Letter to the editor: Jackowski campaign statement, Liberty Union candidate for Vermont attorney general
Jackowski campaign statement
1. At the top of the list is the protection of the most vulnerable. Elder abuse and financial exploitation of the elderly is a hidden epidemic. Every case of reported abuse of the disabled or elderly must be investigated in a timely manner – and prosecuted if the facts support prosecution. A backlog of hundreds of abuse cases shows a shocking lack of appreciation for the dignity of all human beings. This should never happen again. No excuses. No exceptions.
2. Increase focus on consumer protection. Labeling of food products is not enough. Labeling must be clear and not digitized. Other products also should be labeled. --- Example: Most Pre-finished wood flooring on the market contains aluminum oxide nano particles. Some experts believe that this presents a serious health/environmental risk. --- Dietary supplements should be accurately labeled. The New York Attorney General recently sued on behalf of NY consumers on that issue. --- New and used automobiles should be labeled identifying any/all safety related defective components. We must end the complicity of NHTSA and the auto manufacturers. The data exists. There is no justification in waiting until there are dead bodies on the highway and a recall is ordered. Consumers need access to a data base that lists VIN numbers and defective parts before deaths occur.
3. Thoroughly investigate every police shooting – especially when an unarmed civilian is killed. Call for a moratorium on the militarization of local police departments. The acquisition of unnecessary military equipment has disadvantages. It places a burden on taxpayers. It also creates a militarized culture in small towns. Vermont has many excellent law enforcement officers. They need to be appreciated and supported, but they do not need to be 'militarized'.
4. Review/rescind the State policy which prohibits doctors/dentists, licensed in other States, from rendering compassionate medical care in Vermont. Every Vermonter needs access to a Primary Care Physician and dental care. Improve the quality of care. End 'Assembly Line' medical care. Health care costs should be controlled by capping the compensation of hospital CEOs. Control IT costs. No more no-bid contracts. Understand that once medical records are digitized there is no guarantee of privacy.
5. Increase funding for Health Care Advocates. No one should go to a hospital or the ER without an Advocate. Advocates should not be in the chain of command of the institution. A system of volunteers could meet this need without burdening the taxpayers. We used to be patients. Then we became customers. Now we are algorithms.
6. Increase monitoring of all public utilities. Many Vermonters have had on-going problems with Comcast, FairPoint, Green Mountain Power, etc. This can sometimes result in a life threatening medical emergency. Corporate policies should more clearly recognize their responsibility, not only to share holders but also to employees and the general public.
7. Increase Prosecution of companies responsible for environmental disasters. The current PFOA crisis is not only a health issue, but it is also an economic disaster for towns and home owners. Municipal water lines need to be extended ASAP and the companies responsible for the contamination must bear the total cost.
8. Restore the First Amendment in Vermont. Political speech in public tax supported facilities should never be censored. See photos on the Internet of Dennis Steele being arrested. Peter Diamondstone was arrested at a debate at the Vermont Law School. Some political books are banned by public tax supported libraries. The chipping away of Constitutional Rights should never be trivialized. Academic freedom in high schools and colleges must be supported.
The bottom line is this: The Office of Attorney General should never be used as a political tool. The power of the office is a sacred trust that must insure justice for all. The Office of Attorney General should set the ethical standard for Vermont.
— Rosemarie Jackowski is a Liberty Union candidate for Vermont Attorney General Bennington
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