Biography of Minnesota Attorney General
Lori Swanson was elected Attorney General of the State of Minnesota in 2006, and reelected in 2010 and 2014. She is Minnesota’s 29th Attorney General and its first female Attorney General. Attorney General Swanson has been an advocate for Minnesota citizens in areas like consumer protection, predatory lending, health care, utility rate hikes, telecommunications, public safety, and protecting senior citizens from financial fraud.
Lawyers USA named Attorney General Swanson one of the top ten attorneys in America in 2009. In 2012, the national publication "Health Leaders" magazine named Lori as one of 20 Americans who are making a difference in healthcare. The National Consumer Law Center gave her the Robert Drinan “Champion of Justice” award for her consumer protection work. She was awarded the Pro Patria Award for her support of National Guard and Reserve members deployed to active duty. She received the Financial Advocacy Award from Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota in 2012 for her advocacy for families in vulnerable financial situations.
Attorney General Swanson shut down the largest consumer credit arbitration company in the country after discovering that it stacked the deck against consumers and in favor of credit card companies and had hidden ties to the collection industry. Her lawsuits against insurance companies that sold inappropriate policies to senior citizens resulted in millions of dollars in refunds to the elderly. She stopped a bill collector that orchestrated the aggressive collection of money from sick and injured patients in hospital emergency rooms. She called public hearings to scrutinize the takeover of the University of Minnesota-Hospital by an out-of-state company, helping to preserve jobs for Minnesota when the transaction was dropped. Attorney General Swanson took action against companies that sold phony health insurance policies, pharmaceutical companies that price-gouged patients, hospitals that charged unlawful interest rates, and clinics that deceptively enrolled patients in high-interest credit cards. She also secured an agreement with every Minnesota hospital not to charge uninsured patients up to four times more than they charge to insurance companies.
Attorney General Swanson took legal action against for-profit colleges that duped students with overblown promises. She held utilities to account for unfair rate hike requests and unfair pricing schemes. Attorney General Swanson stopped lenders that charged usurious interest rates, got concessions from cell phone, cable and internet companies that charged more than they quoted and imposed hidden early termination fees, and enjoined credit card companies from placing unauthorized charges onto people’s accounts. She protected Minnesota businesses from patent-trollers that threatened them with wasteful and expensive litigation, took to task living trust mills and financial companies that bilked the elderly, and banned for-profit companies from soliciting donations to charities based on deceitful promises.
At the State Capitol, Lori has shepherded into law numerous legal reforms. Her office drafted and helped secure the enactment of a nationally-recognized predatory mortgage lending law (called one of the top 10 policies in America), as well as laws to protect kids from cyberbullies and online predators, to give prosecutors more tools to go after sex offenders, to protect victims of domestic abuse, and to give members of the military more consumer protections when deployed to active duty.
From 2003 to 2006, Lori served as Solicitor General for the State of Minnesota. From 1999 to 2002, she served as Deputy Attorney General. Prior to that, Lori was an attorney in private practice. In 2004, she was appointed to the Consumer Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., was elevated to Vice Chair in 2005, and was appointed as Chair of the Federal Reserve Board Consumer Advisory Council in 2006. Lori graduated magna cum laude from William Mitchell College of Law and with distinction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, whose School of Journalism gave Lori the Distinguished Service Award in 2014. She and her husband live in Eagan.