Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is joining the executive committee of the Republican Attorneys General Association. Rutledge, the first woman elected AG in Arkansas, is no stranger to the RAGA or the national stage.
Under her guidance the state has joined with other Republican attorneys general on a full slate of lawsuits against federal regulations, especially rules promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency. She also previously served as deputy counsel for the National Republican Congressional Committee. In her successful 2014 bid for office, RAGA produced a television advertisement featuring Rutledge.
The so-called “saltshaker” ad featured Rutledge speaking into the camera. Attorney Matt Campbell of the investigative, liberal blog Blue Hog Report filed an ultimately unsuccessful ethics complaint about the ad. Campbell contended the coordination between the candidate and the 527 committee was illegal. The Arkansas Ethics Commission felt otherwise because it did not "expressly advocate" for the candidate.
The Associated Press reports the attorneys general group made the announcement in Austin, Texas on Monday that Rutledge and Missouri Attorney General-elect Josh Hawley will join the panel. Alabama Attorney general Luther Strange will serve as chair for 2017.
The RAGA notes in its post-election update that there are now more Republican AG’s than ever before.
"Yesterday’s results were historic. That’s certainly true for Republican Attorneys General across the country. With the AG races called in 12 states around the country, Republicans now hold more state Attorney General offices than at any time in history. This is in no small part a reflection of the growth and effectiveness of the Republican Attorneys General Association.
Last night, RAGA successfully defended its incumbents, retained an open seat race in Indiana, and picked up the Attorney General’s office in Missouri, which had been in Democrat hands for over 20 years. Additionally, we anticipate the appointment of a Republican AG in New Hampshire with the victory of Governor-elect Chris Sununu, raising the total number of Republican Attorneys General to 29.
There is no other group of elected officials in the country better positioned to defend the Constitution and the rule of law. The Republican Attorneys General Association will continue to support the important work of our AGs every day."