AG candidate Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin says he’ll bring a different approach to office

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 2,179 views 

Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, the Republican nominee for Arkansas Attorney General, says he’ll bring a different approach to the office than his predecessor or challenger, if elected.

Griffin was a guest on this week’s edition of Capitol View.

“In the Army, when we do an after-action report, we talk about improving or sustaining, right? So I think there’ll be things that I think that I want to improve upon, do differently, and there’ll be things I want to sustain,” Griffin said.

“I like to question everything. Why do we do things this way? And if we should continue doing things that particular way, we’ll do it. If not, we’ll make changes. But I think that the office will reflect who I am and I expect there’ll be some changes,” he added.

Last week in a Capitol View interview, Griffin’s Democratic opponent, attorney Jesse Gibson, said Griffin lacked courtroom experience and was less qualified for the office of AG. Griffin has served as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve, Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps, for 26 years and currently holds the rank of colonel. He is currently serving as the Staff Judge Advocate (SJA) for the 81st Readiness Division at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and has served as the Commander of the 134th Legal Operations Detachment (LOD) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He said Gibson’s assertion is not true.

“I’ve had experience in the courtroom,” Griffin said. “Leadership and being right on the issues is what really matters here. Look, I’ll let my opponent talk about what he wants to do. I’ll say this, I don’t consider my opponent a particularly serious person. He has said things like, ‘The police just want to drive fast and shoot people.’ Ridiculous comments like that. A few years ago, he wanted to run for AG, but then, oops, he got arrested for drinking and driving or some such. I just don’t consider him a serious candidate.”

Two big issues in the race for Attorney General center around marijuana legalization and public safety. Last week, President Joe Biden announced he would pardon federal offenders who have been convicted of simple marijuana possession. Griffin said the President’s executive action is unwise.

“We’re in a very dangerous competitive world today, whether we’re competing with China or other countries, and the idea that we want to attract good paying STEM – science, technology, engineering, and math – based jobs to Arkansas, many of which require drug tests, and then we’re going to legitimize recreational marijuana use is just a horrible idea,” he said, noting his opposition to Issue 4, which would legalize recreational cannabis for adults in Arkansas.

On the issue of crime and public safety, Griffin said he expects to be active in shaping legislative policy to deal with violent offenders. He says he’s working with some state lawmakers now ahead of January’s regular session.

“I have an opinion on what the law should look like. First of all, you have dangerous, violent, repeat violent criminals, repeat violent predators all over the state committing crimes against our Arkansans… These policies should have been changed. They are liberal policies from the past, but they should have been changed,” he said.

“I am for getting rid of parole for violent criminals immediately,” Griffin added. “We’ve got to build more prisons, we’ve got to reform the parole system, and yes, we need to make sure we improve our mental health capabilities and access rehabilitation. We need to give people good time, credit for education. That’s not parole. The federal system, you earn good time, no parole. And so we need to look at all this.”

When asked why the issue hasn’t been addressed sooner, Griffin said, “It’s a good question. It’s a really good question. I think there are a lot of people who still believe in a fantasy. They believe that someone who’s been arrested 10 times for violent crime, if you somehow let them out an 11th time or whatever, that they’re going to get their act together… There are a lot of things we need to do, but the number one responsibility of government is to keep its citizens safe. Without safety, we have no freedom.”

You can watch Griffin’s full interview in the video below.