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Vote 'YES' on Referendum A

(Published October 21, 2002)

The District of Columbia needs its own local prosecuting attorney to enforce local laws.

That function currently is carried out by the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, a presidential appointee. Former U.S. Attorney Eric Holder recently estimated that $40 million of the $60 million budgeted by the federal government for that office when he headed it a few years ago was spent on prosecuting local D.C. crimes.

Can the District afford its own prosecutor? Absolutely.

Likewise, the judicial branch is a critical core of democratic government. In fact, D.C. residents also should be demanding local control of the D.C. courts - including the selection of judges, who now are appointed by the president. Millions of D.C. tax dollars are wasted every year on thinly veiled political expenditures within the executive branch of the D.C. government that could easily fund the judicial branch.

Voters will be asked on Nov. 5 to decide whether the D.C. City Council should ask Congress to change the District's home rule charter to create an elected district attorney to be the city's chief legal officer and prosecutor of all local crimes. D.C. voters should resoundingly vote "YES" on Advisory Referendum A.

Copyright 2002, The Common Denominator