Republican Attorney General Candidate Leighton Lord is at it again. After insulting law enforcement officers and prosecutors around the state with a mail piece that touted Lords alleged “law enforcement experience,” the Lord campaign is now running radio ads touting Lord’s law enforcement experience and training. Lord himself talks about how he went after organized crime and terrorism.
Those ads sound oh so good. It is amazing what a wealthy lawyer can do with his own money and his father in law’s wealthy contacts. However, no amount of money can distract from the facts. As President John Adams once said when he was practicing law, “facts are stubborn things.”
The fact is the law enforcement experience that the Lord Campaign touts did not come from prosecuting the bad guys or being on the front lines arresting the bad guys. Lord reaches yet again to make himself to be something he is not by touting his time as a counsel to a Congressional committee as law enforcement experience.
Perhaps Lord did do important work while as counsel to that Congressional committee. But, to compare that work to the work that prosecutors and cops do is insulting to both. We at VUI have relatives and close friends who do that work. We know firsthand lawyers who work tirelessly for relatively low pay to put the bad buys away. We know firsthand cops who walk up all alone to the car stopped on some interstate. Frankly, we at VUI wonder how Leighton Lord can look a police officer in the eye in good conscious and tell them that working as a committee lawyer makes him law enforcement.
What is puzzling is why Leighton Lord’s campaign seems bent on so stretching his resume. Lord has a strong resume and contacts, especially through his in laws, which would seem to be enough. Indeed, in the earlier stages of the Attorney General’s race, Lord contended that criminal prosecution was not all that important. He touted his record as a manager of one of the state’s most powerful law firms. That made sense.
Now the Lord campaign wants to take the brief time Lord spent working for a Congressional committee and turn that into real law enforcement experience. That is a big mistake and makes no sense. It is insulting to career prosecutors and it is insulting to the men and women who are on the front lines of law enforcement.
Perhaps the consultant advising Lord has convinced him that stretching the resume will not be noticed. Perhaps the Lord Campaign thinks we are too dumb to read resumes and asks questions. But, those of us who have family and dear friends on the front lines of law enforcement are insulted. We know firsthand that working as the counsel for some Congressional committee is not like prosecuting a bad guy or walking up all alone to a car on some interstate. Money cannot buy that real world perspective about what people we care about deal with. Those people deserve respect for the jobs that they do, not someone whose campaign pretends he has done the job to get some votes.
If Lord had stuck to his true resume, perhaps he would have better standing in the eyes of VUI. But, when his campaign stretched and portrayed him as having real law enforcement experience, Lord lost us and frankly, ticked us off. Lord’s campaign ought to be ashamed.