by Max Brantley
... for conservative blogs to raise an alarum over the fact that Attorney General Dustin McDaniel opposed -- publicly and frequently, to his credit -- initiated Act 1. His contribution to the opposition campaign was reported in the daily newspaper, along with attendance at campaign events.
It is a fair question to ask the a.g. about the vigor with which he will defend a law that he opposed. Remember Steve Clark and creation science and controversy about his defense of a law he'd critcized? This sort of conflict arises all the time for an attorney general, because he/she typically arises from a political background that involves taking stands on all sorts of issues that might become law, if they have not already.
I'd be a little dubious, for example, on advice McDaniel offered should the city of NLR ever seek any (not likely) on its wild and wacky application of the Tax Increment Finance law that McDaniel passed on behalf of campaign supporter Bruce Burrow.
But .... it is NOT a conflict of interest in a financial sense. McDaniel contributed to the anti-Act 1 campaign, but he had no financial stake in its passage or defeat, nor does he now. It's his office's job to defend the constitutionality of state laws. How well he does that, given his acknowledged opposition, will be a matter for voters to review. I don't recall that he ever opined on the constitutionality of the proposed law, the issue he must defend. He said only that it was not a good law.
In the meanwhile, I'm confident the haters, wackjobs and homophobes will have more than adequate legal representation in defending Act 1, without or without sufficient state a.g. vigor.
General McDaniel, your thoughts are welcome. email@example.com