Last week, I cast my early vote in the Democratic Primary for Attorney General Bill Sorrell. Bill was the right person for the job when I appointed him Attorney General in 1997, and he is still the best choice today.
Bill has received my endorsement and I look forward to working hard this summer to ensure he is the Democratic nominee for Attorney General on Aug. 28.
Before his appointment, Bill had already established himself as a distinguished public servant. Bill had twice served as Chittenden County State’s Attorney, engaged in the private practice of law for 10 years at McNeil, Murray & Sorrell, and served in my administration for five years as the Secretary of Administration.
Bill is a leader on both national and local issues. As a result of Bill’s leadership, Vermont joined the 11-state coalition opposing the Arizona immigration law SB1070 and was one of 22 attorneys general who collaborated with Montana’s challenge of the Citizens United. Additionally, Bill filed a supporting brief to the Supreme Court defending the constitutionality of President Obama’s signature healthcare law. Bill has brought $120 million into the state through recoveries and settlements in the last three years alone.
No Attorney General has done more to reverse the effects of global climate change than Bill Sorrell. When Big Auto challenged Vermont’s mileage standards, Bill fought for our right to limit greenhouse gases and prevent climate change. This victory resulted an increase in our fuel economy and was another step in the fight to decrease global warming effects.
Bill’s litigation against American Electric Power, a major contributor to acid rain problems in the Northeast, particularly in Vermont, resulted in the largest settlement of an environmental pollution case in our nation’s history.
Furthermore, Bill recently won a false advertising case against Fabri-Kal’s "Greenware" compostable drinking cups, gaining $80,000 for the state of Vermont, and $20,000 to develop a residential composting project in Montpelier. Last month Bill also won a joint suit resulting in a unanimous ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals proclaiming the failure of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to evaluate the dangers of their nuclear waste storage facilities.
The Attorney General’s record is second to none on public health issues. His aggressive litigation against the nation’s largest tobacco companies resulted in the historic settlement that has brought Vermont over $300 million and ensures the state continues to receive $25 million a year forever. Bill was also successful in stopping Big Tobacco’s attempt to include cigarette advertising in national magazines sent to Vermont school children and scored a resounding victory against RJ Reynolds’ so-called "reduced risk" cigarettes.
In 2003 Bill advised the legislature to address the end of life care issues, including pain management, decisions regarding end-of-life care, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement and waiver funding, and other important facets in his groundbreaking "End of Life Care" initiative.
By 2004, the Legislature responded and residential care facilities began to see an improvement in hospice care policies.
For 15 years Bill Sorrell has been fighting to make Vermont cleaner, safer and healthier. Now it is time for us to fight for him. Join me in support of Attorney General Bill Sorrell and vote in the Democratic Primary on Aug. 28, or vote now by visiting your town clerk.
Howard Dean was governor of Vermont from 1991-2003.