Lori Swanson (DFL) - Attorney General - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Lori Swanson (DFL) - Attorney General

She and her husband live in the Twin Cities suburb of Eagan, but she is proud of her family's roots in northern Minnesota.  She likes to tell of her mother walking along the backroads near Orr as a young girl, carrying a shot gun to scare away the bears and wolves.  And of visiting her grandmothers in Duluth, where her father was raised. 

Lori is the state's "top cop" -- but she believes that government has a tendency to intrude too much in our personal lives and that it shouldn't try to be our nanny.

Minnesota's first female Attorney General, Lori likes to go trapshooting for fun and spend time outdoors on Minnesota's North Shore.

Lori believes that the entrepreneurial ingenuity of America is the best job-creator the world has ever seen, but she also believes that businesses should take responsibility for their actions and should be held accountable when they don't.

Lori holds an elected office dominated by men who mostly had backgrounds in politics.  In contrast, Lori is one of only four currently-elected female Attorneys General in the country.  She is a "lawyer's lawyer," and Attorney General is her first elected position.

Lori was elected Attorney General of the State of Minnesota in 2006. She is Minnesota's 29th Attorney General.  Prior to her election Lori served as Solicitor General for the State of Minnesota for four years and as Deputy Attorney General for four years. Prior to serving in the Attorney General's Office, Lori was an attorney in private practice.

Lori has been recognized nationally for her outstanding work.  The national publication Lawyers USA named Lori as one of the top 10 attorneys in America in 2009 (an honor shared by Justice Sonia Sotomayor).  The publication said this of Lori's work shutting down a national arbitration company that stacked the deck against consumers:  "Consumer attorneys hailed Swanson's work as the finest piece of lawyering in consumer practice in years…."  The National Consumer Law Center gave Lori the Robert Drinan "Champion of Justice" Award (an award shared by Congressman John Lewis for his civil rights work) for her nationally-recognized consumer protection work, writing:  "Attorney General Swanson has been a tireless champion for consumers in America, whether leading the charge against predatory mortgage lending, protecting seniors from marketing abuses, or defending our basic American right to have credit card disputes resolved impartially and not through a stacked deck."  The Drum Major Institute of New York designated Lori's predatory mortgage legislation of 2007 as one of the country's ten best public policies.  The New York Times called the predatory lending legislation drafted by Lori's work group "an excellent example of how to strengthen protections for borrowers…." And Lori earned the Pro Patria Award for her support of members of the National Guard and Reserves.

Lori graduated with distinction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison  and magna cum laude from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul.

Lori is smart. She is tough. She gets results.  For Lori, it's not about who she stands up to.  But who she stands up for.  Lori helps ordinary citizens—the ones who don't have high-priced lawyers and lobbyists looking out for their interests.  She does so even when it upsets the powerful.  Just look at Lori's first term in office:

  • Her industry-wide lawsuits against insurance companies--securing almost one billion dollars in refund offers to Minnesota senior citizens--was showcased on Dateline.
  • Her lawsuit against the country's largest consumer arbitration company shut it down and changed the way credit card companies in America resolve consumer debts.
  • Her industry-wide consent order stopped hospitals from charging uninsured patients up to four times more than insured patients.  Minnesota is the only state to have this reform. 
  • She shut down trust mills that duped the elderly and adoption agencies that tricked parents.
  • She enjoined mortgage consultants who ripped off homeowners.
  • She knocked out usurious interest rates charged by hospitals to uninsured patients.
  • She turned the heat on utility companies and propane companies that gouged people on fixed incomes.
  • She opposed large price hikes in home heating costs and wasteful spending by utilities before the Public Utilities Commission.
  • She sued cell phone companies for deceptive practices involving early termination fees and unauthorized contract extensions.
  • She went after phony insurance companies that sold people coverage that was riddled with holes and health clinics that fraudulently signed patients up for expensive credit cards.
  • She fought to clean up our communities in litigation with feedlots.
  • She sued a pharmaceutical company for monopolistic pricing of drugs that treat heart disease in premature babies. 
  • She enjoined collection agencies for badgering citizens to collect debts they don't owe.
  • She sued the federal government to do its job to curb toxic pollution, greenhouse gas emission, and invasive aquatic species on the Great Lakes.
  • She drafted and helped get enacted new laws to combat predatory mortgage lending, sexual exploitation of kids on the internet, cyberbullying, and domestic abuse and to protect consumers and members of the armed forces.
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