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MONDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2006
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EDITORIAL

State needs real change in attorney generalís office

State voters have the opportunity to elect a real attorney general Nov. 7 and let incumbent Troy King go back to being a member of the supporting cast for Republican officeholders.

Gov. Bob Riley made a mistake in elevating Mr. King to the attorney general's office when President Bush named Bill Pryor to the federal bench. He wasn't ready for big league politics and hasn't grown into the office in the more than two years since his appointment.

A politician afraid of controversy has no business being attorney general. It's a no-holds barred, non-partisan office that requires courage as the state's chief law enforcement officer.

Perhaps, having to follow Mr. Pryor in office was also a disadvantage for Mr. King because the new federal judge is one of the brightest people ever to hold that office. That unfavorable contrast suggests a steep fall off in talent in that office.

Voters can correct the governor's mistake of naming his staff member if they elect Mobile District Attorney John Tyson. Unlike Mr. King, he has a solid track record for prosecuting criminals.

Mobile County is a Republican stronghold but voters there have put this Democrat in as district attorney for 12 years. He also served 14 years on the State School Board.

Experts who think preventing crime is preferable to building more prisons prefer Mr. Tyson. So do we.

Mr. King's philosophy is that prison is all about punishment. The more punishment, the better for society. That philosophy is a miserable failure as the burgeoning prison population bears out. It also conflicts with Gov. Bob Riley's prison reform proposals in his "Plan 2010: Our Vision for Alabama."

THE DAILY recommends John Tyson for attorney general in the Nov. 7 general election.

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