Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, by Tom Hogan

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, by Tom Hogan

Published: Feb 11, 2011 at 2:12 pm

By Tom Hogan, candidate for Chester County District Attorney

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

— The Declaration of Independence

“Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” – this is one of the most famous phrases in the Declaration of Independence, and seven words on which we base our society and our actions as citizens.

There is no office in the County more responsible for assuring these unalienable rights than the District Attorney.  How can a District Attorney affect these rights?  The answer is simple — the DA works every day to make our community a safe place where we the people can pursue these rights, unfettered by criminals.

As a criminal prosecutor, I take the commitment to ensuring the public safety with single-minded determination.  That is why I successfully prosecuted criminals of every kind, from violent criminals to drug dealers, from corrupt politicians to white collar swindlers, and even terrorists who threatened our very freedom.  Every one of those prosecutions provided life, liberty, and happiness to the law-abiding citizens of this County and nation.

Today, the police have asked me to step forward again to join them and fight for our ability to pursue our rights.  I am also driven to fight for our core principle of limited government by leading a fiscally-responsible office that helps return money to taxpayers instead of simply asking for more.

Having worked in the very DA’s office for which I now run, as well as with prosecutors’ offices across the nation as a federal prosecutor, I have seen programs and practices that will modernize the office, improve criminal prosecutions, and save tax dollars.  More importantly, I propose nothing that I have not successfully and personally administered in my career as a prosecutor.

To modernize the office and improve criminal prosecutions, I will establish a Drug Unit to focus on drug crime – the gateway to bigger crimes.  The efficiency and effectiveness of a Drug Unit is so clear that every modern prosecutor’s office includes such a unit – – but not Chester County.  I also will implement an aggressive training program for all new Assistant District Attorneys, giving them the tools to succeed in prosecuting criminals and ensuring that they comply to the letter with the dictates of the Constitution in every aspect of their jobs.  I will establish a new Critical Incident Response Team and implement programs like “Project Safe Streets.”  All of these programs are the hallmarks of a dynamic, modern prosecutor’s office.  Together, each of these actions will preserve life, liberty, and happiness in Chester County.

Like most County offices, the DA’s office operates on your tax dollars.  Where it differs is that it does not make money for the County.  It takes but does not give back.  This must change.  We must aggressively pursue criminal forfeitures — taking money from criminals that they made through their crimes.  This will allow the DA’s office to provide money for the County – and require less from the taxpayer.   Neighboring counties already do this much more efficiently than Chester County; we must do better.  In addition, the DA’s office must become more cost-effective and efficient through simply requiring more prosecutorial work and fewer layers of management.  The DA’s Office is full of talented individuals.  The office must be leaner, more directed, and more efficient with the resources that we already have in place.

These ideas are proven, they are effective, and they are the basis of the common sense plan which I will follow as District Attorney.  They are also the reason I have been honored with the nearly unanimous endorsements of both local and state law enforcement groups.

Both in the District Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice, I have proven my commitment and experience with not only prosecuting criminals, but also with implementing changes like those I propose.  These programs and prosecutorial techniques are the standard benchmarks for prosecutors’ offices across the nation, and we cannot afford to let the criminals get the upper hand.  Today, I want to bring my commitment and experience to bear as our next District Attorney.  I will deliver strong criminal prosecutions and a fiscally responsible office.  I will bring new discipline, modern techniques, and boundless energy to the District Attorney’s Office.  And, most importantly, I will preserve for the people of Chester County their unalienable rights, endowed by the Creator, to life, liberty, and happiness.

Tom Hogan is currently running as a Republican for Chester County District Attorney. Tom is a former US Assistant District Attorney, former Chester County Assistant DA, and is currently a partner with Lamb McErlane PC in West Chester.  There, he handles complex financial litigation matters, and also advises municipalities and other entities on management, governance, personnel, and budget issues. Tom’s campaign site is