Glenwood among AG candidate Weiser’s launch points
Colorado can benefit from having a governor and an attorney general who are aligned when it comes to carrying out policies and vision, says Phil Weiser, one of two Democrats who have announced plans to run for attorney general in next year’s election.
“If you care about the policies and issues in the governor’s race, you have to care about the attorney general, and you have to care about both together,” Weiser said during a Monday interview with the Post Independent. He visited before a public appearance in Glenwood Springs that was part of a four-stop campaign launch tour.
Colorado has had a long succession of mostly Democratic governors and Republican attorneys general, Weiser noted.
On issues ranging from protecting the environment and consumers to ensuring fair access to the justice system, “An attorney general who is a partner with the governor can make a real difference,” he said.
Instead, incumbent Republican Attorney General Cynthia Coffman has worked to “undermine” sitting Gov. John Hickenlooper and former President Barack Obama on several fronts, Weiser charged.
“Now is a challenging time for our country … a time when our constitutional freedoms are at stake,” Weiser said before a small gathering of supporters in front of the Garfield County Courthouse.
“We need attorneys general across the U.S. who are committed to enforcing our Constitution and protecting equal rights,” he said.
Weiser launched his campaign in Pueblo over the weekend, with subsequent stops in Colorado Springs that day and Glenwood Springs Monday. He will conclude with a kickoff event in Denver’s LoDo district on Wednesday.
Currently a law professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Weiser clerked at a young age for U.S. Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Ruth Bader Ginsburg before working in the Department of Justice for presidents Clinton and Obama.
In 2009, Obama appointed Weiser as deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, and in 2010 named him senior advisor for technology and innovation, where he spearheaded Obama’s Wireless Initiative.
“We have an obligation in Colorado to make the economy work for everybody,” Weiser said. “We need a 21st century economy that includes a lot of different enabling components, like making sure people have access to broadband Internet.
“We also need to make sure consumers aren’t scammed, either online or offline, and we need to make sure our justice system is working and that people have access to justice,” he said.
One of two sons born to a Holocaust survivor who came to this country at a young age, Weiser said he has personally benefited from the United States’ commitment to freedom and opportunity.
“I am committed to defending the American Dream for our next generation,” he said.
Weiser also emphasized that he will “stand up to” the Trump Administration and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on issues ranging from immigration rights to defending Colorado’s laws legalizing recreational and medical marijuana.
“We need an attorney general in Colorado who is the state’s lawyer to effectively control our own destiny,” Weiser said.
At the University of Colorado Law School, Weiser’s work included founding the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship. As dean of the Law School, he has worked to increase scholarship opportunities and hold tuition steady, according to his campaign. Weiser lives in Denver with his wife, Heidi Wald, and two children.
One other Democrat, state legislator Joe Salazar, has also announced his intentions to run for attorney general. Republicans are still awaiting word from Coffman whether she will seek a second four-year term as attorney general, or join the growing field of Republicans and Democrats seeking to replace the term-limited Gov. Hickenlooper in the 2018 election.
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Policy that dictates what for-profit activities should be officially sanctioned within Glenwood Springs parks is being reviewed by city staff and will likely come before the city council for final approval later this summer.