After the deadline for this week's story about the Democratic primary for attorney general, Felecia Rotellini got back to us with e-mailed answers to questions that Mari Herreras sent her. Here are those answers:
In the first Democratic candidate debate, you and Vince Rabago disagreed regarding his follow-through on his cases before resigning to run for AG, and he said you are too close to the mortgage industry because of the last firm you worked at. Howard Fisher followed up in a story and said you were wrong. Did you feel there was something missing in the debate regarding the accusations that were made?
Mistakes keep me humble, and when I realized an injunction existed, I admitted the error, apologized and moved forward to discuss the real issues in this race.
SB 1070 has become the focus regarding Arizona. Are there other issues in these past few months that you wish we'd focused on, and that you think are important, regarding how they relate to the AG’s office?
Absolutely. I will resurrect the Elder Affairs Unit in the Consumer Protection Section that will investigate and prosecute anyone who exploits or abuses our seniors through financial and consumer fraud. I will also make the investigation and prosecution of open meeting laws and public corruption a priority. In addition, the investigation and prosecution of mortgage fraud is an area that I have special expertise, unmatched by any other candidate. I will create a mortgage fraud unit within the criminal division under the leadership of an experienced specialist who will train the current investigators and prosecutors. With the inclusion of this one mortgage fraud expert, the productivity and caseload of the attorneys and investigators will grow exponentially.
Tom Horne told me one of the first things he wants to do in office is make sure the ethnic-studies law is enforced, and that TUSD complies. What is one of the first things you want to do in office—what’s your first priority?
As I mentioned (above), the Elder Affairs Unit is among my top priorities. In addition, I will bring tough, common-sense solutions to combating illegal immigration. My policy for protecting Arizona is simple: Nothing illegal should come across our borders—no drugs, no guns, no money, no people. If criminals smuggle humans and facilitate illegal immigration, I will stop them the way I took on Western Union, levying $5 million in fees and fines for violating the laws designed to stop the flow of funds to human smugglers and drug runners.
What are the significant issues you feel you’ve raised in your campaign that you think are important to remind voters regarding you, your experience and what you bring to the table as our AG?
I am running for Attorney General because I am a hands-on, veteran prosecutor and I want to make sure the office continues to focus on protecting and serving Arizonans. Fighting for Arizona families is a passion I’ve had for 17 years—as an Assistant Attorney General (in both the civil and criminal divisions) and as the Superintendent of the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions under Governor Napolitano (2006-2009) and Governor Brewer (1/09 to 8/09). I am the most qualified candidate in the race, with a record of results unmatched by any candidate on either side of the ballot. I also have the background and experience Arizona voters want in their top law enforcement official. As a former prosecutor, I am tough on all types of crime and have recovered millions for middle-income families and the elderly who have been the victims of crime. From my tenure at the Department of Financial Institutions, I have expertise in financial and consumer fraud and a record of getting results for the people of Arizona despite being under tremendous budget restrictions. Above all, I am a career prosecutor, not a career politician, who will make decisions in the best interest of Arizona. As I travel around the state, I have visited with voters who are very enthusiastic about my candidacy. I’ve been endorsed by the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police, the Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona, the Arizona Correctional Peace Officers Association and the Arizona Association of Realtors. In addition, I am supported by Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall and Supervisor Sharon Bronson.