Pam Bucy brought her campaign for Montana Attorney General to Havre Friday, as she finished a swing throughout eastern Montana and the Hi-Line.
Along the way, she said, she visited with county commissioners, civic leaders and police agencies, introducing herself and her ideas on law enforcement.
Bucy will oppose former state Sen. Jesse Laslovich in the June Democratic primary. Sen. Jim Shockley is the only Republican candidate to announce so far, though Bucy said she wouldn't be surprised to see more Republicans step forward.
The winner will succeed Steve Bullock, who is the front-runner for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
She said her policy differences with Laslovich probably aren't as different as they are with the more conservative Shockley, but she said she would campaign on her experience.
She has held high-level positions with Montana Department of Justice and the Labor Department and has been in private practice. Bucy, 43, pointed out that Laslovich is "just 30, and five years out of law school," and has never argued a case before the Montana Supreme Court.
In her eastern Montana tour, she was unveiling her support for eSm@rt Kids, a program aimed at protecting children from Internet predators.
The program educates young people about the dangers of the Web.
The education could take place in a variety of locations, including schools and civic groups.
"In Havre, you are lucky to have a fine Boys & Girls Club," she said.
The beauty of the program is that it "educates young people, it doesn't scare them."
In an interview with the Havre Daily News on Friday, she talked about her positions on a variety of issues.
She said she has received the backing of the Teamsters union, in part because her vigorous opposition to some employers who call workers "independent contractors" when they should be classified employees and thus would be eligible for benefits and overtime pay.
Bucy said she strongly supporters Bullock's efforts to uphold Montana's strict political campaign contribution laws.
The laws have been challenged in light of the U. S. Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case.
Allowing unlimited contributions would change the face of Montana politics, she said. Allowing organizations to make massive, anonymous contributions would especially have a bad effect on elections for the Montana Supreme Court, she said.
Montana may qualify for exemptions from the Citizens United case, she said, because it had a legacy of large copper industries buying elections.
But if no exception is granted, the Montana Legislature may have to pass more legislation on the issue, she said.
She praised Bullock's support for a 24/7 plan aimed at deterring repeat drunken drivers. Under the law, convicted drunken drivers have to report to local law enforcement twice a day to take sobriety tests.
She said further legislation may be needed to combat drunken driving.
Bucy said she agreed with Bullock and would not challenge the constitutionality of President Barrack Obama's health care reform bill.
"As attorneys, we are not supposed to file frivolous lawsuits," she said. "And this is a frivolous lawsuit."
Several attorney generals across the United States, all Republicans, have filed suit against the law, and the Republican-dominated Montana Legislature passed a bill calling on Bullock to do the same.
Bucy said she would not support legislation introduced by Sate Rep. Kris Hansen, R-Havre, that would have overturned Missoula's city ordinance banning bias against gays.
She said she thought it was "inconsistent," that some lawmakers believes that "that local governments should be in charge of everything except for a couple of things."
She said she felt voters had the right to pass initiatives allowing medical marijuana, but thought the law should be reformed. She was not pleased with the actions of the Legislature, feeling that the less-restrictive proposals passed by an interim committee, after two years of study, would have been more effective in solving the problems.
She also pointed to her work as a labor department official in hammering out a deal with Legislature Republicans on Workers Comp reform.
The compromise was not the legislation she would have favored, but it succeeded at providing fair coverage to workers while lower Montana's highest-in-the-nation worker comp rates.