Election News

The State AG Report Weekly Update August 17, 2017

2018 AG Elections

Democrat Amy Padden Announces Bid for Colorado Attorney General

  • Democrat Amy Padden, former Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney and Law Enforcement Coordinator for the District of Colorado, announced her candidacy to become Colorado AG. Padden is now the fifth Democrat to formally enter the 2018 Colorado AG race, following Brad Levin, Michael DoughertyPhil Weiser, and state Representative Joe Salazar.
  • The five Democrats are seeking to challenge Republican AG Cynthia Coffman, who is expected to run for re-election.
  • Before becoming Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney, Padden served in the U.S. Department of Justice as Deputy Chief of the Civil Division and had also served as Colorado Assistant Attorney General in the Consumer Protection Section.

Democrat Dana Nessel Announces Bid for Michigan Attorney General

  • Democrat Dana Nessel, a Detroit attorney known for overturning the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, announced her candidacy to become Michigan AG. Nessel is the first candidate to officially announce their candidacy.
  • Republican incumbent AG Bill Schuette is ineligible to run for reelection due to term-limits.

Republican Erika Harold Announces Bid for Illinois Attorney General

  • Republican Erika Harold, an attorney for Meyer Capel law firm and a former candidate for Illinois’ 13th Congressional District, announced her candidacy to become Illinois AG. Harold is the first Republican candidate to formally announce their candidacy in the 2018 Illinois AG election.
  • Democratic incumbent AG Lisa Madigan has already officially announced her intent to seek re-election in 2018 for a historic fifth term.

Consumer Protection

17 AGs Urge CMS to Maintain Rule Prohibiting Pre-Dispute Arbitration Clauses in Nursing Home Contracts

  • 17 AGs, led by Maryland AG Brian Frosh, submitted comments urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) to maintain its rule prohibiting pre-dispute arbitration clauses in nursing home and other long-term care contracts.
  • In their comments, the AGs argue that CMS’s proposal to rescind its 2016 final rule prohibiting pre-dispute arbitration clauses will harm their ability to take meaningful action against “unscrupulous” nursing homes and long-term care facilities.


14 AGs, State of Colorado, and City of Chicago Oppose Suspension of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rule

  • 14 AGs, the state of Colorado, and the city of Chicago submitted comments urging the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to abandon the proposed rule titled, “Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources,” that would delay a 2016 Rule intended to limit emissions of greenhouse gases through use of leak monitoring technology at well sites and compressor stations.
  • In their comments, the AGs and other government officials argue that the EPA cannot suspend the 2016 Rule because it exceeds the EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act and that Administrator Scott Pruitt’s involvement is a conflict of interest given his past involvement challenging the 2016 Rule while he was Oklahoma AG.


15 AGs, 2 Governors Urge Department of Labor to Rescind Persuader Rule

  • 15 AGs and 2 Governors, led by Texas AG Ken Paxton, are urging the U.S. Department of Labor to rescind the Obama Administration’s Persuader Advice Exemption Rule (“Persuader Rule”), which would have expanded requirements for employers and consultants to file detailed public reports regarding activities affecting employees’ ability to organize and collectively bargain.
  • In their letter, the AGs argue that the Persuader Rule would require attorneys to publicly disclose confidential information protected by attorney-client privilege.
  • As previously reported, in December 2016, a coalition of 10 AGs won a final judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas to enjoin the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) from enforcing the Persuader Rule.


South Carolina Attorney General Files Lawsuit Against Opioid Manufacturer

  • South Carolina AG Alan Wilson filed a lawsuit against prescription opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma for allegedly violating the state’s Unfair Trade Practices Act over the marketing of its opioid products.
  • According to the complaint filed by the AG’s office and several outside law firms retained by the State, the pharmaceutical company allegedly engaged in a deceptive campaign that misrepresented the addictive risks of opioids, which exacerbated the opioid crisis in the state.
  • This lawsuit is the sixth in a series of opioid suits filed by a state AG. Mississippi, New Hampshire, Ohio, Missouri, and Oklahoma have also filed separate lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and a multistate investigating is underway by at least 40 AGs.

State AGs in the News

50 AGs Urge Congress to Adopt Amendment to Strengthen Laws Against Sex Trafficking

  • A bipartisan coalition of 50 AGs, led by District of Columbia AG Karl Racine and Florida AG Pam Bondi and organized by the National Association of Attorneys General, sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging them to amend the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”) to clarify state, territorial, and local authority to investigate child sex trafficking suspects.
  • According to the letter, the CDA is now being used as a “shield by those who profit from prostitution and crimes against children” after multiple court cases have interpreted the CDA to render state and local authorities unable to take action against companies or individuals, with the courts determining the federal government has sole authority to prosecute.
  • The AGs request that Congress amend the CDA to affirm that state, territorial, and local authorities have jurisdiction to criminally investigate and prosecute online facilitators of sex trafficking.

Former Alabama Attorney General, Incumbent U.S. Senator Advances in Republican Primary

  • Former Alabama AG and incumbent U.S. Senator Luther Strange placed second in the state’s Senate Republican Primary on Tuesday, meaning he will advance to a runoff election against former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore on September 26, 2017.
  • Strange was appointed to the U.S. Senate by then Governor Bentley to fill the U.S. Senate seat of Jeff Sessions, who was confirmed as U.S. Attorney General on February 8, 2017.
  • On the Democratic side, attorney Doug Jones handily won the primary.
  • The general election will take place on December 12, 2017.