AG Emphasizes Conservative Record
BATON ROUGE – Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, who is expecting a spirited challenge this fall from fellow Republican Jeff Landry, made no apologies in defending his conservative credentials at the Ronald Reagan Newsmaker Luncheon May 12 at Café Américain in Baton Rouge.
Caldwell outlined his work in defense of traditional marriage, the right to life, and the 2nd Amendment and his opposition to Obamacare.
Even prior to switching from Democrat to Republican in 2011, when he was unopposed for reelection, Caldwell reminded his audience that he was the only Democratic attorney general to file suit to block the implementation of Obamacare. He and a host of other attorneys general pursued that case all the way to the Supreme Court. But it was Obama’s moratorium on drilling for oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico, a position he considered unconstitutional and contrary to Louisiana’s interests, that tipped the scales and made him realize he had no place in the Democratic Party, Caldwell said.
The attorney general said he has worked closely with pro-life organizations to defend the state’s pro-life laws in federal court. But he said he is especially proud of the work of his special counsel Kyle Duncan, a reknowned conservative attorney, who has defended Louisiana’s law that limits marriage to one man and one woman. “There were 134 decisions handed down before Louisiana’s and they were all negative, but Louisiana won on our case and kept the issue alive,” he said. A major decision is expected this month from the Supreme Court on whether to strike down laws like those in Louisiana, which prohibit gay marriage.
Caldwell was joined by several of the top officials in his office, including Assistant Attorney General Kurt Wall, the director of the Criminal Division, and Richard McGimsey, director of the Civil Division.
Wall described his unit as similar to a local district attorney’s office with 30 prosecutors and 65 investigators. He said his unit is assigned politically sensitive cases where the local district attorney has recused himself. He cited his office’s work fighting cyber crime, especially the arrest and prosecution of child predators. His office had the largest pornography bust in world history. He also explained his formation of a Fugitive Unit in the Attorney General’s office, which has resulted in the arrest of 1174 individuals who were wanted for serious offenses.
McGimsey spoke on the importance of Attorney General’s opinions. Caldwell has issued more than 1,500 opinions, and only one has been reversed, he said. McGimsey said he and Caldwell sit down and review every opinion before it is issued.
Caldwell said he supports the principles of President Ronald Reagan and will continue to do so as Attorney General.