PRESS RELEASE

June 30, 2022

MNGOP Endorsed Jim Schultz Appears to Oppose Funding for Criminal Prosecution

Yesterday, MN GOP-endorsed candidate for Attorney General Jim Schultz appeared to reversed his position on the Attorney General’s Office’s request for more support to help prosecute murder, human trafficking, and other violent and egregious crimes, stating that Attorney General Keith Ellison is “overstaffing county prosecutors.”

At a forum this past January, Jim Schultz pledged to make the same request he now opposes of the legislature, saying:

“I’m also gonna go to the legislature. I’m going to say I need additional funding for the criminal division of the Attorney General’s Office. We just need more resources there to support the critical work that county prosecutors are doing around the state.”

Attorney General Keith Ellison has made the request for more funding to boost the criminal division of the Attorney General’s office for three consecutive years but Senate Republicans have blocked his request each time despite Minnesota’s $9 billion surplus, despite House DFLers agreement to provide $1.2 million to the office, and despite the fact that it makes up a small percentage of the millions the AGO returns to our state’s general fund.

County attorneys’ offices across the state turn to the Attorney Generals office for support to help prosecute some of the most violent crimes in Minnesota. Winona County Attorney ​​Karin L. Sonneman recently wrote in the Winona Daily News making the case for the need to fund the criminal division in the Attorney General’s office. 

“Under the leadership of Attorney General Ellison, I have seen on multiple occasions the return on taxpayer investment in the attorney general’s office as an effective resource and partner that county attorney offices can count on. The AG office’s legislative funding request will help all county attorneys deliver justice across the state, especially in the prosecution of complex, serious, and otherwise unique cases we are not equipped to handle alone.”

In response, DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin blasted Jim Schultz for his anti-public safety position and opposing funding that would grant ease and justice to victims and loved ones who suffer from violent crime:

“Attorney General Keith Ellison has been on the frontlines of fighting violent crime across the state of Minnesota. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are blocking essential funding that would help prosecute some of the most violent crimes across Minnesota, and Jim Schultz appears to be joining them.

“You cannot claim to be the candidate for public safety and then flip flop on funding to support counties across the state to grant ease and justice to victims and loved ones who suffer from violent crime. We need an Attorney General that is willing to fight for Minnesotan’s public safety every day and not flip flop on their word to score political points.”

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