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Skip Humphrey (aka Hubert Humphrey III), Minnesota's attorney general, discusses various law enforcement issues, including gang violence, gun limits, and environmental law. Humphrey also answers listener questions.

Read the Text Transcription of the Audio.

(00:00:00) Well a couple of items come to mind right away. Mr. Humphrey. And that is that drug use and gang violence are items that you have placed near the top of your priority as list, if not at the top and you've made specific proposals the street terrorism act which would make it a felony to be actively involved in a gang that is involved in felony crimes. This has been typified by some. Mr. Humphrey is guilt by association others have called it gestapo-like tactics that open a door through which we do not want to pass. What's the status of the legislation and your (00:00:34) reaction? Well, the legislation was heard last night before one of the Committees of the legislature. It was amended slightly, but it is well on its way towards a passage what what it will do for example is establish a witness protection program which fights witness intimidation by gangs and I think the public should know that we are aware of at least four felony cases in the last year. That have not been able to come to trial because of witness intimidation also included in that is it would apply that Witness Protection Program to battered women and cases with regard to that. So I I think that's moving along quite well the bill what it does is it increases penalties for crimes that are committed for the benefit of the gang we're not talking about Association here at all. There's no violation of anybody's constitutional right to freely associate. What we are talking about here is the active and willful and knowledgeable promotion of felony crimes by an organization and by a person who knows and actively promotes that activity. So what we're really doing here is getting at the organized structure of crime as we know it on the streets in the cities and in the metropolitan area, I (00:01:56) haven't read your proposal. Does it specify a setting up? The some kind of agency either within your office or within some other office that would track keep files on gang members reputed gang members people said to associate with gang (00:02:11) members. No, there's no additional bureaucracy in that regard the law enforcement in the metropolitan area already maintains a understanding of who is identified as a gang member and has on the normal basis of their monitoring the criminal activities that take place in our area. They have identified some 3,000 members in the metropolitan area, you know, Dan what I might do is just identify what this legislation does. What it what it will do is I said, it will increase the penalties for crimes committed for the benefit of a gang an individual is convicted of a felony crime that crime is part and parcel of an effort to benefit the gang whether it's an initiation. Asian process or whether there is a benefit that lures to the gang and what it would do then in that case would increase that penalty if it was a misdemeanor, for example, it would move the crime up to the Penalty up to a gross misdemeanor status. If it was a gross misdemeanor would become a felony in the situation where the felony had been committed. The penalty would be increased up to three years and up to would give the ability of the court to double the fines in those areas (00:03:27) still on the topic of crime before we get to our first caller question justice department report said recently that the u.s. Crime rate has dropped to its lowest rate in 18 years, but a survey of Twin Cities area residents at least showed that crime is still the number one concern so really how do the numbers shake out his crime really down. (00:03:50) Well, I think you have to take crime statistics over a longer period time to really understand, you know, and one year you're told the crime rate is terribly high in another year. It's lower. I think on average the public is reading it correctly that there is an increased awareness of the violence of crime. I have statistics here that I can show you from 88 and 89 that indicates that there is actually a lowering of the violence of crime in the metropolitan area, but I would suspect that the more current statistics might show at different than that. What I think we have to realize is that some levels of crime violence are increasing in some situations. For example, the the crimes committed against women not only because the reporting seems to be better at this point, but I believe that there is a general increase in the crime area in that area. Now. I I got to be careful here. I don't have all those statistics in front of me and I don't want to mislead individuals. I think the key thing here is to see whether or not we are addressing the problem not only from a criminal justice aspect, but trying to get in front of some of these. Problems that's where you need education where you need prevention programs where you need the all the the community's effort to change attitudes that are the foundation for the Discrimination the violence that takes place in our society. That's why it's not just good enough for me for us to stiffen penalties to build more prisons. I think what we have to do is work in front of the situation. I'll give you a good example. The the Dare program drug abuse resistance education is a program that I'm sold on as a prevention program to help young people understand the serious consequences of drug use and abuse, but also to give them the tools to to not get involved in the problem and actually the live a much more constructive and wholesome life in a lot of different ways. We need to support programs like (00:05:51) that. We have about 50 minutes remaining in our conversation with Minnesota attorney general. Skip Humphrey and will return to a number of these topics. A prison capacity and legislation proposed for protecting women with various court orders that are in effect and a variety of other topics, but we do want to move to one other area that came up recently when President Reagan did a flip flop of a Kind on the so-called Brady Bill the seven-day waiting period for a state like Minnesota attorney general Humphrey. Would that seven-day waiting period make a big difference our their lives in your judgment that would have been (00:06:28) saved in Minnesota know fortunately. Minnesota has been a leader in this area. We've had a waiting period it's worked very effectively. It's I don't think it's caused any problems for anybody who wants to use a hand gun or a weapon legitimately and but it has had the impact. I'm trying to recall some of the statistics when I had some debates on this topic that in fact, there are quite a few individuals who would have used guns illegally. A not been apprehended by this waiting period so in Minnesota, it probably doesn't make a difference in terms of Minnesota, but it would make an impact for Minnesota if we had a National Standard like the Brady Bill because quite frequently guns are purchased in the states like Ohio in Washington DC and other and they are moved up into Minnesota to be used for illegal purposes. (00:07:22) We have colors on the line waiting with questions and let's go to the first one right now. Good afternoon. We're listening. Yeah. I wanted to ask if what had his definition of a gang is because I think it's definition and the police's definition is inherently racist and I want to know when I think the police are a king and they're essentially a group of people who look out for each other have a territory and I think that you know, when the police commit crimes they should go to jail under this same law that skip is proposing. (00:07:56) Well, I would assume that that where our police commit a crime They will go to jail and I would like to make sure that that the law is applied equally across the board. I think the common denominator here is really crime. I had an opportunity to talk yesterday in conversation with the Ramsey County attorney. Mr. Foley here and we were talking about this pending legislation and he indicated that the most serious violent crime problem in Ramsey County are gang members that are that are not African-American their white gangs. So this is not a matter of racist one way or the other that we're talking about. We're talking about organized groups that have their principal purpose and do act out on that purpose the commission of violent crime individual that wants to come together whether it's a you know, we're not talking about the West Side type gangs. We're talking about very serious organizations that Bloods the Crips the other their LA gangs their local gangs and others that are organized principally for the purpose of During a violent crime and I think the bottom line is is it regardless of who you are where you come from? The crime cannot be tolerated. And unfortunately, the victims of of the crime of gangs is perpetrated all too often on on minorities and on individuals in parts of our community that that really suffer very much from from that organized (00:09:22) effort. There are those who say that the gang problem in Minnesota is overestimated and the police are saying they are being conservative if anything in their estimate the gang problem in Minnesota, where do you (00:09:36) stand? Well, I think you know, I'm sure there's a debate on all sides of this but what I would suggest is that we have a window of opportunity here that we should try and not only come to grips with a criminal justice answer for a gang problem. But we need to look at the remedial educational social the job answers to this. Kind of a problem right now before we get into a situation the likes of which we have seen in Chicago Los Angeles, Miami Washington DC where wholesale sections of cities are given over to criminal organizations that essentially just reduced the opportunity and ability of individual citizens to live a free and safe life. (00:10:20) But your legislation speaks just to sanctions. It doesn't speak to job (00:10:24) programs. It does not but obviously I am more than willing to work in areas where where we can to support those kind of programs. I mean the point is this that we need to address all of these problems on a comprehensive basis and that has been my Approach in all of these areas whether we're looking at the drug problem, which we have proposed educational programs. We have proposed very stiff penalties and those were adopted by vast majority of the legislature. We've also taken on the edge the the rehabilitation concerned. So what we need to do is look at all. All of these points in the legislation that is pending now is only one part of a comprehensive answer that needs to be worked out. I I've had some very good conversations with the African-American communities in both st. Paul and Minneapolis. I want to continue to have that I think the atrocities that we said have seen on the television at what happened in Los Angeles with those beatings by the police officers absolutely have to be looked into but the common denominator is here is that no one of any kind of background is going to accept and should allow and tolerate crime. In fact, that's exactly what the president of the NAACP said in support of our legislation last (00:11:41) night. It's go back to the telephone for another guest for another question for our guest Minnesota attorney general. Skip Humphrey. Thanks for waiting. It's your turn. Go ahead, please. I'd like to make a comment and ask a question. Sure. First of all, I noticed that you said you were going to be talking about sexual violence this afternoon and I Wanted to say that you've really done a lot. I think in our state to make people more aware of the kind of serious crimes that are happening against women and helping people to change their attitudes. And I think that's what she said earlier was right that it's not just a criminal justice system problem and something we've got to change with our attitudes in the state and in the country and one of the this is sort of related to my question and one of the things I've been concerned about are seeing things like what was happening down at Carleton College and I was wondering if you could comment on on issues of sexual violence and crimes against women on college campuses were so much of our future attitudes and beliefs are (00:12:48) set. Well, I think I'm very pleased that you raise that concern. I think the the problem that we must confront here is how to prevent Violence that is occurring against women one of the areas of focus that we have recently that I've recently been working on is college campus violence and in particular campus rape a woman who is attending a college if that woman is raped it's not going to be the more likely situation is not going to be in a dark alley. It's going to be with someone. She knows acquaintance rape is a very serious problem National estimates indicate that one in Six Women attending college will be assaulted or raped during their period of time in a college. That is a tragedy. It should not take place. Let me just say specifically with regard to your comment on the Carleton College thing. I don't want to address that in detail because obviously allegations have been made there are two sides to that litigation. It is in the courts, but one of the concerns that we Have is how colleges are implementing their prevention programs for violence against women on campuses lat in the legislative session our task force that task force that I appointed reported to the legislature a recommendation that all institutions of Higher Learning have in place written policies to prevent sexual violence against women on campus. We recently took a survey and found that by and large the policies are in place in terms of writing but when you ask well, how are they being implemented? How are you making sure that these policies become a daily part of the college life? We found that there is an awful lot of work that needs to be done there. We just the training of faculty and administration to respond to questions that may be raised being able to have the information available in a student handbook or a faculty handbook. There's a lot of work that needs Is to be done to make sure that we have safer campus has not only here but around the country. Let me give you just a couple of Statistics so that we public can understand the serious problem in this area. And these statistics come to me from the Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate of American women alive today 25 million. Either have been or will be raped at least once during their lives. That's a that's just a tragic set of circumstances last year. The number of women abused by their husbands was greater than the number of women who got married and yet you see that in 1950 the police caught 83% of rapists and yet 1988 the report is that police caught only 53% of them. So we've got work to do in this area to reduce the violence. We not only need to send those who are committing these crimes away for longer periods of time to make clear that there is there are consequences to that kind of action, but we've also Get in front of the problem. We've got to start changing the attitudes so that we start our education at the playpen not at the state pen. (00:16:07) Let's go back to the telephone for more questions for our guests, Minnesota attorney general Hubert Humphrey the third thanks for wedding. It's your turn. I'm calling from st. Peter Minnesota. And I'd like to ask the attorney general what can be done about if a judge seems to have have his own extreme religious beliefs Cloud his judgment in the way. He renders decisions From the Bench a couple of weeks ago. Judge Warren Lipinski isn't Local District Judge here rendered a decision about a case where a man had left some puppies to freeze to death in a dumpster and he was charged with abandonment of animals and when the judge rendered his decision, he find the man only one dollar and then rambled on extensively about the Old Testament and mostly discussed abortion and it seemed that to me that this judge is clearly failed to meet his judicial obligations here. And do we have any way to recall a judge or is there any any Board of standards that can do something about someone like (00:17:07) yes, there is there's the board of judicial standards and certainly a complaints could be filed there where where it's deemed appropriate in addition in particular cases where the litigants feel that they are not going to be able to get a fair trial before a judge. There is a process of filing against the judge that can be allowed. It's not used real often. But it there are Judges that are filed against in particular cases because of either proceeding decisions or as you have indicated an outspoken view that seems to Prejudice the case and obviously there is the ultimate recall and fortunately in Minnesota our judges are not just appointed they are elected there. Is that election down the road and and it's therefore a very good purpose judges just as legislators and Attorneys General are there to serve? The people and the people have the ultimate say as to whether they should continue to serve. So I would suggest that there are avenues for remedy now in the immediate case. Obviously, there is one final remedy and that is to appeal the case based upon the heirs at law that may take place in a given case and that's done quite frequently. (00:18:20) Maybe you set it and I missed it who sits on the judicial review panel judges, (00:18:26) there are Judges but there are also citizens if I recall and it is it is headed up by by one of the associate justices of the Supreme Court (00:18:34) back to the telephone for another question from a caller. Thanks for waiting. Go ahead, please we're listening. Yes, but he never said like the other person act. He only mentioned the Since on which is consisted of black women who are the other gang members besides minority members. We'd like to know about the other gang members out there as well as the black well gang members. (00:19:13) That's a very good point. You've got the motorcycle gangs and you know again here if a gang is organized in is doing good things for its members and good things for society. There's no problem in (00:19:26) that. We saw the news item about the incident in Sacramento where so-called youth gang the Oriental boys, I guess is the label that they go under do we see the rise of Asian youth gangs in Minnesota at all. Does your office track (00:19:41) man? Our office is not involved in tracking that I don't believe that is the situation at this time again, I'd have to check with the Department of Public Safety. But again here what what I want to caution. I understand the sensitivity. And the concerns that the listener is Raising and on the other hand, I think we have to realize and ask ourselves. What is the function and what are the actions being taken by these organizations to the extent? They are supportive and helpful of individuals then obviously, there is no problem with that but where it crosses the line and becomes criminal becomes violent, then I think every citizen has a right to say that we cannot afford those kinds of organizations. (00:20:32) Let's go back to the telephone for another listener question. Good afternoon. We're listening. Thank you. Good afternoon. Mr. Attorney general. Good afternoon question for you. I go to the supermarket now and I see a lot of products which are labeled environmentally friendly or environmentally safe and frankly. I'm confused a half the time. I don't know what they're trying to say. What are you as attorney General trying to do to regulate this problem of people making environmental claims without much back, you know much support. (00:20:59) Well, I glad you asked I is funny. I was just in the store the other evening and I went down one of those aisles and sure thing there there were some claims just as you were indicating one of the spray cans had said that it was environmentally safe. Whatever that meant at the very least those kinds of claims are confusing to the public and I think that kind of confusion leads to real disgruntlement on the part of the consumer, but in some cases they can be downright misleading and that runs afoul of our our laws protecting us against false and misleading advertising and deceptive advertising. What we've done is I've joined with nine other states. I'm leading a task force that is investigating a number of companies and their products for false and misleading claims. We've actually taken legal action in one instant. So we've settled with another company. We're working closely with the FTC but the other more It is thing that we're doing because that's that's obviously a responsibility that the Attorney General's office has is to enforce the laws of our state. But what I want to get in do here is to try and get in front of the problem and we have been working. This task force has been working with a number of companies and businesses and trade associations to join together and to ask and demand that the Federal Trade Commission and Congress take action to establish uniform guides uniform standards for the type of advertising that takes place frankly. The companies are very interested in doing this. They have a lot at stake. They have a lot of money on the line in terms of their marketing of their products their their own Goodwill of the company and the products are at stake out there in the marketplace. And so they're interested and we're interested in the reason that they're interested in were interested it is I don't think companies need to have 50 different standards put in place and that's exactly what will happen. If we don't get some national action on this because the legislature's of States are not going to stand by and see this kind of false and deceptive advertising take place people like myself and you are very interested in doing the right thing when it comes to our environment. And so it's really been I think a very constructive effort and we're moving right along we've got a green report and there will be public hearings before the (00:23:17) FTC the Marvin family became very unhappy with you over that fine regarding Marvin Windows about 2 million dollars or so far improper handling of some toxic chemicals their claim was that it sort of came out of the blue that perhaps only one of their employees was really responsible environmentalists came back and said, no not really Marvin knew about this for a long time. It was known from the top which is true. (00:23:43) Well, what is true is the latter the company has had these problems for over 10 years knew very well and the top management was involved in hopefully earlier results and resolution of the problem by signing a consent orders with the PCA. Paying fines and yet they continue to do the same thing. It was as if well, we can just go back to ordinary business. Now. Let me just say this the matter with the Marvin Windows is settled the company is on track. It's paid it's fine. It is doing the investigation that is required under the consent order and to be honest about it. As long as they meet those standards. They may very well become a model of environmental responsibility. And I think they're on the track to do that. My concern however is is greater than that and I what I am deeply concerned about is is the remarks that were made by our governor after a brief meeting up in Warroad with the company indicating that he thought that we had gone overboard in that we had acted too quickly and he was sending all the signals that perhaps what we ought to do is retrench ourselves from environmental enforcement what I find Difficult about that and I have called to the governor to attention on this because I think we need to move ahead when I find most intriguing. Is shortly about two weeks after that? I had a chance to be visiting with the president of the United States with some of my other colleagues in Washington DC and President Bush said look, there's no reason why we can't have a growing and expanding economy and also have sound environmental policies in place and I couldn't agree more with the president. The president is absolutely right that we can have solid growth in our economy and yet have environmental responsibility and that's what our pending legislation is all about where we're this is legislation that was introduced a year ago more than a year ago. Actually, we're on a track for about the past three years of increasing the penalties for Those who commit willfully commit violations of our environmental law with hazardous waste toxic and and toxic waste on air and (00:25:49) water when EPA administrator William Riley had those warm words yesterday 43 M and the amount to which it has reduced its toxic emissions, obviously. I'm should get some considerable credit for that. What kind of credit should go to state regulation as opposed to federal rate regulation, which played the larger (00:26:06) role? Well, I think it's a combination. That's a that's a very good point Dan. In fact what I find intriguing and very positive about this is that we're seeing a real Dynamic Partnership of enforcement taking place with Federal standards in place, but the federal government allowing states to take some significant action of enforcement within those standards. So we're really developing a strong state federal (00:26:33) partnership, but apparently not all the states are coming along at the speed of Minnesota. So it's Korea Marvin other companies a lot of companies can look to what other areas of the country mainly the (00:26:42) Southwest. Well, I got to tell you this that the comments by several companies say, well, it's bad business climate Minnesota the environment as being just pushed too hard and we're going to have enforcement here, but we won't have enforcement elsewhere. I want to caution those companies that are see thinking that Because the federal laws in this area are tougher than Minnesota laws and they are being enforced. In fact, mr. Riley at the same meeting with the president that I mentioned referred to before indicated that the Attorney General's Office of the United States had taken had doubled the number of felony criminal actions in the environment that have been taken in the last year and they were on track to double again. So so what we're finding here is that that there isn't a partisanship in this and to be honest about it. There are many good companies like 3M like many other companies here in Minnesota that are actively supporting that enforcement because they don't want to be taken advantage of in the marketplace where their own competitors are undercutting their cost by not following the environmental laws, whereas companies like 3M and others have to meet those standards and there is a cost to that. So what we want here is a fair playing Ground, (00:27:52) let's go back to the telephone to the next questioner who's been waiting patiently for a chance to ask a question of our guests, Minnesota attorney general Hubert. I'm free. Thanks. It's your turn. Go ahead, please okay, traditionally, the Republican party has represented the installed the rich of the separate states and if you will and totality in the United States all over since 1950, it was a speech by the way may 1948 and I have a copy of it by Harry Truman sitting Democratic party was not the party of special interest. However, there's a lot of people who were gent that statement today because they women's now organization the ACU government employees primarily in the government area the yummy a and others run the Democratic party. If we do not allow a free exercise and respect for all those who are members of the democratic parties and how can we truly be representative of the people the point being that today? We have some real problems with due regard to employment. The two families to family in essence to family breakdown. All right, let's give it to any general Humphrey a chance to (00:29:04) answer. Well, I guess I would say that I don't I don't think one party, you know has a monopoly on membership in organizations. I've talked to many mea members who are of the other political Faith. I've talked to ask me members who are of the other political faith. I really I guess I have to disagree with the point of view that one party has so dominated whether you want to call them special interest groups or whatever. The fact is that there's a vast majority of individuals out there who may associate one way or the other politically with a party but they make a lot of independent decisions and Frank I think in Minnesota. We have some very healthy competition between our party says so it's it's the kind of thing that I think has been looked up to by many other states as a fairly clean competitive politically competitive. Eight, obviously you watching last night the discussions between the legislative leadership and the governor. There are two points of view being very well stated there and I guess I feel pretty good about where we are. I must apologize. I guess I can't agree with the listener. When when I hear that we're dominated by one area the other frankly I think special interests are not so heavily at sway here in our state and I think what we really need to look at is the special interest domination that takes place in Washington DC a the federal government in my view in many respects. It looks like it's almost in a gridlock. It can't seem to move that gives great opportunity to those of us who are working in The Vineyards here and the in the States, but to be honest about it. We are one nation and we need some dramatic moves and changes. I believe at the federal level (00:30:54) back to the telephone for another listener question. It's your turn. Go ahead. Where a citizen turn for help when they're on the receiving end of violence from a neighbor in my instance as disabled senior citizen property line dispute and three times. The neighbor assaulted me with his hands once in the presence of an ad Ina police officer and wants with his pickup truck and then most recently a terroristic threat in the park in the presence of an adult witness. (00:31:41) All right. Well, I think and I don't know what the result was with the police officer there. But obviously the first place that you should be talking to is with your police. You should also seek out some of those organizations that are are associated with senior. Advocacy groups. There are some state agencies in that area. And also I would give a call to your state legislator who can probably give you direct focus in your own Community as two areas of assistance. If you believe that our office could be of some help. Let me just give you our telephone number two nine six 6196 the other area I guess I would suggest just off the top of my head as you might want to contact the Department of Human Rights. I don't have their telephone number with me. But if you just look it up in the I think it's the blue Pages. I'm trying to remember on the in the telephone book. You'll I'm sure you'll be able to find that listing right there (00:32:36) number of women killed in Minnesota last year over the years due to domestic abuse battering and the concern which has been focused on is the ineffectiveness in some instances of court orders orders for protection. What's the flaw there and it is a really a flaw that can be righted by any kind of legislative work. (00:32:58) Dan I think you've raised number one a valid issue and set of circumstances that all too frequently are very tragic and then secondly, you've raised a great concern. How can we come to grips with this? We have courts that do issue orders. How do we enforce those orders? What are the means by which we can provide sanctions sufficient? So that individuals will conform to those orders. I don't have any answers off the top of my head. There are some items. I know that are being discussed in the legislature. This is something that needs to be looked at something that our office is beginning to get involved with as we've been involved in several other items certainly the County Social Services areas and the county attorney's offices are very much concerned about this in some respects. We've tried certain things in the city of Duluth where there is domestic abusers mandatory arrest now the idea that there will be immediate consequences for that kind of activity. That is being recommended in many other cities now to be expanded upon but I frankly if your listeners have ideas, I would be more than happy to hear them. And I think it is something that we really do need to address. (00:34:11) Do you judge? It's a question of resources not enough deputies not enough police officers to respond to what appears to be a growing number of calls of conditions where a woman is witnessing the protection order being (00:34:23) violated. Well, we could always say we haven't got enough money for this but I think there's something deeper here. I think there's a real problem of attitude and I know a lot of people jump these days to attitude adjustment but frankly somehow or another we have got to train young men young boys to understand that they can't grow up to be violent men and they have to understand that there are consequences for that kind of action. We need to get in front of this problem and create the opportunity for individuals to be more. Biting and understand that we're court orders are in place. That's a law that is a that is a circumstance which must be complied with and that if someone feels aggrieved of that order there is a way of changing it without violence. I know those are easy terms to say and I am certain that there are individuals out there that are listening saying well, mr. Humphries just talking with the wind. I would very much like to continue an effort to be involved in solving this problem. I don't think the Attorney General's office alone can can solve it. We really need to work together. It is a very serious problem. We need to reduce that level of (00:35:34) violence. Let's go back to the telephone for another listener question. And it's your turn. Go ahead, please. Hi. My name is Katie flirty and I'm from st. Paul. And my question is I have a son who's attending a high school in st. Paul. And right now they're piloting some kind of consumer education program that comes from your office. Mr. Humphrey and he's enjoying it. He's bringing some of his work home, but I guess my question is why? Why is your office involved with consumer education and why should my son be learning about it in high (00:36:02) school? Well, thank you Katie. Actually, I'm glad to hear that. We're getting this kind of education that starting it inside akka regular curriculum at some high schools. Why are we involved because we get a hundred thousand consumer calls a year. We handle thousands of cases and to be honest about it. We're not getting the additional appropriation. Certainly not this year with the budget problems that we've got to handle all those cases. What we need to be able to do is solve these problems up front and the best way to do that is to have informed consumers and particularly young people young people have a very significant part of the market place when it comes to consuming items, and we need to have that education early on not not having the education at a time where people have lost a lot of money and were having to confront companies that are resisting the kind of Remedy and the kind of (00:36:58) Of a (00:36:58) consumer's rights that that need to take place. So what we're trying to do is we're involved with with businesses were involved with the education department of the state to bring out a wholesale new change of curriculum. So that as learner outcomes are established. We have consumer education fully integrated into the high school in particular and I would like to see it even earlier the curriculum says K through 12 that's going to go a long ways towards solving our problems as (00:37:28) consumers back to the telephone for another question for our guest Minnesota attorney general Hubert Humphrey the ferry, thanks for waiting at your turn. Go ahead, please well that did sound like a telephone hanging up to me too. It sounded like that to you. Well, we have this moment we continue on for just a second. We have a batch of other callers waiting to get on the line. There's a state forfeiture law as it applies to drug trade, you know, the details of that La much better than I what's the status. Of the state's forfeiture law. Do you have numbers from 1990 which give us a picture of how many cars how much cash how many boats whatever were confiscated by authorities when they encountered somebody who they suspected of dealing (00:38:11) drugs, Dan. Unfortunately, I don't I don't have those numbers but I've got to tell you that the forfeiture law is working very well as I've traveled throughout our state we have I've talked with a number of local officials and police officers. The forfeiture law is very successful again here. We have a very quick immediate consequence that takes place of those who are in violation of the law and are involved in very serious crime activity and and it sends a very strong message. You lose that car you lose the gun whatever you lose the equipment that is involved. And again it is it is converted. It is changed over to the monies and the money's go back to fund drug prevention programs. They go back to Help and assist local law enforcement many of the undercover drug task forces are using this as a basis for financing their further investigation and monitoring (00:39:10) the concern obviously is you know with the state forfeiture law is that the onus has been very heavy on minority populations in Minnesota and very light some would say on White Collar folks car dealers and others who have been involved in perhaps only the money laundering aspect of the drug trade but have been involved on the (00:39:30) less. Well, this is why and I think you've seen in recent days reports of drug bust that are getting at the organized side of it. This is why I recommended to the legislature and they have adopted the money-laundering statutes the RICO criminal RICO statute that we get at the organized structure of this problem because there is definitely a huge Enterprise out there. It's been estimated as high as 500 million. Is a year of illegal business in Minnesota and I couldn't agree more with your comment that we've got to get out. Not just the that user that all too often runs afoul of the law. But we've got to get at the business side of this and that is happening more and more across the country. Let me just mention though. There is one loophole and we have legislation pending before the legislature to try and fill this loophole and that is the so-called casual user. And as you say maybe suburban and owns that car and is just not being picked up that person says, well, I only use this cocaine a little bit here and I maybe have a drink at a party and it's not hurting anybody else. But that person is fueling the demand out there. That is bring that brings about crack babies the violence a drive-by shootings and all the rest and what we need to do is have in place very quick consequences, including the removal of driver's license, including a very significant penalty for those who can afford to pay that penalty and Between a thousand and ten thousand dollars I've suggested on first offense to let these people know that if they want to enjoy that lifestyle, there's going to be a consequence for it. But unfortunately, we don't have that in place (00:41:08) yet. Right and as you know, the consequences in some laws that are already in place can be very disparate and our minds, of course go immediately to the crack in the powdered cocaine issue. Yes, I suspect you can comment on specifically but generally why should there be vastly disparate consequences for drug? (00:41:25) Use there shouldn't be there should not be and and in fact when you take a look at the the national statistics when you get a profile of the drug User, it's a person who is employed who owns a car. It's got a family and you that person ought to understand that if they're going to be involved in this business if they're creating the violence and they really are they're part of that Violence by their use then they ought to have immediate consequence. We already have in place right now a law that says that if you're apprehended that way and you have a professional license Your used will be reported to the professional board. I would like to see that be a mandatory suspension on the second offense that you if you're a lawyer a doctor a plumber a nurse or whatever in your using and abusing you're going to put in Jeopardy your lifestyle and then with all this (00:42:15) talk of drug use regarding cocaine crack heroin, whatever that kind of drug use is down generally speaking in Minnesota apparently over the past year and a half or so and some would argue that our first drug of choice is minnesotans alcohol is still in the shadows is still not being addressed except with some tougher driving regulations here and there. (00:42:36) Well, I think that we're addressing all of them when they when we talk about the drug anti-drug programs. We're talking about the use of all drugs and obviously one of the most prevalent drugs mood altering chemicals is chemical is alcohol and fortunately there we've made some progress particularly in the Driving, I think everyone of us known right now that if we are we even down that road on a Saturday night, we're bound to be pulled over and we're going to take that test or we're going to lose our license by refusing to take that test that's changed the attitudes of people. I know in my own family my own Community. I've got young people who now say well who's the designated driver? I never heard of that 10 years ago, so we're making some inroads, but as you mentioned, I think we've got to continue our pressure on the business of use of alcohol again another measure of whether we're making a difference I think is if you talk to bartenders, you'll find that the hard liquor sales are down significantly the even the beer use at bars are down somewhat the other day in this city. I saw a marquee advertising advertising big signs competition for non-alcoholic beer now that's never taken place in my lifetime (00:43:49) before 24-hour Casino operation starting up tonight at the Mille Lacs Indian Reservation. In north central Minnesota after their grand opening Wednesday now five Indian reservations, I believe in Minnesota with Casino style gambling to others looking at it. We have the roughly billion-dollar-a-year legal Lottery system and its various and Sundry forms and then we have the estimated what billion dollar-a-year illegal gambling industry in Minnesota. This must provide lots of interesting work for the state attorney (00:44:23) general. Well, it does provide a lot of interesting work and not only for the State Attorney General but for local law officials in County Prosecutors, let me just say this. First of all, I think the people of Minnesota have determined that there will be allowed forms of gambling Lottery and otherwise and and that is their decision. Now what they have also demanded though is that that those forms of gambling be legal and be monitored carefully. I want to commend the the Native American tribes as they have come. To compact in these areas. I think they are doing a good job of negotiating as is required by the state of by the United States government. There are still some negotiations that are taking place and that is obviously a responsibility of our governor to meet and confer and compact in those areas. But obviously we're talking as you say a billion dollars. It's actually more than that. It's darn close to becoming close to two billion and the other day you heard about the fact that down in Iowa and down in Missouri. We've got boats riverboats river boats are coming folks. They aren't all the way up here yet, but I suspect we're going to see in the next couple of years legislation that will authorize Riverboat gambling. We've got to be very careful here. And what we have to understand is that it's going to take resources to do the careful law enforcement to see that gambling is used only for its specific public purposes that are allowed and not the illegal gambling. If you talk to anyone from Nevada, you can you will understand that it takes some bucks and it needs to be done in an appropriate manner. I am not certain that we have given the full resources that are necessary to it and frankly from my point of view. We're going to try and watch it as strictly as we can and there will be severe consequences for those found violating it (00:46:17) back to the telephone for a listener question for our guests to skip Humphrey Minnesota's attorney general. Thanks for waiting. It's your turn. Thank you. I'm calling from Maple Plain and I wanted first of all to thank mr. Humphrey for coming out to the second grade class. My daughter is in privily to being able to hear you speak very well to these kids who kept them very interested for 45 minutes, which is not easy to do for second graders. So thank you again. One question. I have we had a car accident somebody ran a red light and turns out that he does not have insurance my I'm just curious. Is what what kinds of ways do you have to go after people that that drive without insurance? How is that (00:47:07) regulated? Well, I'm very pleased that you as that let me just mention first. I delighted in the opportunity to visit with those second graders, and I've got to tell you it's amazing how smart and intelligent and frankly well self-disciplined those young people are so that was that was a delightful way to start a day a busy day your point about the car accident is very important. Obviously a Minnesota. We require mandate that anyone who is driving must have insurance. That's fine to say now, how do you make sure it stays that way basically the the way that it's handled right now is through administrative efforts. You cannot get your license renewed without showing your proof of insurance. That is one way there is a survey that is taken from time to time, but this is a growing Problem of individuals who for one reason or another bad record or just inability to financially afford the insurance are out there driving without insurance and it's costing all of us not only the pain and suffering of injury on occasion, but it's costing you and I just as drivers a higher cost because our premiums costs are up every time we have to purchase the additional insurance to cover the uninsured motorist. And what we need to do is find some manner which is not a terribly heavy administrative burden that's going to cost us as taxpayers an arm and a leg we have to find a way that we can track on those individuals who have insurance one of the ways of course is when you're pulled over for one reason or another or a police officer has a way of checking with you there. I think the officer ought to be able to check directly as to whether or not your insurance is current and perhaps the responsibility of the driver to maintain a current status. With (00:48:58) insurance. So when I walk in to register my car after write down my insurance company name and number but in point of fact the state doesn't have the resources to check every single motorists who comes to the window. What are they doing checking about perhaps one out of ten to make sure it's the (00:49:13) right. Well, you have to have that proof of insurance before you get that license. Now the problem is most people are able to do that. But what happens if they go and then two days later cancel the insurance who's to follow up on the person now who has running around with canceled Insurance. There. It is a difficult problem. We've got another situation though where each one of us now is certainly in the metropolitan area are going to be coming to get our auto emissions checked perhaps that's a point at which we had to say, by the way, we're checking your auto emissions and maybe we're going to check your insurance (00:49:48) to what would you say is the number of state driver's going without insurance about 10% (00:49:52) perhaps. Well, it's been estimated low at 5% I think it could be as many as high as 12 To 15% and that that it's a very high level we have on a national scale. We're running about average and that's not good though. And as the caller called it's just very it disconcerting when you find out you've been in a fender bender. Hopefully it's just a fender bender and then the other person doesn't have any insurance now no-fault insurance, of course that we have requires us to cover it here. But what happens if you're out of state what if you're driving in Iowa or some other place where maybe insurance is not (00:50:30) required about five minutes remain in our conversation with Minnesota attorney general Hubert Humphrey the third and we'll get in as many questions as possible. Thanks for waiting. It's your turn. Hi attorney general Humphrey. I'm a member of a church in st. Paul that ministers to a number of Hmong families. And and the number of us really like to applaud you for your recent Hmong report. Could you tell us a little bit more about it and where we could get (00:50:51) copies? Well, thank you. Yes. This was a really a wonderful. Opportunity for our office to become involved with members of the Hmong Community representative of the Hmong Community to look at some of the underlying concerns and and frankly the inability of the Hmong Community the difficulty of the Hmong Community to obtain Statewide services that are available. I think the key finding in this report was that the state of Minnesota has services available. But in a sense we react to the to the calls of the community and frankly the community is not fully aware of how to make the contact with the state and our recommendations the task force recommendations is that the the state of Minnesota take a proactive stance here that we reach out to the Hmong community and dealing with Social Services coming to grips with communication concerns English language assistance and the like as well as beginning to understand and develop an understanding of The cultural differences between the Hmong Community particularly in child discipline family Discipline matters and the standards of traditional American Standards. I think if we can get this more Dynamic activity on the part of the state going we can begin to solve a lot of the problems. So it's it's been a very rewarding experience and I frankly think it's just the beginning one of the key things that you asked was. How can you get a copy of that anyone who is interested in that? Just give a call to our office? Let me give you that number. Again. It's 2966196. And then secondly, we are we are putting in place and ongoing advisory committee to follow up on the recommendations to see that they are implemented (00:52:41) back to the telephone with another question. Go ahead. Hi. Um, I want to make a number of comments to make them very brief things were winding down your quick. Okay, first I want to say that I've never been arrested and I reason I say that is I feel that the drug laws in America are an attempt by the Remove to take people's civil rights away in a free Society people should be able to do what they want with their bodies and Minds. I mean, we're adults and that's in the privacy of their home. The drug war is an attempt by the government to take civil rights away from people provision prohibition failed in the first half of the century and other countries, like the Netherlands drugs are legal and they are configured they are controlled and they don't have any of this gang violence and I think at all this is an attempt by the government to take our civil rights away. (00:53:25) Well, can I just respond that obviously one of the key concerns of our offices the protection of human and civil rights very active in that area fact, I'm going to be traveling to Mexico just this weekend to follow up on some review of by human rights violations there but no one has a civil right to commit a crime and that's the bottom line of this business the key to the drug problem is to reduce the demand to get in front of this to release the the positive sides of positive. Styles when we get rid of that demand we're going to get rid of the problem but it takes both criminal justice sanctions as well as other opportunities to break this cycle of violence.


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