State Attorney General candidate Pam Bucy was in Havre Wednesday and today during her campaign swing through this part of the state, and in an interview with the Havre Daily News said that touting her experience as a candidate is resonating with the voters in the state.
“I’m ready to start work on day one and that’s what you have to do, ” Bucy said this morning.
Bucy, who defeated Jesse Laslovich in the Democratic primary 42,035-41,148, faces Tim Fox, the winner of the Republican primary, in the Nov. 6 general election.
Bucy said her background, including being the only candidate with experience as a criminal prosecutor, an administrator in an 800-person agency, arguing cases before the Montana Supreme Court and in writing proposed laws to present to the Legislature, has persuaded many Montanans to whom she has spoken that she is ready to do the job.
Since the next legislative session begins almost the day she would take office if elected, that is crucial, she said.
Bucy was in Great Falls Wednesday talking to law enforcement officers and the county attorney, and did that in Havre as well, she said, along with visiting with voters in general.
She was headed to Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation this morning to talk to the council of the Chippewa Cree Tribe and with other voters there.
Bucy said some of her top priorities if elected would be finding ways to increase support of law enforcement in eastern Montana as the oil boom in the Bakken formation brings more population — and that brings more crime — to the area.
The results of the oil boom in North Dakota and northeastern Montana is strapping the resources of communities as far as law enforcement goes, she said, and she expects that process to continue spreading west.
Bucy said she would try to find ways to provide more resources, including possibly supplying a few experienced law enforcement officers from the state level to help relieve the strain on local law enforcement.
Another priority of Bucy’s would be increasing protection for children, she said, including closing loopholes in mandatory reporting laws.
“We need to make sure those abuse cases are getting reported to law enforcement, ” she said.
Another would be implementing her “eSm@rt Kids” proposal to widen Internet safety instruction programs.
Bucy said the programs now being used by the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children task force are effective, but need to be presented to more children. Only three officers now are available to present the information on keeping children safe on the Internet, which she wants to expand to middle schools throughout the state.
Bucy said she wants to teach the state’s children “how to be proactive, and (how to) protect yourself online. ”
Part of that is using the programs and technology available through a national task force Montana is part of to train officers and team up with education officials to present the programs, she said.
She said she will continue to fight against the results of the U. S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision which allows corporations to make contributions to political campaigns.
She said she applauds the efforts the current attorney general, Steve Bullock, who is campaigning as a Democrat for governor against Republican Rick Hill.
Bullock lost the first round of that fight, with the U. S. Supreme Court ruling against a Montana law that had excluded corporate campaign spending since 1912, Bucy said. But two more cases are in the wings, and, if elected, she would continue the state’s efforts to curtail undisclosed corporate campaign expenditures, she said.
“That is a fight I’m going to continue to fight, ” she said.