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YCQM - Bill Sorrell - March 25, 2012 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

YCQM - Bill Sorrell - March 25, 2012

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

March 25, 2012 -- Bill Sorrell, D-Vt. Attorney General, joins Kristin Carlson and Darren Perron to discuss Vermont's child pornography crackdown and other state legal issues.

TRANSCRIPT:

>> GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE. I'M DARREN PERRON.

>> AND KRISTIN CARLSON. WE HAVE A LOT TO COVER THIS MORNING WITH OUR ATTORNEY GENERAL, BILL SORRELL.

>> THANKS FOR JOINING US.

>> MY PLEASURE.

>> WELL, LET'S START WITH THIS WAR DECLARED BY YOUR OFFICE ON CHILD PORN. IT'S CALLED "OPERATION GREEN WAVE", YOU'RE TRACKING COMPUTERS. LAST WEEK IT WAS 250 COMPUTERS SHARING CHILD PORN.

>> GREENWAVE WAS A STATE/FEDERAL SORT OF STRIKE FORCE THAT ENDED ITS WORK ON MARCH 2ND. NOW WE'RE MOVING.

>> A WHOLE NEW THING, WE DON'T HAVE A NAME FOR IT, BUT WE'RE TRYING TO RAISE AWARENESS IN VERMONT OF THE AMOUNT OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY THAT IS BEING DOWNLOADED, WATCHED, AND MADE AVAILABLE FOR SHARING ON-LINE BY VERMONTERS. AND, AS OF LAST WEEK, THROUGH TECHNOLOGY THAT'S AVAILABLE TO LAW ENFORCEMENT, TO MONITOR JUST ONE OF THE MEANS BY WHICH IDENTIFIED CHILD PORNOGRAPHY IS MADE AVAILABLE OVER THE WEB, 250 SEPARATE COMPUTER ADDRESSES IN VIRTUALLY EVERY CORNER OF THE STATE, THERE ARE INDIVIDUALS DOWNLOADING AND MAKING AVAILABLE CHILD PORNOGRAPHY, AND IT'S DISGUSTING STUFF. VERMONTERS SHOULD BE MORE AWARE OF IT. THE PREVALENCE OF THE PROBLEM AND THE SIGNIFICANT CORRELATION BETWEEN THOSE WHO DOWNLOAD AND SHARE THESE KINDS OF VIDEOS AND PHOTOS, AND THE RISK FOR HANDS-ON SEXUAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN.

>> YOU DON'T HAVE A LIST OF POTENTIAL PREDATORS. WHAT YOU HAVE IS A LIST OF COMPUTERS, IS THAT RIGHT?

>> THAT'S RIGHT. WE HAVE SOFTWARE THAT TELLS US I. P. ADDRESSES, UNIQUE IDENTIFIERS FOR COMPUTERS. THAT'S THE FIRST STOP. WE CAN SEE ALL THESE 250 I.P. ADDRESSES, LOOK AT THE AMOUNT OF FILES THAT EACH ONE HAS AVAILABLE, WHAT THOSE FILES ARE, THE NATURE OF THOSE FILES. THAT JUST BEGINS THE TARGETED INVESTIGATION. WE HAVE TO FIND OUT FROM THE, INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER WHERE IS THE ACTUAL LOCATION OF THIS COMPUTER, IT'S AT SOME STREET ADDRESS IN SOME TOWN IN VERMONT, AND THEN THE ON-THE-GROUND INVESTIGATION BEGINS, WHO IS AT THAT RESIDENCE, OR WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO BE INVOLVED IN THE CHILD PORNOGRAPHY, IS IT IN FACT AT THAT ADDRESS, OR IS IT A NEIGHBOR IF THERE IS A WIFI AVAILABLE, ARE THERE YOUNG CHILDREN IN THAT HOUSE THAT MIGHT BE AT RISK. WE TRY TO PRIORITIZE THE CASES. GIVEN THE RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO US RIGHT NOW, WE HAVE JUST JUST ABOUT EXCLUSIVELY DEPENDENT ON FEDERAL GRANTS FOR THE LAST 10, 11 YEARS. OF THE 250 I.P. ADDRESSES, LESS THAN 10 ACTIVE INVESTIGATIONS RIGHT NOW. WE'RE NOT SCRATCHING THE SURFACE OF THIS PROBLEM. MORE VOTE VERMONTERS SHOULD BE AWARE OF THE PROBLEM, HOPEFULLY THE LEGISLATURE WILL PUT SOME RESOURCES INTO NEW POSITIONS, HOPEFULLY IN MY OFFICE, BUT OTHERWISE, WHAT THE LEGISLATURE IS GOING TO DECIDE WHERE THOSE SHOULD BE, BUT TO BEEF UP OUR EFFORTS IN THIS AREA, TO IDENTIFY SPECIFICALLY MORE OF THESE OFFENDERS WHO ARE BREAKING THE LAW, AND, BOTTOM LINE, TRY TO PROTECT MORE YOUNG VERMONTERS.

>> YOU'VE BEEN IN OFFICE FOR ABOUT 15 YEARS. WHY DID THIS BECOME A PRIORITY RIGHT NOW?

>> IT'S NOT JUST NOW. THREE OR FOUR YEARS AGO, I WENT TO A MEETING IN PHILADELPHIA, LEARNED MORE ABOUT THE TECHNOLOGY. WENT DOWN TO FLORIDA TO SEE MORE OF IT, ARRANGED TO HAVE A DOZEN OFFICERS TRAINED HERE IN VERMONT, AND THEN KIND OF PUSHING TO SEE THAT MORE GETS DONE. BUT WE'VE REALLY BEEN DEPENDENT, LARGELY, ON PART-TIME WORK BY SOUTH BURLINGTON POLICE DEPARTMENT AND BURLINGTON POLICE DEPARTMENT, THE INTERNET CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN TASK FORCE IN BURLINGTON, AND I JUST GOT FRUSTRATED THAT LAW ENFORCEMENT HAS SO MANY PRIORITIES THAT THEY'RE NOT GETTING TO THIS AS READILY AS I'D HOPE, SO I DECIDED TO STEP IT UP, DRAMATIZE, MAKE CLEAR THE NATURE AND EXTENT OF THE PROBLEM, AND SEE IF THE GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURES SEE IT AS ENOUGH OF A PROBLEM THAT WE SHOULD NOW PUT SOME STATE RESOURCES INTO THIS TO TRY TO BEEF UP OUR EFFORTS.

>> YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT $200,000 FOR A FULL-TIME INVESTIGATOR AND A PROSECUTOR THAT WOULD JUST FOCUS DIRECTLY ON THESE CASES THAT ARE OUT THERE.

>> YES, AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THESE CASES AND OTHER KINDS OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CASES, WHERE SOMEONE SEES SOMEONE WITH CHILD PORN ON THE COMPUTER AND CALLS THE POLICE AND THE POLICE GET A SEARCH WARRANT AND GRAB THE COMPUTER -- THESE ARE TARGETED. YOU KNOW, YOU JUST HAVE AN I.P. ADDRESS, NO NAME OR LOCATION, BUT YOU SEE WHAT THEY HAVE, WHAT THEY'RE SHARING. BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OF THESE PEER-TO-PEER FILE-SHARING NETWORKS, WHERE YOU AGREE THAT YOUR COMPUTER IS GOING TO BE LIKE AN OPEN BOOK, WHAT YOU DOWNLOAD AND SHARE OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY, OTHER MEMBERS OF THIS FILE-SHARING NETWORK, WHO COULD BE IN CALIFORNIA OR NEW HAMPSHIRE, OR, YOU KNOW, NEXT DOOR IN VERMONT, CAN GO ON-LINE AND TAKE FILES OFF YOUR COMPUTER. YOUR COMPUTER -- IT'S LIKE YOU HAVE A FACEBOOK PAGE, AND EVERYBODY IS YOUR FRIEND, AND THEY CAN ALL SEE WHATEVER YOU POST. THAT'S THE WAY THESE WORK, SO LAW ENFORCEMENT CAN MONITOR THAT, BUT THEN WE CAN TARGET OFFENDERS BASED ON EITHER THE NUMBER OR NATURE OF THE FILES THAT THEY HAVE AND SUCH, AND DO THE REAL HARD WORK, INVESTIGATION WORK, CLOSELY WITH THE PROSECUTOR, GETTING THE NECESSARY WARRANTS FROM COURT, APPROVAL TO SEARCH, SEIZE COMPUTERS, INTERROGATE SUSPECTS, QUESTION SUSPECTS, AND SUCH. AND IT'S QUITE LABOR INTENSIVE, AND IT'S VERY TARGETED. IT'S SORT OF LIKE WHAT WE DO WITH THE DRUG TASK FORCES, WHERE WE HAVE A PROSECUTOR EMBEDDED WITH THE POLICE, AND THEY WORK ON WHO THE TARGETS ARE GOING TO BE, WHO THEY'LL GO AFTER. THIS IS THE SAME KIND OF APPROACH, BUT IN THE CHILD PORNOGRAPHY ARENA.

>> YOU'RE ASKING FOR $200,000 FROM THE LEGISLATURE TO KICKSTART THIS PROGRAM. A MONTH OR SO IS LEFT IN THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION. ARE YOU GOING TO GET THE MONEY?

>> I THINK SO. THE STATE'S ATTORNEY THINK IT SHOULDN'T BE SOMEBODY FRB OUR OFFICE, IT SHOULD BE FORENSIC WHO LOOKS INTO COMPUTERS AT THE STATE POLICE LABORATORY. THEY HAVE FOUR FULL TIME RIGHT NOW. THERE ARE CONCERNS ABOUT BACKLOG WHERE CELL PHONES AND FLASH DRIVES ARE BEING ANALYZED. IT'S A FOUR-MONTH LAG TIME FOR NON-PRIORITY CASES. INSTEAD OF GIVING US THE PROSECUTOR, THEY PUT THAT PERSON OVER IN THE LAB, THAT WOULD DROP THAT DOWN TO THREE MONTHS OR THREE MONTHS AND A WEEK. I'M NOT SAYING THE STATE POLICE COULDN'T USE MORE FORENSIC EXAMINERS. I'M SAYING THIS IS A PROSEAL -- PROPOSAL TO GET SOMETHING IMPORTANT DONE. MY PROPOSAL IS OUT THERE, AND, YOU KNOW, WE'LL SEE AS OF MAY OR WHENEVER THE LEGISLATURE IS DONE WHETHER THE RESOURCES ARE IN OUR OFFICE OR ELSEWHERE. BUT WE'RE GOING TO DO MORE IN THIS AREA FOR SURE.

>> HOW WILL YOU MEASURE IF IT'S A SUCCESS, MORE PROSECUTIONS, MORE PEOPLE GOING TO JAIL?

>> WELL, FIRST OF ALL, OUR JAIL CELLS ARE FULL. I'M NOT SAYING THAT ALL OF A SUDDEN WE'RE GOING TO PROSECUTE X DOZEN PEOPLE AND SEND THEM ALL TO JAIL. I'M MINDFUL THAT OUR PRISON BEDS ARE FULL. SOME WILL, PARTICULARLY IF WE CAN SHOW HANDS-ON OFFENSES OR SHOW THAT THESE ARE FOLKS ACTUALLY TAKING PICTURES OR FILMING AND MAKING THAT AVAILABLE. THOSE WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY GO TO JAIL. A NUMBER OF THE CASES WILL GO FEDERAL. WE'LL DO THE INVESTIGATION, JUST LIKE IN THE EMBEZZLEMENT ARENA, CASES WILL BE PROSECUTED FEDERALLY, BUT EVEN IF PROSECUTED IN VERMONT, AND SOMEBODY DOESN'T GO TO JAIL, THEY'RE CONVICTED, THEY'RE ON PROBATION FOR A LENGTHY PERIOD OF TIME, THEY'RE ON-LINE -- THEIR ON-LINE ACCESS IS MONITORED, THEY'RE ON THE SEX-OFFENDER REGISTRY, PEOPLE IN THEIR HOUSEHOLD, THEIR NEIGHBORS KNOW WHAT THE NEIGHBOR HAS BEEN DOING -- IT'S A BIG HEADS UP TO COMMUNITIES ALL OVER THE STATE. AND SO THE DELIVERABLES WILL BE: ARE WE ABLE TO DO MORE CASES, SUCCESSFUL PROSECUTIONS, AND NOT JUST COPS AND PROSECUTORS; WILL MORE VERMONTERS BECOME AWARE OF THE PROBLEM AND BE MORE VIGILANT, AND BETTER PROTECT VERMONT KIDS.

>> I THINK THAT A LOT OF FOLKS -- I KNOW THAT I CERTAINLY AND FOLKS IN THE NEWSROOM WERE SURPRISED AT THE NUMBER, WHEN 250 COMPUTERS WERE IDENTIFIED AND SHARING HIS IMAGES. AND THAT ONLY JUST A HANDFUL REALLY ARE BEING SOUGHT AFTER.

>> IT'S NOT BECAUSE LAW ENFORCEMENT DOESN'T THINK THESE CASES ARE SERIOUS; IT'S JUST LAW ENFORCEMENT HAS A LOT OF DIFFERENT DEMANDS. WHAT I'M TRYING TO DO IS RAISE THE AWARENESS AND THE COMMITMENT OF RESOURCES TO THIS EFFORT. AND, YOU KNOW, I'VE BROUGHT MY VIDEO THAT SHOWS THIS, TALKS ABOUT THE PROBLEM AROUND, SHOWING THE VARIOUS NEWS OUTLETS AROUND THE STATE, AND PEOPLE ARE JUST AMAZED. THEY HAD NO IDEA. I'M HOPING THIS IS JUST A BIG FIRST STEP AND THAT THE $200,000 IS JUST A FIRST STEP, AND THAT OVER THESE NEXT SEVERAL YEARS WE'LL BE MORE EFFICIENT, MORE EFFECTIVE, AND MORE VERMONTERS WILL BE AWARE OF THE PROBLEM.

>> IN THE MEANTIME, YOU'RE GOING AFTER THE WORST OF THE WORST IN THIS GROUPING.

>> THOSE ARE THE ONES WE'RE TRYING TO PRIORITIZE, EITHER BY THE NUMBER OF FILES OR NATURE OF FILES. IF YOU'VE ONLY GOT FIVE FILES ON YOUR COMPUTER, YOU'RE NOT MUCH ON OUR SCREEN, BUT IF WE GET LOOKING AND IT'S PARTICULARLY BAD, TORTURE, BESTIALITY, INCEST KINDS OF VIDEOS, YOU'RE GOING TO MOVE RIGHT UP OUR PRIORITY LIST.

>> YOU DID SEND OUT A WARNING TO OTHER FOLKS THAT HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED THAT EVEN IF THEY STOPPED TODAY, THEY'RE NOT OFF YOUR RADAR.

>> THE TECHNOLOGY WE HAVE AVAILABLE LET'S US GO BACK MONTHS AND MONTHS. SO IF WE TAKE YOUR COMPUTER TODAY, AND YOU GET OFF THESE NETWORKS AND HIT THE "DELETE" BUTTON, DON'T THINK THAT YOU'RE HOME FREE. BUT PART OF THE DOWNSIDE -- THERE ARE UPSIDES AND DOWNSIDES ARE GOING PUBLIC LIKE THIS. OBVIOUSLY SOME PEOPLE WILL GET RID OF A LOT OF THE CHILD PORN ON THEIR COMPUTERS. WELL, I'LL TAKE THAT. WITH 250 COMPUTERS AND WE'RE LOOKING AT ONLY A RELATIVE HANDFUL, THE LESS THESE PEOPLE HAVE THIS KIND OF DISGUSTING STUFF FOR SHARING, THE BETTER.

>> SPEAKING OF OTHER ISSUES, IN YOUR ROLE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL, YOU'RE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT SUGAR DRINKS, CAFFEINE PRODUCTS. WHY WAS THAT SOMETHING YOU FOLLOWED, AND DISAPPOINTED THERE HASN'T BEEN MORE PROGRESS ON THAT?

>> I HAVE TAKEN ON A WHOLE BUNCH OF THINGS, END OF LIFE CARE, AGGRESSIVE PALATIVE CARE, LEAD IN THE ENVIRONMENT, LEAD IN CONSUMER PRODUCT, TOBACCO. OUR GREATEST AVOIDABLE HEALTH PROBLEM IN THIS STATE AND COUNTRY IS TOBACCO ADDICTION, AND PREMATURE DEATH THAT ADDICTION TO TOBACCO CAUSES. WELL, NOW THE SECOND GREATEST AVOIDABLE HEALTH PROBLEM THAT WE FACE IN THIS STATE AND COUNTRY, THAT'S OVERTAKING TOBACCO HAS NO. 1 IS OBESITY AND RELATED DIABETES AND SUCH. SO I THINK PART OF THE JOB OF BEING ATTORNEY GENERAL, QUITE APART FROM ENFORCING OUR LAWS, OF COURSE, AND DEFENDING OUR LAWS WHEN THOSE ARE CHALLENGED, IS TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL REPRESENTS THE BEST INTERESTS OF ALL VERMONTERS. WE DON'T JUST DEFEND THE STATE WHEN IT GETS SUED. AND TRYING TO HIGHLIGHT THE FACT THAT IF WE DON'T BEND THIS CURVE OVER 40%, BY 2050, OF AMERICANS, ADULTS IN THE UNITED STATES, ARE NOT JUST GOING TO BE OVERWEIGHT BUT OBESE. WHAT THAT'S GOING TO MEAN TO OUR COMPETITORS IN THE WORLD, THE STRENGTH OF OUR MILITARY AND WHATEVER -- I'M JUST SAYING IF VERMONT CAN LEAD THE COUNTRY HERE, AND IF WE DO, THEN IMAGINE HAVING THE HEALTHIEST WORK FORCE IN THE COUNTRY IN 15 OR 20 YEARS, AND WHAT THAT WILL MEAN TO OUR ECONOMY AND ABLE TO COMPETE FOR BUSINESSES TO COME IN HERE. SO IT'S JUST A PIECE OF WHAT I'VE DONE AS A. ZB., BUT I GOT -- AS A.G., BUT I GOT CITIZEN OF THE YEAR BECAUSE THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF VERMONTERS HAS BEEN A PRIORITY WHILE I'M IN OFFICE.

>> WERE YOU DISAPPOINTED THAT THE LEGISLATURE DIDN'T TAKE UP THE TAX?

>> IT'S JUST A PIECE OF THE PUZZLE. THEY'VE SAID "GOOD IDEA BUT WE'RE GOING TO REVISIT THAT TAX WHEN WE LOOK AT HEALTHCARE REFORM." YOU KNOW WITH THE AVERAGE VERMONT ADULT DRINKING 50 GALLONS A YEAR OF SUGAR-SWEETENED BEVERAGES, AND THE ROLE THAT THOSE BEVERAGES HAVE ON OUR HEALTH ISSUES, IT'S SOMETHING TO TAKE A LOOK AT. BUT IT DOESN'T RISE OR FALL ON WHETHER THE TAX IS IMPOSED. THAT'S JUST A PIECE OF IT. OF OPPONENTS HAVE SAID IT'S ALL ABOUT THE TAX. THE REALITY IS WE NEED TO HAVE HEALTHIER LIFESTYLES, AND GET MORE EXERCISE, THAT CAN JUST MEAN GOING FOR A WALK EVERY DAY, AND EATING MORE HEALTHY FOODS. IF WE DO THAT, WE WILL RAPIDLY BECOME THE HEALTHIEST STATE IN THE COUNTRY.

>> WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A VERY BRIEF BREAK, BUT WE HAVE A LOT MORE TO GET TO,

>> IN OUR CONVERSATION WITH ATTORNEY GENERAL BILL SORRELL, ONE OF THE BIG NEWS THAT IS GOING TO BE SOMETHING YOU'RE GOING TO FOCUS A LOT ON IS THAT YOU HAVE A PRIMARY CHALLENGE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN "WHILE, FIRST TIME EVER IN YOUR 15 YEARS IN THE OFFICE. PROSECUTOR T.J. DONOVAN HAS ANNOUNCED HE WILL RUN AGAINST YOU. HERE IS WHAT HE HAD TO SAY WHEN HE ANNOUNCED HE IS RUNNING FOR THE JOB.

>> TODAY IN VERMONT, IN THE YEAR 2012, THE BIGGEST PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE AND PUBLIC SAFETY ISSUE IS PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE. IT'S TIME FOR NEW LEADERSHIP.

>> I'VE BEEN THERE. THIS IS NOT A PROMISE OF WHAT I'M GOING TO DO. I'M PROUD OF MY RECORD. I'VE HAD HUGE VOTER SUPPORT OVER THE YEARS, AND CERTAINLY I'VE SLOWED DOWN.

>> OKAY, SO YOUR RESPONSE TO WHAT T.J. DONOVAN HAD TO SAY THE DAY OF THE ANNOUNCEMENT. DOES IT SHOW SOME DEMOCRATS AREN'T HAPPY WITH YOUR LEADERSHIP? I WAS HEARING UNDERCURRENTS THAT MAYBE IT WAS TIME YOU STEP DOWN AFTER SO MANY YEARS, AND PEOPLE WERE DISAPPOINTED WITH THE YANKEE --

>> WELL, I WAS DISAPPOINTED WITH THE YANKEE DECISION, BUT, YOU KNOW, I CAN'T WIN EVERY CASE. AND WE'VE STILL GOT A FIGHT ON APPEAL. THE ISSUE ABOUT WHETHER THERE SHOULD BE A CHANGE -- THAT'S WHAT THE VOTERS CAN TAKE A LOOK AT. DO THEY THINK THIS NEW EMPHASIS ON CHILD PORNOGRAPHY IS AN OLD IDEA, OR SOMETHING THAT'S NOT WORTH DOING? DO THEY THINK THAT ON-LINE SAFETY ISSUES -- SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES AND THE MORE INFORMATION WE GET, THE MORE INFORMATION THAT'S BEING ACCUMULATED ABOUT US BY MARKETERS AND OTHERS, IS SOMETHING THAT, IN A STATE THAT'S HISTORICALLY BEEN QUITE CONCERNED ABOUT PERSONAL PRIVACY -- IS THAT SOMETHING WE OUGHT TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT? I AGREE THAT PRESCRIPTION DRUGS AND ADDICTION TO THOSE, ABUSE OF THOSE, IS A HUGE SOCIAL PROBLEM. AND THE COURT-DID I VERSION PROGRAM -- THE COURT-DIVERSION PROGRAM IS IN MY OFFICE. I'M A HUGE PROPONENT OF NOT PUTTING EVERYBODY THROUGH OUR CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, YET TO HAVE PEOPLE GET HELP THEY NEED TO DEAL WITH ADDICTION ISSUES, OR JUST TO BETTER REALIZE THEIR ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIORS HAVE TO CHANGE, OR THEY ARE GOING TO END UP IN ADULT COURT WITH A RECORD AND IN JAIL, AND WHATEVER. SO WE CAN HAVE THOSE DISCUSSIONS. AND PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE IS A HUGE PROBLEM, AND ONE THAT WE'VE BEEN ADDRESSING, AND DRUG DIVERSION ON THE PART OF HEALTHCARE WORKERS AND SUCH, AND A LOT MORE WORK TO BE DONE THERE, FOR SURE.

>> WHY DO YOU THINK T.J. DONOVAN IS CHALLENGING YOU?

>> I COULD BE WRONG, BUT I DON'T THINK IT IS -- I THINK HE RECOGNIZES THIS IS A GREAT JOB. I THINK IT'S THE BEST LAWYER'S JOB IN THE STATE OF VERMONT. I'M MY OWN BOSS, I ANSWER TO THE VOTERS. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, CONSUMER PROTECTION, CIVIL RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT, CRIMINAL LAW ENFORCEMENT -- GREAT ISSUES TO WORK ON, ONES THAT AFFECT THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF VERMONTERS. IT'S VERY REWARDING WORK, AND SO I DON'T BEGRUDGE T.J. DONOVAN WANTING THIS WONDERFUL JOB. I'VE BEEN HONORED TO HOLD IT FOR A LONG TIME, I'VE STILL GOT A LOT OF ENERGY FOR IT, AND IF THE VOTERS WANT ME TO KEEP DOING IT, I'M HAPPY TO CONTINUE TO SERVE. IF THEY THINK SOMEONE ELSE CAN DO A BETTER JOB, THEN THAT'S WHAT THE SYSTEM'S ALL ABOUT. I HAVE TRIED VERY HARD OVER THE YEARS TO ENHANCE PARTICIPATION IN OUR ELECTORAL PROCESS, TO GET THE INFLUENCE OF BIG MONEY OUT OF OUR ELECTIONS AND STUFF, SO MORE AVERAGE CITIZENS GET INVESTED AND GET INVOLVED IN WHO ARE GOING TO BE THEIR -- OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS. AND SO I THINK THIS IS A HEALTHY PROCESS. AND IF OTHERS JUMP INTO THE PRIMARY, FINE. MORE CHOICE, THE BETTER FOR THE VOTERS.

>> WE SHOULD SAY WHEN YOU MENTION OTHER DEMOCRATS, DEMOCRATIC HOUSE SPEAKER SHEP SMITH IS TALKING ABOUT GETTING IN, AND ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE THERE IS SOMEONE INTERESTED IN ENTERING. IS THERE ANY SCENARIO IN WHICH YOU WOULD NOT RUN?

>> I'M TOTAL IN THIS -- I'M TOTALLY IN THIS RACE.

>> YOU WOULDN'T CONSIDER A CHITTENDEN STATE SENATE?

>> MY MOTHER SERVED FOR TEN YEARS, IT'S A WONDERFUL INSTITUTION. THE JOB I'M IN IS THE ONE I WANT TO HOLD FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS.

>> YOU'VE NEVER HAD A PRIMARY BATTLE. MOST OF YOUR ELECTORAL WINS IN NOVEMBER HAVE BEEN VERY, VERY WIDE MARGINS.

>> HUGE VOTER SUPPORT.

>> YOU'VE NEVER HAD A BATTLE LIKE THIS.

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

>> THIS COULD SHOW A RIFT IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. HOW ARE YOU GOING TO APPROACH THIS?

>> I'M GOING TO BUILD A CAMPAIGN LIKE T.J. DONOVAN IS DOING. GOING TO BUILD A STATEWIDE RACE. CAMPAIGN. YOU'VE GOT TO HAVE COORDINATORS AND WORKERS OUT THERE, AND SO -- I'M WORKING HARD IN THE HOURS WHEN I'M NOT WORKING AS A.G., TO BE DOING THE POLITICAL STUFF. AND IT'S A NECESSARY PART OF BEING A CANDIDATE, AND, YOU KNOW, NOBODY'S GOING TO HAND ME RE-ELECTION JUST BECAUSE I'VE BEEN THE INCUMBENT. I'VE GOT TO MAKE THE CASE THAT I'LL BE THE BEST A.G. IN THE NEXT TWO YEARS, AND I LOOK FORWARD TO POINTING TO MY RECORD AND TALKING ABOUT IDEAS GOING FORWARD, AND LETTING VOTERS MAKE THAT DECISION.

>> LET'S TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE A.G. ISSUES. AS YOU KNOW, THE LEGISLATURE HAS PASSED SEVERAL LAWS THAT HAVE NOT STOOD UP IN COURT: CAMPAIGN FINANCE, PRESCRIPTION DATA MINING, YANKEE, WHICH IS STILL BEING LITIGATED, AND WE HEARD FROM A VERMONT LAW SCHOOL PROFESSOR WHO HAD QUESTIONS ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT THE VACCINE BILL THAT'S MOVING THROUGH THE LEGISLATURE WOULD STAND UP, BECAUSE IT DOES AWAY WITH A PHILOSOPHICAL EXEMPTION WHILE LEAVING IN A RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION. DO YOU THINK THAT BILL WILL STAND UP IN COURT?

>> WELL, I HAVE HAD CONVERSATIONS WITH MY STAFF AND WITH THE COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH, WE WANT TO GET ON THE SAME PAGE IN TERMS OF THE MESSAGE WE'RE GIVING TO THE LEGISLATURE. FOR ALL OF THESE BILLS, WE HAVE BEEN INVOLVED WITH THE LEGISLATURE, AND WHEN WE THOUGHT THEY WERE PUSHING THE ENVELOPE AND GETTING INTO AN AREA WHERE THE STATUTE MIGHT BE CHALLENGED, WE'VE GIVEN FAIR WARNING OF THAT. BUT UNDER THE 10TH AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION, WHAT'S NOT EXCLUSIVELY RESERVED FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, THE STATES ARE ABLE TO HAVE FLEXIBILITY, AND VERMONT HAS HISTORICALLY BEEN A STATE THAT'S BEEN VERY HAPPY TO LEAD THE COUNTRY, FIRST STATE IN THE UNION TO OUTLAW SLAVERY IN OUR CONSTITUTION, AND GRANT THE RIGHT TO MEN WITHOUT REGARD TO PROPERTY OWNERSHIP. I COULD GO ON AND ON. THE VERMONT LEGISLATURE, HISTORICALLY, HAS BEEN NOT AFRAID TO GET OUT THERE AND TO LEAD. AND WITH NOW THE MOST PERHAPS CONSERVATIVE U.S. SUPREME COURT THAT WE'VE HAD IN AT LEAST THE LAST 100 YEARS, SOME OF THE THINGS THE LEGISLATURE HAS CHOSEN TO DO, EVEN KNOWING THEY WERE GOING TO BE CHALLENGED AND KNOWING THERE WERE DOWNSIDE RISKS, THEY'VE GONE AHEAD, AND THE SUPREME COURT HAS SAID "NO".

>> AND JUDGE MURTHA SAID "NO." THE IMMUNIZATION LAW, BILL, DO YOU THINK THAT WILL PASS MUSTER?

>> I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE DRAFT LOOKS LIKE AS WE SIT RIGHT NOW. WHAT I'M SAYING IS THAT SOME VERY SMART CONSTITUTIONAL LAWYERS IN MY OFFICE ARE WORKING CLOSELY WITH THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT, AND SO THAT WE'RE PRESENTING A UNIFIED SERIES OF RECOMMENDATIONS AS TO WHAT THE IMMUNIZATION BILL SHOULD AND SHOULD NOT LOOK LIKE, DEPENDING ON HOW MUCH RISK THE LEGISLATURE WANTS TO TAKE ON ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL -- OR THE POSSIBILITY OF A SUCCESSFUL CHALLENGE TO THE STATUTE. SO WE'RE WORKING CLOSELY WITH THE LEGISLATURE, AND I'M VERY HOPEFUL THAT OUR RECOMMENDATIONS WILL BE GIVEN DUE WEIGHT AND THAT WHATEVER THE LEGISLATURE DOES, THAT WE WILL BE ABLE TO -- IF IT'S ATTACKED, WE'LL BE ABLE TO RAISE A VERY STRONG DEFENSE.

>> IT HAS ALREADY PASSED THE SENATE.

>> WELL, THE HOUSE SIDE NOW, AND THE WAY IT IS, THE HOUSE GETS ITS SEPARATE VIEW, AND TO THE EXTENT THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO CHAMBERS, AND IT GOES INTO CONFERENCE COMMITTEE, SO IT'S JUST PART OF THE SORT OF SAUSAGE-MAKING PROCESS, THAT THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS IS ALL ABOUT. AS WE'VE SEEN IN THE ENTERGY CASE, WHERE THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY AND THE PROCESS OF ENACTING THOSE STATUTES THAT GAVE THE LEGISLATURE A SAY ON THE CONTINUED OPERATION OF VERMONT YANKEE, JUDGE MURTHA STRUCK DOWN. WE THINK, CONTRARY TO U.S. SUPREME COURT PREJUDICE IN A CALIFORNIA CASE RELATING TO A BAN ON THE CONSTRUCTION OF NEW NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS IN CALIFORNIA. SO WE'RE IN THE INTERMEDIATE FEDERAL APPEALS COURT ON ENTERGY, WE'LL FIGHT THERE, AND THERE WILL BE LENGTHY PROCEEDINGS.

>> WHEN DO YOU THINK YOU'LL HAVE A RECOMMENDATION ON THE IMMUNIZATION BILL?

>> I'M SURE BY THE TIME THE LEGISLATURE IS BACK TUESDAY, WE'LL BE TALKING TO THE COMMITTEES AND LEGISLATIVE LEADERSHIP.

>> AND YOUR GUT FEELING IS THAT IT WOULD STAND UP IN COURT AT THIS POINT?

>> IT DEPENDS ON WHAT THEY ULTIMATELY ENACT, BUT WE HOPE THE LEGISLATURE FOLLOWS THE ADVICE WE GIVE THEM.

>> YOU'LL GET THAT TUESDAY. YOU DON'T HAVE THE ADVICE RIGHT NOW.

>> I DON'T, NO.

>> WE HAVE ABOUT 1-1/2 MINUTES LEFT. WHAT OTHER THINGS CAN WE EXPECT COMING FROM YOUR OFFICE? OBVIOUSLY A HUGE APPEAL WITH ENER JI, THE -- ENTERGY. WHAT ELSE ARE YOU FOLKS WORKING ON?

>> WELL, WE'RE WORKING ON SOME VERY SIGNIFICANT, UNSOLVED MAJOR CRIMES IN THE STATE, DOING A LOT OF BEHIND-THE-SCENES WORK THERE. WE HOPE THOSE MATTERS COME TO FRUITION. I ISSUED A BIAS-FREE POLICING POLICY FOR POLICE ALL OVER THE STATE, SAYING THAT WE SHOULDN'T BE ENFORCING IMMIGRATION LAWS MORE STRENUOUSLY THAN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS, SINCE THEY'RE FEDERAL LAWS, AND THAT THOSE VISITING THIS COUNTRY FROM ELSEWHERE ARE ENTITLED TO PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE, JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE, AND WE'VE GOT A LOT OF VERMONT LAWS, LIKE CHILD PORNOGRAPHY, THAT VERMONT LAW ENFORCEMENT OUGHT TO HAVE HUGE PRIORITIES TO ENFORCE HAS O -- AS OPPOSED TO GOING OUT OF THEIR WAY TO FIND THOSE WHO MIGHT BE IN VIOLATION OF FEDERAL IMMIGRATION LAW. I'M HOPEFUL THAT MORE VERMONT LAW ENFORCEMENT WILL ADOPT THE BIAS-FREE POLICING POLICY THAT WE'RE A MORE WELCOMING STATE AND SO FOR THE DAIRY FARM WORKERS WE NEED.

>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR TIME.

>> THANK YOU FOR ASKING ME.

>> THANKS FOR JOINING US, EVERYONE.

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