Commentary: Elect Alaska's Attorney General?

Does Attorney General Talis Colberg's performance in Troopergate make a compelling case for electing Alaska's attorney general?

Some of his critics think so.

But while there is plenty of reason to criticize Colberg, electing the attorney general would only trade one set of problems for another.

Critics charge that in Troopergate, Attorney General Colberg operated like a hired gun for the governor, rather than an officer of the court whose first obligation is to uphold the law.

Colberg began an investigation on the governor's behalf before the investigator chosen by the Legislature could even start to work. That raised questions about whether the attorney general had, in effect, engaged in witness tampering.

After starting work on the governor's behalf, Colberg then had the Department of Law hire a private lawyer to handle the case for the governor's office because the attorney general had a potential conflict of interest. Later, Attorney General Colberg jumped back into the case, without explaining how any potential conflict of interest had been resolved.

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