North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper Elected NAAG President at Summer Meeting

The Annual NAAG Summer Meeting, June 14 -16, ushered in new leadership, with North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper being elected NAAG president for the 2010-2011 term. Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna is president-elect and Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler is vice president. Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning became immediate past president.

Cooper began his one-year term June 17 and dedicated his presidential initiative to fighting financial fraud.

“Our goal will be to find ways to detect and prevent financial scams that sink people further into debt and hurt businesses, to make financial products fair to consumers, and to help prevent future financial calamities like we just experienced,” Cooper said.

The NAAG Executive Committee will change with the elections. The Executive Committee is charged with the management of Association operations and yearly approval of a program plan of goals, objectives, and activities to guide its work. The Executive Committee comprises the four NAAG officers, four regional delegates, three presidential appointees, and the chair of the NAAG Mission Foundation, which supports the work of the Association. At press time, the presidential appointees were still being confirmed.

The president appoints all standing and special committee chairs, and those decisions were still being made at press time. Committees are charged with studying all substantive matters within their jurisdiction and recommending policy positions and other matters to the Attorneys General for action by the full Association.

The Association elections were just one part of the NAAG Summer Meeting held in Seattle. The theme was “Using Technology to Protect the Public” with program sessions dedicated to that topic. Meeting highlights included Washington Governor and former Attorney General Christine Gregoire who spoke about access to justice and providing legal services using technology. An afternoon spent at the Microsoft campus had panels discussing how to protect online identification and fighting pirated and counterfeit products.

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D., delivered the Sorrell Lecture on tobacco policy and enforcement. She discussed the new federal law, “Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act”, along with ways the federal and state governments can work together to continue the fight against tobacco-related illness.

The day of Dr. Hamburg’s speech, the FDA announced the first round in a series of Tobacco Control Act compliance and enforcement contract awards to two states, Maine and Massachusetts.

“…the Tobacco Control Act authorizes FDA to contract with States and U.S. Territories to assist with compliance and enforcement activities to help limit the availability of tobacco products to young people,” said Lawrence R. Deyton, M.S.P.H., M.D., director, FDA Center for Tobacco Products, in a statement. “That is why we are pleased that several states will shortly begin assisting FDA efforts to enforce the law, and we are hopeful that we will be able to partner with all of the states in the coming months.”

Newly-appointed Julie Brill, commissioner with the Federal Trade Commission, joined a speaker panel on consumer protection. Other meeting topics were preventing online child sexual exploitation, the credit and collections industry, and ‘green building’ regulation.

The Association also presented its annual awards during a June 16 dinner:

  • Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddardreceived the Kelley-Wyman Award, the Association’s highest honor given to the Attorney General who has done the most to achieve the objectives of NAAG.
  • The Marvin Award, given annually to individuals who serve on the staff of state Attorneys General and who have furthered the goals of NAAG, was awarded to Brian Moran with the Washington Attorney General office.
  • The Laurie Loveland Award was presented to Leslie Bridges of the Tennessee Attorney General office. The award recognizes individuals within an Attorney General’s office who have helped to advance the work of Attorneys General on tobacco-related issues.
  • The NAGTRI Faculty of the Year Award is presented to an individual who has significantly contributed to presenting quality programs for their counterparts in the Attorneys General offices. Brendan Ruane, director of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute, is this year’s recipient.
  • Individuals from the Alabama, Louisiana, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Washington offices of the Attorneys General were recognized for excellence in brief writing in the U.S. Supreme Court. Recipients of the Supreme Court Best Brief Awards were: Solicitor General Corey Maze of Alabama; Appellate Chief Kyle Duncan of Louisiana; Solicitor General Barbara D. Underwood, Benjamin Gutman and Cecelia Chang of New York; Solicitor General Benjamin C. Mizer, Alexandra T. Schimmer, Stephen P. Carney, Elisabeth A. Long, and Barton A. Hubbard of Ohio; Solicitor General James C. Ho, Joseph D. Hughes, and Beth Klusmann of Texas; Solicitor General William E. Thro, Stephen R. McCullough and Alice T. Armstrong of Virginia; and Solicitor General Maureen Hart, William B. Collins, and Anne E. Egeler of Washington.
  • The Francis X. Bellotti Award, given to a former Attorney General who has served NAAG and worked diligently to further its vision and mission, was presented to former Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly.

Summer Meeting materials will be posted to the NAAG Web site, www.naag.org.

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Roy Cooper, North Carolina Attorney General and NAAG President
Roy Cooper, North Carolina Attorney General and NAAG President

NAAG Leadership with Washington Governor Christine Gregoire.

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, MD, gave the Sorrell Lecture on Tobacco..

FDA Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard received the Kelley-Wyman Award..

During the NAAG Summer Meeting, Robert Tessaro, left, with Fight Crime, Invest in Kids, presented a check to NAAG Executive Director Jim McPherson for grant work on childcare and education.div>