Attorney general post up for grabs
October 22, 2008
Many Hoosiers may not be familiar with the duties of the state's Attorney General, but most residents know about the "do-not-call" list that dramatically reduces the number of unsolicited phone calls they receive.
Steve Carter, who is completing his second term as A.G., was instrumental in establishing the telephone privacy division of the office and expanding it to include reducing unwanted faxes being sent to businesses.
On Nov. 4, voters will elect the next Attorney General. The two candidates are Democrat Linda Pence and Republican Greg Zoeller.
Zoeller said he is "very familiar" with every aspect of the office because he has served the past eight years under Carter.
"It's what I've been doing," said the New Albany native who is licensed to practice law in Indiana and Washington, D.C. "I know how to make a difference. It's what I bring to the campaign."
Zoeller graduated from Indiana University School of Law in 1982. Prior to joining Carter's staff, Zoeller served as an adjunct faculty at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis in the political science department. He's no stranger to the political world, having worked for Dan Quayle when he was a U.S. Senator and later when he was vice president, and Zoeller was a special assistant to U.S. Attorney General Richard Thornburg in 1988 and senior counsel to the House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform and Oversight in 1998.
Zoeller said the state's Attorney General office operates with the same budget Carter has had since 2001.
"I know that's what the people in Southern Indiana would want," said Zoeller, adding that he sees the A.G. position as non-political.
"I would serve the people in a non-partisan way," he said.
As Carter's chief deputy, Zoeller manages an office that includes 140 lawyers, and he works with law enforcement officers and prosecutors.
"People may not be as familiar with that side" of the A.G. office, he said.
"Our office defends every appeal" and has a success rate of at least 80 percent, Zoeller said. "Prosecutors appreciate that. The last thing they want is for someone to get out (of jail) on an appeal."
If elected, Zoeller said he would "bring the services (of the office) to the four corners of the state" and would focus on consumer fraud, identity theft, unclaimed property, and continue to "exhaust every opportunity to defend" teachers and schools boards while helping return discipline to the classroom.
Zoeller said he wants to use his talent and experience in law to work in the public sector.
Pence, who earned her law degree in 1974, also from I.U., may be best known for winning the settlement for the state in the "White River fish kill." She also won a case for Shell dealers in central Indiana against Shell Oil Co. "involving claims of unlawful price discrimination" and represented the state's health department in conducting an investigation into nursing home practices.
She began her legal career with the U.S. Dept. of Justice in Washington, D.C. She also was an instructor at the FBI Academy and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. While in the nation's capitol, Pence investigated corporations for bribery, embezzlement and tax fraud.
After returning to her Indianapolis roots, Pence began her own law firm, trying both criminal and civil cases.
If elected, Pence said she will address the fight against meth, help ease the mortgage crisis and keep Indiana families safe.
According to her Web site, Pence said "fighting for families and protecting our children" will be her top priority.
"At the same time, I'll refocus efforts and resources so we can make serious headway against child abuse and closing a loophole that allows sexual predators to victimize our children without repercussions."
For more information about Pence, visit www.lindapence.net. More information about Zoeller is available at www.Z4AG.com.