How about a little political talk while sipping on a pint?

By  | 

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The political lull between the primaries and the general election is coming to an end as candidates and interest groups prepare for November.

For The American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota, the race to watch is for the Attorney General's Office.

On Thursday, the ACLU hosted Pints and Politics at the Hay Camp Brewing Company in Rapid City to talk about the issues and develop a list of potential political activists.

One of the topics of conversation is the role of the Attorney General's Office. Policy Director Libby Skarin says everyone knows what legislators do and what the governor does, but few people realize just how influential the the A.G. is when it comes to setting the legislative agenda.

"I think a lot of people think of the attorney general as just the state's lawyer," Skarin said. "You know they argue for the government in court and write legal briefs, but they also play a big role in the legislative process. In my four years in Pierre what I have seen in the legislative session is the attorney general and his staff come in and really advocate for or against pieces of legislation."

Skarin and the ALCU hope the new attorney general will pick a few of their ideas.

"There are things that the next attorney general can do to really push the criminal justice system forward in South Dakota and make it fairer," Skarin said. "One of the things we want the attorney general to focus on is support for programs that are alternatives to incarceration, whether that is pre-trial diversion pre-arrest diversion or supporting things like drug courts or veterans courts."

The ALCU developed a candidate briefing book to help you understand their platforms. You can find it here: ACLU