Erik Wallin at the Rhode Island Republican Assembly Endorsement Convention

This past Saturday, the Rhode Island Republican Assembly held its endorsement convention for statewide candidates. Candidates were allowed to make a short statement, then took questions from the audience. As always, RI-RA members asked direct and pointed questions of the candidates.
Erik Wallin spoke to the convention about his campaign for Attorney General in Rhode Island, and received the endorsement made later in the day.

Opening statement:

“It is time to take back the office of Attorney General and Return it to the people, and that is exactly what I am going to do as your next Attorney General. This is an opportunity we’ve rarely had in Rhode Island to capture an office that affects so many of us, from protecting and standing up for those who have been the victims of violent crimes, to making sure our state’s rights themselves are protected…” (Audio: 1 min 23 sec)
“I am also going to crack down on public corruption like no one has before. I rolled out a public corruption bill two weeks ago, with the most severe penalties for those who betray the public trust. This is at the core of what’s wrong in Rhode Island…” (Audio: 1 min 43 sec)
“I am a former Air Force officer and JAG. I come to this race with the experience of having been in the office of Attorney General, knowing how it works and, sadly, knowing how it doesn’t work…” (Audio: 1 min 16 sec)

Audience Question: What are you going to do about illegal immigration in the State of Rhode Island?
Answer: “I have spoken without any sort of reservation about a couple of issues. One, I firmly believe in e-verify. I believe that e-verify should be rolled out to the private employers as well, besides just individuals doing work for the state or state contractors or the state itself…” (Audio: 1 min 26 sec)
“I also have said that I believe that law enforcement should cooperate with ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It’s no different than co-operating with the FBI, and I’ve said that as well when I’ve been challenged by activists…” (Audio: 1 min 6 sec)
Audience Question: Those under indictment in the North Providence case could still have their town council seats. What would you do about that as AG?
Answer: “Under the HOPE Act [the anti-corruption legislation proposed by Mr. Wallin], anyone who is under indictment for a public corruption crime would be removed from office, not removed permanently, but suspended until such time as they were exonerated, or if convicted, they would be permanently removed from office…” (Audio: 1 min 37 sec)
Audience Question: Do you believe that we are endowed by our creator with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and if so, will you remain anchored to those principles as you meet the challenges in the times in which we live…
Answer: “So help me God…” (Audio: 0 min 11 sec)
Audience Question: How do you feel about the concept of expungement of criminal records, and what’s going on up in the legislature on that subject?
Answer: “I’m against it. Let me tell you something, this is what infuriates me. We have a General Assembly that couldn’t be a better friend to criminals…whether it’s through the expungement law, where they want to expunge public records of crimes, or whether it’s the example of releasing probation violators or cutting their sentences shorter, these things are all in the General Assembly while we have these tremendous other issues, like our financial crisis at hand, and they’re worried about criminals…” (Audio: 1 min 4 sec)
“We have one of the most liberal expungement statutes in the country. Unfortunately, they want to make it even more liberal…” (Audio: 1 min 21 sec)

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12 years ago

It’s interesting that the guy is “for” or “against” stuff as opposed to stating that he thinks X does no meet the law(s) or intention of the law.
I know the right rallies against “judicial activism”, yet wonder if they apply the same to the top judicial officer in the state.
Shouldn’t the enforcement of law and the state constitution be his primary job? Maybe we should rename the office to “chief political officer”.

12 years ago

I reiterate my concern that his “Hope Act” is unconstitutional and abhorrent for a variety of different reasons, not the least of which is violation of due process. It would essentially give the Attorney General (Wallin, conveniently) the authority to remove any politician or public employee from office at any time, potentially for years on end while a mere accusation of wrongdoing played out in the justice system. Who would get to select replacements for all of these people, and what would happen when they were cleared of charges? Would they still be getting salary this whole time along with their replacement? Tip of the iceberg of the problems this would cause. I am also shocked (but not surprised) that Wallin is against the idea of expungement of crimes in totality. Perhaps he’d like to explain how turning all criminal convictions into life-long employment death sentences is supposed to keep crime down. Expungement is probably the best and most effective crime prevention incentive we can give people and he wants to eliminate it out of some misguided malum prohibitum vengeance or desire to look tough on crime no matter the cost. He also completely mischaracterizes the very positive and common sense probation reforms going on right now. This guy really is from the planet Romulus. Andrew apparently believes in solidarity with the party pick, but I can’t believe that nobody else on this blog has ANY problems with this stuff. Justin? Monique? You’ve been eerily silent on this candidate, although I don’t really blame you. I know it’s painful to admit, but the RI GOP screwed up royally by choosing this clown whose authoritarian extremism on every issue and painfully memorized canned speeches give him no chance of winning and would do incredible harm to our state if he somehow… Read more »

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