Eugene DePasquale (D) was Pennsylvania’s Auditor General from 2013-2021. Before that he was a State Representative for District 95. He is focused on protecting democracy, consumers, abortion rights, and the environment.

 

CLICK HERE for a full video interview with Eugene DePasquale.

Click here to go to the main Attorney General article for interviews with all 7 candidates.

 

 

What is a short job description of the office of attorney general?

It's the top lawyer in Pennsylvania. It's the one that enforces all our law, whether they be criminal or civil and protecting consumers, protecting democracy, protecting abortion rights and your right to vote. It runs the gamut. It's an elected post and it is the top lawyer of Pennsylvania.

 

Why do you qualify to step into the role?

Well, for eight years— First of all, I am an attorney. I'm a state constitutional law professor. And I've been an attorney for over 20 years. So the main thing people should know about me is I run a lot of tough statewide investigations because my investigation did find over 3000 untested rape kits. The horrors those victims went through. But working together with my team, victims, advocates and law enforcement, we reduced that backlog when we eliminated it and we brought justice to victims in my investigation and found 58,000 unanswered phone calls on the child abuse hotline.

Any single one of those calls could have been life or death for a child. But it wasn't enough from myself and my team to find the problem. We traveled to every single county in the state to make sure our children were better protected. Following the horrific shooting at Stoneman Douglas. I led the School Safety Task Force, making sure that all school districts in Pennsylvania a school safety plan so we could protect our students Following my investigation into the what I would call the fraudulent crisis pregnancy center known as real alternatives.

We exposed them for giving pregnant women misinformation about what their health care options are and what happens in the case of an abortion. Because of my investigation, Governor Shapiro's able to cancel that contract. And those are some of the tough investigations I've done already across Pennsylvania. In addition to that, I have a personal story that fits perfectly with being attorney general.

My father was wounded in Vietnam, became addicted to painkillers, eventually started dealing and received a ten and a half year federal prison sentence. So I've seen both sides. The most failed war in the history of the United States. That's the war on drugs that we must turn into a battle against addiction. I've also seen firsthand what happens to victims of gun violence.

And I also know both sides of the criminal justice system. I also know what it's like to struggle because my brother Anthony had muscular dystrophy because that we never had health insurance. So when I was putting myself through night law school and he was a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh, he passed away from complications. We did take out loans to pay for the funeral, and my dad had come to the funeral shackles.

So I know exactly what these insurance companies and big companies are capable of doing. To people. If you don't have someone to have your back and we have an oldest, then 24, he's doing great. A Georgetown graduate school daughter, 21 doing great at Temple. But before that happened, we had an ectopic pregnancy. The decision we made then would in the state of Oklahoma or in some others might land Tracy myself in the doctor in prison.

So this fight for abortion rights is personal to me. And in addition to that, I've run statewide twice before. And I've won twice, including once when Trump was on the ballot. So you take my experience of running complicated state investigations, my personal story and knowing struggle and knowing the stakes of the issues of the day, why an attorney general has to have the backing of the people, and also my political experience of running twice statewide and winning twice. And that's why I believe I should be the Democratic nominee.

What were your two prior positions that you had?

Well, I was auditor general, two terms. And prior to that, I spent three terms in the state house. There I was the first legislator to put my expenses on line, the Alternative Energy Investment Act as my legislation and the ban on texting while driving with my fight for over five years.

 

What are your priorities if you take the office?

It starts by protecting democracy. If we lose our democracy, it's game, set, match and everything else. So it starts with that. And then from there, it is protecting consumers, protecting abortion rights and protecting the environment. All three would be critically important in my administration if I'm the attorney general.

 

What is something about the current administration you would change and/or keep the same?

Look, you know, I think Michelle Henry's doing a great job. I think they're doing a great job on consumer outreach, particularly with the fraudsters and the scammers that are out there winning. Consumers know And I would probably have more of an emphasis on the environment. But overall, I think she's doing a great job.

 

What do you have that your other primary candidates do not?

First of all, I'm the only one not from the Philadelphia area. So I had some may consider that a closet some may be consider that a negative, but that is certainly something that is different. I'm the only one that's one state run statewide twice before and won twice, including once when Trump was on the ballot. I'm the only one that's run a statewide agency before, talked about my issues and my record and my personal story.

And I'm also the only one that worked as a janitor in college while playing to college sports when one of my fellow competitors played waiter college sport, but it didn't work as a janitor simultaneously.

 

What is a topic/discussion point around the office of Attorney General and what is your take on it?

Well, I think people, especially in the Democratic field, are very concerned about abortion rights and democracy. Those are the things that I hear over and over again across the campaign trail.

 

Question from Facebook followers; Why not Voter I.D.?

We actually do have voter. The first time you vote at the polling place for the first time, you have to show your ID. And beyond that, I just think it suppresses the vote. You're already a registered voter. You show the I.D. the first time. There's so many other safeguards in place. I think we should be trying to find more ways to get people that are legally eligible to vote, to vote, as opposed to try and deny people the access to vote.