Dana Nessel Joined by Dr. Abdul El-Sayed at Dearborn Town Hall

By |2018-10-18T10:18:40-04:00October 17th, 2018|Election, Election 2018, LGBTQA Races, Michigan, News|

Candidate for Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel fielded questions on what she’ll do to fight hate crimes, tackle the opioid epidemic and safeguard abortion rights during a town hall in Dearborn on Friday,
Hosted inside the Henry Ford Centennial Library Auditorium, Nessel was joined by State Rep. Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn) and former candidate for Governor Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, both of whom vouched for her candidacy.
“Dana is somebody who could be practicing law right now — she could be making a killing at law practice,” El-Sayed said. “Instead of deciding to go and practice law, she decided to spend the last year and a half to be our lawyer. And I would say we the people need a pretty damn good lawyer right now.”
Nessel is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Wayne State University Law School. In addition to being the president of the Fair Michigan Foundation – which features a first-of-its-kind, anti-hate crime task force – Nessel serves as an assistant prosecutor, a civil rights attorney and a defender of indigent defendants.
The town hall Q&A portion kicked off with a question about what Nessel will do to protect minority communities if elected.
“We have 28 organizations in this state that have been labeled as hate groups,” Nessel said. “I’d like to have a hate crime division at the office of Michigan Attorney General that specifically investigates all types of hate crimes that are committed against minority populations.”
Nessel said she would also look out for legislation that discriminates against minorities. She mentioned a package of bills passed in 2015 that allowed state-funded adoption agencies to discriminate against non-Christians as one example.
“This allowed these agencies the opportunity to say that if you’re a same-sex couple, Muslim, Jewish or even atheist, then we can deny you the ability to foster a child,” she said. “Even though the state is paying that agency to provide that child and assist that child in finding a loving, nurturing home forever.”
“These are the kinds of things the AG can intervene and say, ‘I’m not going to defend those policies,’” she continued. “Those are flagrantly unconstitutional.”
In response to a question asking what she’d do to stop the opioid epidemic, Nessel said she “absolutely intends” to focus on pharmaceutical companies.
“Too many law-abiding citizens have taken their medication as prescribed only to form addictive behaviors,” Nessel said. “Something the pharmaceutical companies should be held responsible for.”
“At some point these people need their supply, but their pills get cut off, and they turn to heroin to replace it,” Nessel said. “And all of a sudden you see a person’s life completely alter course. These drugs companies, they understood how addictive these drugs were. And they understood how lethal these drugs were. And they marketed them anyways. They flat-out lied.”
Nessel also spoke on Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the future implications it could have on Roe V. Wade.
“Quite frankly, Roe could be overturned in a matter of a couple years,” she said. “It’s not something that’s in this sort of a ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ future.”
She pointed out that there are still laws in effect today that criminalize a woman’s ability to make a decision over her own body. If elected, Nessel said she will fight to protect such rights.
“If Bill Schuette used his prosecutorial discretion to decide not to enforce basic environmental laws, or basic consumer protection laws, then I sure as hell don’t have to be in a situation where I’m prosecuting women who make the difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy,” she said. “You can be sure I’m not going to be prosecuting those cases.”
To learn more about Nessel’s views on such issues as marijuana legalization, the environment, labor unions and more, visit dana2018.com.

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Drew Howard
Drew Howard graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2017 with a B.S. in multimedia journalism. His work has been featured in Gazette Media, Forbes, LearnVest and NPR station WDET 101.9.