NAAG spring meeting kicks off

John O'Brien Mar. 5, 2007, 6:46pm

John Walsh spoke Monday at the National Association of Attorneys General annual meeting in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Jason Turner)

Illinois AG Lisa Madigan spoke Monday during the National Association of Attorneys General spring meeting. (Photo by Jason Turner)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Association of Attorneys General, currently holding its annual spring meeting, is celebrating its 100th year -- though President Thurbert Baker isn't sure of what after talking with an attendee.

"I said, 'We've had 100 years of NAAG," the Georgia Attorney General said Monday. "He said, 'No, we've had 100 years of your nagging.'"

Either way, NAAG's three-day meeting began at The Fairmont hotel with the 46 attorneys general in attendance hearing panels speak on various issues facing them.

Most notable was a discussion on the Adam Walsh Act, enacted in 2006 and named after the 6-year-old son of John and Reve Walsh who was abducted and murdered more than 25 years ago.

John Walsh later started the show "America's Most Wanted," and spoke to the attorneys general about getting their states up to code with the act.

"I believe you here today can change things immediately when you go home," he said.

Walsh said improvements need to be made in the area of tracking sex offenders, and chided those states that leave it up to the sex offender to register when he or she moves to them.

He also said that governors are too busy with "photo ops" and state legislatures conduct too many hearings to get anything done in a timely manner.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan moderated the discussion, and her policy director Cara Smith talked about failures in the sexual offender registry system.

Madigan mentioned, saying sexual predators "are able to find and groom their next victims."

In addition to Walsh, the attorneys general will hear from U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez and senators John Kerry and Lindsey Graham.

Monday, they also met with Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

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