|Attorney General of Minnesota|
|January 2, 2007 - Present|
|Years in position||7|
|Predecessor||Mike Hatch (D)|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 2, 2010|
|First elected||November 2006|
|Next general||November 4, 2014|
|Minnesota Solicitor General|
|2003 – 2006|
|Deputy Attorney General of Minnesota|
|1999 – 2002|
|Bachelor's||University of Wisconsin-Madison|
|J.D.||William Mitchell College of Law|
|Birthday||December 16, 1966|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Political career
- 3 Elections
- 4 Campaign donors
- 5 Personal
- 6 Recent news
- 7 Contact Information
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 References
Swanson previously served under her predecessor Mike Hatch as Deputy Attorney General during his first term in office, from 1999 to 2002, and then as Solicitor General, from 2003 to 2006, during his second term.
Prior to assuming the role of Minnesota's chief law enforcement official, Swanson was appointed Chair of the Consumer Advocacy Council to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors based in Washington, D.C.
Attorneys general are not restricted by term limits in the state of Minnesota, therefore Swanson is eligible to seek a third term before her term expires in January 2015. Swanson is running for re-election in 2014. The general election takes place November 4, 2014.
Swanson earned her bachelor's degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison and later graduated maga cum laude from William Mitchell College of Law.
From 2003 to 2006, Swanson served as Solicitor General for the State of Minnesota. From 1999 to 2002, she served as Deputy Attorney General. Prior to that, Swanson was an attorney in private practice.
She has received the Pro Patria Award (2009) from the Minnesota Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), and the Robert Drinan Champion of Justice Award (2009) from The National Consumer Law Center.
- Bachelor's degree, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Juris Doctorate degree, William Mitchell College of Law (magna cum laude)
Minnesota Attorney General (2007-Present)
Swanson was elected Attorney General of Minnesota in 2006 and re-elected in 2010. She is Minnesota’s 29th Attorney General and its first female Attorney General.
Protecting Financial Aid for Students and Taxpayers Act
On March 11, 2013, Swanson, together with twelve other state attorneys general, sent a letter to Congress in support of the Protecting Financial Aid for Students and Taxpayers Act, a bill which would ban for-profit colleges from using federal funds for marketing and recruiting techniques. Sponsored by Senators Kay R. Hagan (D-NC) and Tom Harkin (D-IA), who chairs the chamber's Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, the law aims to “ensure that scarce federal education dollars will be used to serve and educate students rather than to finance advertising campaigns, recruitment operations, and aggressive marketing.” Consumer protection is one of the key duties assigned to the attorney general in each state.
According to the law's text, student enrollment at for-profit degree-issuing institutions such as the University of Phoenix more than doubled between 1998-2008, during which time the federal government--through student financial assistance programs--provided 86% of revenues to 15 reviewed publicly traded companies operating these for-profit colleges. A separate analysis of 15 such companies concluded that, on average, 28% of all expenditures were on advertising, marketing, and recruiting. Critics, including the attorneys general responsible for the letter advocating the bill's passage, contend that these expenditures are used to deceive consumers about program costs, graduation rates, or their employment potential beyond graduation. The bill seeks to restrict spending of this nature by higher education institutions or other postsecondary educational institution by prohibiting use of federal loans or grants in specific areas, and requiring that all such institutions whose revenues can be traced to federal educational assistance funds "report annually to the Secretary and to Congress the institution's expenditures on advertising, marketing, and recruiting."
In the letter, the attorneys general urged, “Federal taxpayers should not be asked to foot the bill for aggressive recruiting and deceptive sales tactics of colleges that have placed profits ahead of ensuring student success.” There are an estimated 3,000 for-profit schools nationwide, though neither the letter nor the bill cited the name of a specific institution.
Swanson was one of six state attorneys general, all of whom belonged to the Democratic Party, who received the highest rating, a letter grade of A+, from the June 2008 Survey and Scorecard report published by liberal political organization, ACORN. The report was published in an effort to shine the spotlight on state attorneys general "leading the fight to protect homeowners from joining the flood of Americans losing their homes to foreclosure," according to the group.
The Minnesota Attorney General's office graciously accepted the organization's recognition, saying, “I am honored to have ACORN as an ally in this fight to protect our communities from the scourge of foreclosures, and deeply grateful for this recognition. I humbly share it with the scores of dedicated professionals in my office that go to work every day pursuing justice for the people of Minnesota.”
In April 2007, Swanson's office was embroiled in controversy after the Minnesota Attorney General fired Kari Jo Ferguson, a ten-year veteran who just weeks earlier had received a commendation and a raise from the attorney general herself, after being caught distributing union cards within the state governmental office. Swanson gave several reasons for the firing, but Eliot Seide, executive director of AFSCME Council 5, sharply criticized the attorney general for creating a "climate of political patronage, fear, intimidation and humiliating working conditions,” believing the discharge to be a direct result of Ferguson unionizing her co-workers.
The day after the United States House of Representatives narrowly passed the Senate reconciliation bill on health care reform, Republican Governor of Minnesota Tim Pawlenty sent a letter to Attorney General Lori Swanson requesting her to "review the legal issues being raised by this unprecedented federal mandate and join other attorneys general to protect the constitutional rights of our citizens."
That same day, Swanson, through her spokesman, seemed to rebuke the governor's inquiry noting that neither the House bill had been signed nor had the reconciliation proposal been passed by the United States Senate. Furthermore, she argued, her office was not willing "to make any legal comments until we have had the opportunity to review the 2,400-page bill."
Even after President Barack Obama had signed the controversial House Resolution 3590 - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law on Tuesday, March 23, 2010, Swanson had not yet made a decision as to whether or not she would pursue litigation against the federal government over the matter. The Minnesota Attorney General, as a direct result of what some perceived to be delay tactics, faced increasing pressure from Republican members of State Legislature, including State Senator Julianne Ortman, who argued that "her political agenda has gotten in the way of her responsibilities to serve the residents of the state."
|2010 Race for Attorney General - Democratic Primary|
|Democratic Party||Lori Swanson||85.6%|
|Democratic Party||Leo F. Meyer||14.4%|
|2010 Race for Attorney General - General Election|
|Democratic Party||Lori Swanson||52.9%|
|Republican Party||Chris Barden||41.3%|
|Resource Party||David J. Hoch||0.7%|
|2006 Race for Attorney General - Democratic Primary|
|Democratic Party||Lori Swanson||41.8%|
|Democratic Party||Steve Kelley||37.3%|
|Democratic Party||Bill Luther||20.9%|
|2006 Race for Attorney General - General Election|
|Democratic Party||Lori Swanson||53.2%|
|Republican Party||Jeff Johnson||40.7%|
|Green Party||Papa John Kolstad||1.9%|
Comprehensive donor information for Swanson is available dating back to 2006. Based on available campaign finance records, Swanson raised a total of $1,176,843 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 12, 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 Lori Swanson's donors each year. Click [show] for more information.
|Lori Swanson's Campaign Contributions|
Attorney General of Minnesota
Attorney General of Minnesota
|Total Raised by General Election Opponent||$108,938||$492,715|
|Top 5 contributors||Public Fund||$180,410||Public Fund||$107,549|
|Minnesota DFL State Central Committee||$4,000||Lori Swanson||$10,000|
|Minnesota Electrical Workers State Council||$1,200||Minnesota Democrat-Farmer-Labor Party||$5,500|
|United Transportation Union||$1,200||Friends of John Aiken||$2,418|
|Goff & Howard, James Deal, Pamela Deal and Richard Ginsberg||$1,200 each||5 organizations and 10 individual donors||$1,000 each|
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Minnesota Attorney General's Office
1400 Bremer Tower
Saint Paul, MN 55101
Phone: (651) 296-3353
Toll Free Phone: (800) 657-3787
- Minnesota attorney general election, 2014
- Attorney General of Minnesota
- Attorney General
- Governor of Minnesota
- Official Minnesota Attorney General website
- Lori Swanson for Minnesota Attorney General Campaign website
- Project Vote Smart - Lori Swanson biography
- Minnesota Attorney General, "Lori Swanson" accessed October 19, 2012
- Lori Swanson for Attorney General 2014 Official campaign website, "Homepage," accessed July 18, 2014
- Minnesota Attorney General, "Attorney General Biography" accessed October 19, 2012
- The Library of Congress, "Bill Text 113th Congress (2013-2014) S.528.IS," March 12, 2013
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- The Boston Globe, "Attorney generals to Congress: Don’t let for-profit colleges use federal grants and loans for advertising," March 17, 2013
- Commonwealth of Kentucky Office of the Attorney General, "Letter to Congress," March 11, 2013
- ACORN "Attorneys General Take Action: Real Leadership in Fighting Foreclosures" June 2008
- Truscott Files, "ACORN Press Release: Lori Swanson Gets A+ on Foreclosure Crisis" 11 June, 2008
- Minnesota Independent, "Time for Swanson to Come Clean or Quit" 7 May, 2007
- Minnesota Post, "Gov. Pawlenty asks Attorney General Lori Swanson to review 'legal issues' of federal health-care reform" 22 March, 2010
- Minnesota Public Radio News, "Swanson in the spotlight over health care challenge" 24 March, 2010
- Minnesota Secretary of State - 2010 Attorney General Primary Election Results
- Minnesota Secretary of State - 2010 General Election Results
- Minnesota Secretary of State - 2006 Primary Election Results
- Minnesota Secretary of State - 2006 General Election Results
- Follow the Money, "Career fundraising for Lori Swason," accessed July 12, 2013
- Follow the Money.org
Mike Hatch (D)
|Minnesota Attorney General
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