Arizona Attorney General spoke to ASU students about lawsuits, capitalism

Brnovich attended an event hosted by the ASU College Republicans Thursday

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich spoke to ASU students about government accountability, his role as attorney general and his office's ongoing lawsuits during an event on the Tempe campus Thursday.

Brnovich spoke at the Memorial Union during an event hosted by the ASU College Republicans to kick off the club's start to the school year. 

ASU College Republicans President Jeremiah Willett, a senior studying political science, said that Brnovich's office reached out to the organization and expressed interest in speaking to the group. 

"His office had actually reached out to me, so we thought, 'What better way to open the year than with the Attorney General of Arizona?'" Willett said. "He’s an alumnus, he was in a fraternity and he had a huge presence on campus."

Brnovich said the rich and powerful have an advantage in government, leading to something he calls "crony capitalism." He said this has led young people to not understand "true free-market capitalism."

"You saw polls where people said their number one candidate is Donald Trump, and their number two is Bernie Sanders. That doesn’t surprise me, because both of them are talking about blowing up the system," Brnovich said. 

Brnovich also discussed his role as the state's attorney general, and how his job is to uphold the law and hold people accountable regardless of their party or his personal opinion on the issue. 

"I was in a court defending the state’s minimum wage, not because I agree with it but because that's what the law said, the voters approved it," Brnovich said. "You don’t get to pick and choose which laws apply to you and which laws don’t because I think ultimately ... that’s the road to tyranny."

The attorney general also discussed his ongoing lawsuits with the Arizona Board of Regents, including the lawsuit against ABOR regarding ASU leasing tax-exempt public land to private businesses.

Read more: Attorney General sues ABOR over ASU real estate projects

“Should the president of a state university be the person that’s responsible for the largest real estate transactions in Arizona history?” Brnovich said. 

Brnovich also spoke about his time as an ASU student. 

"I could tell you stories about this place in the good old days," he said. "I think they hate those stories more than my lawsuits against them.”

Willett said that overall it was interesting to hear from the attorney general, and that the organization looks forward to hosting more Republican politicians throughout the year. 

"I would say it was a great speech, certainly entertaining and the crowd seemed to enjoy it," he said. 

Nicholas Turcott, a freshman studying business law, came to the event because he comes from a conservative background and was interested in the club. 

"I was impressed with the attorney general," Turcott said. "It was nice to hear a conservative voice on campus."


Reach the reporter at krquaran@asu.edu and follow @kiaraquaranta on Twitter. 

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