I write in support of Phil Weiser as Colorado’s next Attorney General. The reasons are many, but I begin with what prompted me to write in the first place: a TV ad I just saw supporting Phil’s opponent. While choosing words very carefully, the ad strongly implies that Phil has never set foot in a courtroom – – an assertion that is false and, in my view, designed to mislead. Phil is no stranger to the courtroom; he has represented clients and argued important cases before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and other tribunals using skills he first developed many years ago while clerking for Justice Ginsberg at the U.S. Supreme Court and later at the U.S. Department of Justice. It’s unlikely Phil will criticize his opponent for such deception or for lacking the experience and skills that Phil possesses. Instead, Phil runs a positive campaign that honestly presents to voters details about both candidates’ qualifications and views. His campaign is representative of his overall style: to unite, not divide – – and to make progress.

Why is the role of the A.G. much more than just a prosecutor, and why is Phil the most qualified? A substantial part of the A.G.’s job in representing Colorado is to understand and shape the contours of public policy that impact the state. Phil’s background is replete with policy experience and leadership – – from the local level to the highest levels in our federal government. Phil’s opponent has virtually no policy-making experience, and he has tried to gloss-over this shortcoming by understating the importance of public policy and by labeling Phil as an activist. Being action-oriented is not tantamount to being a zealot. In addition to possessing expertise in multiple areas of law and policy, Phil is a skillful organizer and manager of people and resources; he has a reputation for developing consensus and getting things done.

We expect our A.G.to stand up for all Coloradoans, including rural communities (like Chaffee County, where I live), not just major population centers, or a select few, or special interest groups. Phil will help rural communities through support of rural hospitals and by improved broadband access. His opponent says the A.G. should play no role here. That is not representation of all Coloradoans.

Phil has demonstrated a commitment to protecting Colorado’s water, land and air, while his opponent expresses little desire to do so and instead appears committed to protecting the interests of those who would undermine these precious state assets. Phil’s opponent is out of touch with the majority of Coloradoans who, like Phil, believe sensible gun regulation is appropriate and long overdue. Phil does not accept corporate PAC funding and has called for Citizens United to be overturned, while Phil’s opponent accepts dark money including from industries the A.G. regulates.

Phil’s opponent is a fine man… but not the best choice. Phil is a force. If voters decide to bring this force to bear, all of Colorado will be better for it.

Craig Donaldson, Chaffee County