Ben Cannatti and Ford O'Connell

The concept of Federalism and the relationship between citizens, the states and the federal government has moved from wonkish policy debates to a battle touching all Americans in the ongoing court cases over health care mandates, immigration enforcement, environmental restrictions, financial market regulation and other issues. As the chief legal officers in their respective states, Attorneys General, in the words of the National Association of Attorneys General, often “occupy the intersection of law and public policy, dealing” with a multitude of issues.

If the Attorneys General chose not to defend the embattled principles of Federalism, the citizens of America will stand naked against the power of the federal government. In two very different, but influential states, voters have a very clear opportunity to elect candidates who are ready to stand up and fight these battles for the rule of law and limited federal government. Florida and California represent opportunities, one a “hold” and one a “pick-up” for the GOP during a time when principled conservative leadership matters most.

In Florida, former Assistant State Attorney Pam Bondi, a Republican, is running to continue the fight that current AG Bill McCollum has waged against the federal government’s over-reach. She draws a sharp contrast against the Democratic opponent, Dan Gelber: “Bondi has pledged to continue Attorney General Bill McCollum’s constitutional challenge of the new health-care laws while Gelber has vowed to pull the plug on the lawsuit,” reports the Sunshine State News.

During the campaign, Bondi has taken “direct aim at Obamacare” according to The Ledger by “asking hospital administrators and physicians to provide her with some insight on how the new federal health care law might impact” the way they practice medicine. In addition, recent support from

law enforcement, the Florida Right to Life, NFIB and other groups along with relentless grassroots campaigning have given Bondi a significant boost. A recent survey from the Florida Chamber of Commerce gave her a 12-point lead.

Ben Cannatti and Ford O'Connell

Ben Cannatti is Political Director of the Republican State Leadership Committee. Ford O'Connell is the co-founder of ProjectVirginia.