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For Attorney General: Lori Swanson

The Minnesota Attorney General race is between Democrat incumbent Lori Swanson and Republican challenger Chris Barden.

It is a choice between Swanson's experience in the attorney general's office, as a consumer advocate as well as a watchdog or Barden's background as a successful trial attorney.

Swanson is the better choice for the attorney general's office.

Barden has an impressive resume and background, a Harvard law degree and is a competent attorney. He has been a major critic of Swanson's management, but has offered no significant proof of mismanagement. Most troubling is his ideologue focus on a number of issues, especially on his support of photo identification voting requirements. His voter photo ID would disenfranchise many Minnesota voters, especially seniors and military members who often do not have state driver's licenses.

Swanson has been criticized at times on her office management and for keeping former Attorney General Mike Hatch on staff initially, but she addressed those issues. She gets good marks by making her office more friendly and efficient for businesses. She has focused her office on helping and protecting the people of Minnesota by protecting against identify theft and insurance fraud, being tough on crime, fighting sex abuse, attacking foreclosure scams and uncovering travel expenses in Xcel Energy utility rate hike requests. She also declined to pursue politically-motivated actions, such as Gov. Tim Pawlenty's request for Minnesota to file a lawsuit challenging the federal health reform's constitutionality. Overall, Swanson has earned another term in office.

We endorse Swanson for re-election as attorney general.