

“It is vital that the Attorney General restore that basic sense of fairness to our justice system. Nothing in Pennsylvania should be too big, too untouchable or too out of reach for the law, including Second Mile or anything or anyone associated with the Sandusky scandal. We need to be serious about taking on the powerful interest in Pennsylvania. It’s what I’ve done throughout my entire career and what I’ll do as Attorney General.”

Official Statement from PA Attorney General Candidate (D) Stephen Zappala:

Upon taking the office of Attorney General I will immediately do an audit of the Sections and Divisions of the office and determine where we have been succeeding in our protection of the people in our Commonwealth and identify areas that we can improve and strengthen the office. I can assure you that in that assessment, I will be keeping in mind the concerns of PS4RS as I share your concern toward many of these issues.

I will continue to prosecute public crime and corruption perpetrated by those that are in positions of public trust such as Judiciary, state officials and state employees. I find the breach of this trust one of the most egregious to our citizens. I will fortify the Public Corruption Unit of the Attorney General’s Office to actively investigate and enforce the laws of this Commonwealth. I have a long record of prosecuting public servants that have violated their duty and I have never and will never shy away from holding a criminal accountable because of their position, name, political or financial position. I am a prosecutor. I hold those that break the law accountable. Conversely, I advocate fairness and swift prosecution. If there have been incidents of abuse of prosecutorial power, I will thoroughly investigate and ensure that justice is done.

The Charitable Trust and Organizations Section of the Office of Attorney General has one of its primary purposes to “ensure that charitable donations are lawfully raised and expended” by the organizations they are entrusted to. I and the knowledgeable staff within my office will conduct an unbiased and thorough investigation not only into the Second Mile and The Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees but any charitable organization within my jurisdiction that is mishandling the funds entrusted to it by the citizens of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is significantly harmed if its citizens do not trust the charitable organizations that serve them and if the charitable organizations are not performing the duties they are sworn to provide. I will do everything within my power as Attorney General to hold the offenders accountable.

The abuse of children. One of the issues that Pennsylvanians face that is most important to me are the incidents of violence and exploitation of children. Upon taking office of District Attorney, 18 years ago, my first actions were to create specialized prosecution units to hold the offenders of child abuse and domestic violence accountable. As the chief law enforcement officer in Pennsylvania, I will work with police departments and DA’s offices to take some of these ideas state wide and help the law enforcement community to improve their resources and response to child abuse and domestic violence. I will ask for increased prosecution for Child Protection Law mandated reporters that fail to report incidents of child abuse that they are directed by law to report. I will enhance prevention education and efforts by bolstering the existing training programs created by the Attorney Generals Child Predator Unit that help to educate the public about child predators and the tactics they use. The children of Pennsylvania are our future and I will do everything within the power of the office to protect them.

My record in Allegheny County will speak for itself toward many of these issues. I have spent the last 18 years creating powerful and effective methods of protecting the most vulnerable in our society and bringing the most corrupt to justice. I will continue this objective as Attorney General.