John W. Suthers
|John W. Suthers|
|Attorney General of Colorado|
|2005 - January 13, 2015|
|Predecessor||Ken Salazar (D)|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 2, 2010|
|First elected||November 7, 2006|
|Term limits||2 consecutive terms|
|U.S. Attorney for District of Colorado|
|Executive Director, Colorado Dept of Corrections|
|High school||St. Mary's High School (1970)|
|Bachelor's||University of Notre Dame (1974)|
|J.D.||University of Colorado Law School (1977)|
|Date of birth||October 18, 1951|
|Place of birth||Denver, Colorado|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Political career
- 3 Elections
- 4 Campaign donors
- 5 Personal
- 6 Recent news
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 9 References
John William Suthers (born October 18, 1951, in Denver, Colorado) is the former Republican Attorney General of Colorado. He was appointed to the position in 2005 by Governor Bill Owens following the election of Ken Salazar to the United States Senate.
Suthers officially assumed the role on January 4, 2005, after Salazar left office. He was elected to a full term in November 2006 and was re-elected in 2010. Suthers was term-limited from running for a third term in 2014.
Before becoming attorney general, Suthers served from July 2001 to January 2005 as U.S. Attorney for Colorado. He was executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections from 1999 to 2001 and senior counsel at the Colorado Springs, CO firm of Sparks Dix, P.C. from 1997 to 1999. Additionally, Suthers was district attorney for Colorado's 4th Judicial District from 1988 to 1997.
Immediately upon graduating from law school, Suthers occupied the dual roles of Deputy and Chief Deputy District Attorney in Colorado Springs. He remained in those roles until 1981. From 1979 to 1981, he headed the Economic Crime Division of the District Attorney's Office. In 1981, Suthers became a litigation partner in the Colorado Springs-based private practice law firm, Sparxs Dix, P.C., where he stayed until 1988. He co-authored Fraud and Deceit: How to Stop Being Ripped Off, a book about consumer fraud and white-collar crime, in 1982.
- President, El Paso County Bar Association (1990-1991)
- Colorado Delegate, National Conference on Uniform State Laws (1992-1997)
- President, Colorado District Attorney's Council (1994-1995)
- Senior Vice President, Colorado Bar Association (1996-1997)
- Graduated from St. Mary's High School (1970)
- Bachelor's degree, University of Notre Dame (1974) in government
- Juris Doctorate degree, University of Colorado Law School (1977)
- Certificate in Government Executives Program, Harvard University (2000)
Colorado Attorney General (2005-2015)
As Colorado Attorney General, Suthers' top priorities were criminal justice and consumer protection. He launched a Safe Surfing Initiative to protect children from online predators. Legislation backed by Suthers made it a crime in Colorado to solicit a child online for a meeting. In the first two years of implementation, 250 alleged pedophiles were arrested on the new charges. In 2005, he also convened a Mortgage and Foreclosure Fraud Task Force to study the state's burgeoning foreclosure problems. As attorney general, he backed legislation that sought to reduce appraisal fraud and criminalize unscrupulous foreclosure consulting.
During the 2008 legislative session, Suthers spearheaded two consumer protection initiatives. Senate Bill 77, dubbed the "Hannah Montana Bill," would criminalize the use of software to circumvent online ticket sales limits. The second measure would have banned most robocalls in the state of Colorado. Despite being heavily favored by Colorado citizens, the measure was quickly defeated by the legislative committee. Suthers served as co-chair of the National Association of Attorneys General criminal law committee. He also acted as one of four attorneys general on United States Attorney General Michael Mukasey's Executive Working Group on Prosecutorial Relations, a group composed of federal, state and local prosecutors from across the United States.
In the wake of the historic passage of President Barack Obama's health care reform legislation on Christmas Eve in 2009, Suthers joined fourteen other state attorneys general in questioning not only the constitutionality of a specific controversial provision within the Senate version of the bill, but also exploring potential legal challenges to the measure as well. The stipulation in question was the back room deal Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid struck with Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson to recruit him as the 60th vote needed to pass the measure, an arrangement "dubbed the 'Nebraska Compromise' or the 'Cornhusker Kickback' by Republican critics." The agreement gave Nebraska exemption from its share of the Medicaid expansion, "a carve out that is expected to cost the federal government $100 million over 10 years."
On the same morning President Barack Obama signed into law his controversial health care reform measure, House Resolution 3590 - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the one that narrowly passed the United States House of Representatives just two days before, Suthers and 12 other state attorneys general, all but one of them being Republican, filed suit against "the federal government to stop the massive health care overhaul, claiming it's unconstitutional." Suthers contended that the newly enacted health care law, in particular the "individual mandate" that requires citizens to purchase health insurance, "violates constitutional principles and lacks constitutional authority."
Nearly two weeks after Governor of Arizona Jan Brewer (R) signed into law the controversial anti-illegal immigration law, Senate Bill 1070 - The Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (SB 1070), Suthers refused to get his state involved in the fight against the federal government. Though he has said he believed that wave of illegal aliens coming into the country was a problem, Suther did not feel that "criminalizing immigration status on the state level is going to accomplish" anything. Additionally, Suthers contended that the liberal make-up of the courts would "hold that states cannot criminalize immigration status" and that any fight in court over the matter would be fruitless.
U.S. Attorney for District of Colorado (2001-2005)
Executive Director, Dept of Corrections (1999-2001)
District Attorney (1988-1999)
Suthers was elected District Attorney for the Fourth Judicial District in 1988 and was subsequently re-elected.
- See also: Colorado Attorney General election, 2010
- 2010 Race for Attorney General - Republican Primary
- John Suthers ran unopposed in this contest
- 2010 Race for Attorney General - General Election
|Colorado Attorney General, 2010|
|Republican||John Suthers Incumbent||56.3%||960,995|
- 2006 Race for Attorney General - Republican Primary
- John Suthers ran unopposed
- 2006 Race for Attorney General - General Election
|Colorado Attorney General, 2006|
|Libertarian||Dwight K. Harding||4.2%||63,122|
Comprehensive donor information for Suthers is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Suthers raised a total of $1,383,402 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 8, 2013.
2006 and 2010
Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of John Suthers's donors each year. Click [show] for more information.
|John Suthers's Campaign Contributions|
Colorado Attorney General
Colorado Attorney General
|Total Raised by General Election Opponent||$481,200 (Democrat)||$149,727 (Democrat)|
|Top 5 contributors||Colorado Association of Realtors Small Donor Committee||$7,500||Colorado Association of Realtors||$7,500|
|Robert H. Rawlings||$1,350||Colorado Republican Party||$6,059|
|Montrose County Republicans||$1,300||Copic Insurance||$3,000|
|Richard De Blasio||$1,225||Colorado Association of Public Employees||$1,500|
|Ronald Marold||$1,200||Patricia M. (Trish) Nagel||$1,500|
Suthers currently resides in Colorado Springs with his wife, Janet. The couple has two daughters together - Alison, a lawyer, and Kate, a United States Naval Officer. Suthers is also a practicing Roman Catholic.
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- Official Colorado Attorney General website
- Project Vote Smart - John Suthers biography
- Campaign contributions: 2012, 2010, 2008, 2006, 1998
- Suthersforag.com 2010 Campaign website
The Internet Archive's Wayback Machine was used to recall this version of the website from October 11, 2010.
- Colorado Attorney General's Office, "John W. Suthers Biography," accessed July 13, 2011
- Safe Surfing Initiative - Colorado Attorney General's Office website
- Online Luring Legislation - Colorado Attorney General's Office website
- Politico, "GOP AGs may sue over health bill" 24 Dec. 2009
- TPM "GOP AGs Escalate Constitutional Battle Against Health Bill" 31 Dec. 2009
- Associated Press, "13 attorneys general sue over health care overhaul" 23 March, 2010
- The Huffington Post, "Colorado Healthcare Backlash: AG John Suthers To Challenge Bill; Right Wingers Go To Ballot" 22 March, 2010
- The Denver Daily News, "Attorney General speaks out on Ariz. law" 5 May, 2010
- Times Call, "AG Suthers questions constitutionality of Arizona immigration crackdown" 5 May, 2010 (dead link)
- Mitt Romney for President, "Mitt Romney Announces Support of Minnesota Leaders," February 4, 2012 (dead link)
- Follow the Money, "Career financing for John Suthers," accessed July 8, 2013
- Follow the Money.org
Ken Salazar (D)
|Colorado Attorney General
| Succeeded by|
Cynthia Coffman (R)