The barbs are flying in the race for Minnesota's open U.S. Senate seat. Mark Kennedy's campaign started running a new ad this week criticizing Amy Klobuchar for "broken promises." It talks about Klobuchar's role as Hennepin County Attorney and her promises to crack down on felony drug users, gun criminals and repeat offenders. Here's a link to the ad. Democrat Amy Klobuchar's campaign issued the following news release in response to the ad:
·The average prison sentence for first degree drug offenders in Hennepin County is now 20% longer than the year before Klobuchar took office. [Hennepin County Chart, 1st Degree Drug Cases-Average Pronounced Confinement For Cases With Executed Prison Sentences]
·Klobuchar’s office has been on record as publicly advocating for the judges in drug court to take a tougher approach against dealers. [Prosecutors Criticize Drug Court, Star Tribune, July 16, 2006; Some See Drug Court as Success, Others Want Data, Star Tribune, January 6, 1999].
·Klobuchar was instrumental in getting the state’s first felony DWI law passed at the Legislature. Before that law, career drunk drivers would not have faced prison time. Today, 439 offenders are serving prison time because of her work. [Minnesota Department of Corrections Web Site, Daily Inmate Reports, accessed September 26, 2006]
·Last year, Klobuchar’s office enforced tough sentencing laws against gun offenders 20% more often than the rest of the state. Klobuchar’s office has secured enhanced sentences against gun offenders at a greater rate than the statewide average throughout her tenure as County Attorney. [MN Sentencing Guidelines Commission Report To the Legislature, January 2006]
·Jury trials are up by nearly 50% since Klobuchar took office. [Hennepin County Attorney’s 2006 Progress Report]
·Since 1999, more than 125 career criminals have received longer prison sentences because of Klobuchar’s focus on repeat property offenders. [Hennepin County Attorney’s 2006 Progress Report]
·The Office of the State Legislative Auditor has noted that Klobuchar’s office was so aggressive in enforcing the career offender statute that it was driving up the rate of use statewide. [Minnesota Legislative Auditor Report on Chronic Offenders February 2001]