News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 16, 2013

Sullivan native assigned to work in Washington

Bramer picked by Indiana’s Zoeller

Lisa Trigg
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Looking out for Indiana in the nation’s capital will be the focus of a deputy attorney general who has been assigned to serve in Washington, D.C.

Sullivan County native Richard M. Bramer will monitor federal government activity that impacts Indiana — at the direction of Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, who made the appointment official on Monday.

Bramer will work with members of Indiana’s congressional delegation to monitor and review bills moving through Congress, and also follow proposed regulation moving through federal agencies. He has spent the past year in Washington already, serving with the U.S. Department of Agriculture as an attorney in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights. So, he has familiarity with the Washington way of politics and policies.

And, he is bringing a touch of Indiana and Sullivan County to the nation’s capital.

“As I’ve said many times, everything I need to know about the practice of law, I learned in Sullivan,” Bramer told the Tribune-Star on Tuesday.

He graduated from Sullivan High School, Wabash College and Indiana University School of Law at Bloomington. In 11 years of private practice, he served as a chief deputy prosecutor, city attorney, judge pro tem and school corporation attorney. He also was counsel to many towns, townships and conservancy districts in Sullivan County.

In 2002, he joined the Indiana attorney general’s office under Steve Carter, first serving in the civil rights and employment section, then the state departments of labor and correction. In 2008, Carter promoted Bramer to chief counsel of the attorney general’s advisory division, where he rendered legal opinions for state government. And that was where he stayed until 2011 when he answered the call to go to Washington.

When Bramer received Zoeller’s recent invitation to stay in Washington, he said he realized it was a good opportunity.

“I think it will be helpful to have someone there who has experience in state and locals laws of Indiana,” Bramer said of his appointment. “I can help explain on the federal level how things impact us on a state and local level.”

Zoeller, too, has said he thinks the federal government has expanded into the states’ zone of legal authority over time.

“Given the sheer volume of bills and amendments to bills in Congress and proposed regulatory actions moving through the arcane federal government bureaucracy that affect the states, it’s important that we have someone on the ground in Washington, D.C., monitoring these changes so that my office, Governor Pence’s office and our members of Congress and the Legislature have an early warning of potential changes adversely affecting Indiana,” Zoeller said in a news release last week.

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or lisa.trigg@tribstar.com. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.