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YCQM - Sorrell, Donovan Debate, Part 1 - Aug. 5, 2012 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

YCQM - Sorrell, Donovan Debate, Part 1 - Aug. 5, 2012

Posted: Updated:
BURLINGTON, Vt. -

August 5, 2012 -- Vt. Attorney General Bill Sorrell and challenger T.J. Donovan join Kristin Carlson and WCAX Legal Analyst Cheryl Hanna for a debate. Part 1 of 2.

TRANSCRIPT:

>>> GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE,

AND THANKS FOR JOINING US, I'M

KRISTIN CARLSON.

TODAY ON YOU CAN QUOTE ME, WE

HAVE A SPECIAL TWO-PART YOU

CAN QUOTE ME WITH A DEBATE FOR

ATTORNEY GENERAL.

TWO DEMOCRATS ARE VYING FOR

THE JOB, INCUMBENT BILL

SORRELL AND T. J. DONOVAN,

STATE'S ATTORNEY.

ALSO JOINING IN THE QUESTION

WILL BE VERMONT LAW SCHOOL

PROFESSOR CHERYL HANNA, ALSO A

CONSTITUTIONAL LEGAL EXPERT.

THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

I AM GOING TO START FIRST WITH

T. J. DONOVAN, YOU ARE RUNNING

TO UNSEAT FELLOW DEMOCRAT AND

INCUMBENT.

WHAT DID SORRELL DO WRONG, WHY

DOES HE DESERVE TO BE FIRED

FROM --

>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

IT IS NOT A QUESTION OF WHAT

BILL SORRELL HAS DONE WRONG,

IT IS WHAT WE CAN DO

DIFFERENTLY AND BETTER.

AFTER 15 YEARS, TIME FOR A

CHANGE IN THE ATTORNEY

GENERAL'S OFFICE.

TIME FOR NEW ENERGY.

TIME FOR NEW IDEAS, AND TIME

FOR NEW ENGAGEMENT.

BILL BY HIS OWN ADMISSION HAS

SAID HIS GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT

SIGNED ON WHEN HE SIGNED ON TO

THE NATIONAL LAWSUIT FOUR

WEEKS AFTER TAKING OFFICE IN

1997.

15 YEARS LATER, THE WORLD HAS

CHANGED, VERMONT HAS CHANGED,

WE'RE FACING NEW CHALLENGES.

TIME FOR NEW LEADERSHIP. 

>> MY QUESTION FOR YOU, WHY DO

YOU WANT TWO MORE YEARS, WHAT

WILL YOU DO FOR VERMONT THE

NEXT TWO YEARS THAT YOU

HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO --

>> THERE'S PLENTY OF WORK

STILL TO BE DONE.

THE LAWSUIT THAT WAS

MENTIONED, THE TOBACCO

LAWSUIT, TOBACCO ADDICTION

REMAINS THE GREATEST AVOIDABLE

PUBLIC HEALTH PROBLEM WE FACE

IN THIS STATE TODAY.

THERE'S MORE TO DO AGAINST THE

TOBACCO INDUSTRY THAT'S

RESPONSIBLE FOR OVER 800

DEATHS A YEAR IN IT -- THIS

STATE.

MORE TO DO IN CONSUMER

PROTECTION, MORE TO DO IN

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, AND

THE INITIATIVE I HAVE IS TO BE

MUCH TOUGHER ON ONLINE

DOWNLOADING AND SHARING OF

CHILD PORN IF I.

SO -- PORNOGRAPHY.

PLENTY OF THINGS ON THE

HORIZON.

AN EFFECTIVE ATTORNEY GENERAL

NEEDS TO ADDRESS AND I WANT TO

BE THE GUY TO DO THAT. 

>> IF YOU ARE ELECTED, WILL

THAT BE THE NEXT TERM?

>> I HAVEN'T REALLY GONE THERE

ON THAT.

I'M TAKING IT ONE AT A TIME

NOW.

I'M HONORED NOW TO BE THE

LONGEST SERVING ATTORNEY

GENERAL IN VERMONT HISTORY IN

A TOUGH FIGHT FOR REELECTION

THIS SUMMER WITH PLENTY OF

ENERGY FOR THAT, PLENTY OF

ENERGY FOR THE JOB COME

JANUARY, AND WE'LL SEE WHAT

TWO YEARS FROM NOW LOOKS LIKE.

BUT I'M FOCUSED ON THE

IMMEDIATE FUTURE RIGHT NOW. 

>> BEFORE WE GET INTO POLICY,

THERE IS A LOT OF CASES WE

WANT TO TALK ABOUT, FIRST I

WANT TO GET INTO THE BERNL

DYNAMIC.

A LOT -- PERSONAL DYNAMIC.

A LOT HAS BEEN MADE OF YOUR

CONNECTIONS AND

INTERCONNECTIONS, YOUR

FAMILIES ARE CLOSE, I GUESS I

HEARD, I READ SOMEWHERE, YOUR

FIRST LOVE WAS YOUR AUNT, AND

YOU ONCE HELD THE JOB THAT T.

J. HAD.

WHAT HAS THIS DONE WITHIN THE

FAMILY, BECAUSE, YOU KNOW,

CLEARLY THERE ARE VERY STRONG

AND STRIDE ENT DIFFERENCES

STARTING TO EMERGE NOW THAT,

YOU KNOW, COULD CAUSE SOME

PROBLEMS OVER DINNER TABLES.

>> YOU KNOW, THIS HAS BEEN A

POSITIVE CAMPAIGN.

WE'VE RUN A CAMPAIGN BASED ON

THE ISSUES.

THIS IS A CAMPAIGN, NOT ABOUT

MYSELF, NOT ABOUT BILL

SORRELL, BUT REALLY ABOUT THE

FUTURE.

AND THIS IS ABOUT WHAT

VERMONTERS DESERVE GOING

FURTHER WHEN WE FACE NEW

CHALLENGES.

YOU KNOW, I KNOW BILL HAS THE

RELATIONSHIPS WITH SOME OF MY

FAMILY MEMBERS.

I RESPECT THAT.

I UNDERSTAND THE HISTORY.

I RESPECT THE HISTORY.

BUT THOSE ARE MY

RELATIONSHIPS, I CAN BE BOUND

BY RELATION SHIPS WHILE MINE,

WHILE I CAN RESPECT THEM, I

HAVE TO DO WHAT I THINK IS

RIGHT.

I THINK IT'S RIGHT TO RUN FOR

THIS OFFICE AT THIS TIME. 

>> DEAR FRIENDS WITH SEVERAL

OF TJ'S RELATIVES, I AM NOW, I

HAVE BEEN, AND I WILL REMAIN

SO.

AND WE'VE BEEN RUNNING A VERY

POSITIVE CAMPAIGN.

I DON'T WANT A CAMPAIGN THAT

LEAVES SCARS ANYWHERE.

I AM GOING TO REMAIN A

RESIDENT OF BURLINGTON AND

STILL HAVE THE FRIENDS I'VE

HAD COMING INTO THIS RACE.

I HAVE EVERY EXPECTATION OF

HAVING THOSE SAME FRIENDS

AFTER THE RACE IS OVER. 

>> GREAT.

SO SHOULD WE MOVE NOW TO

POLICY ISSUES.

I THINK CAMPAIGN FINANCE HAS

REALLY BEEN ON EVERYBODY'S

MIND LATELY.

JUST EARLIER LAST WEEK YOU

DECIDED NOT TO ENFORCE THE

CONTRIBUTION LIMITS TO SUPER

PACS, OR TO POLITICAL ACTION

COMMITTEES HERE IN THE STATE.

WHY DON'T YOU TELL US A LITTLE

BIT ABOUT THAT DECISION.

MAYBE YOU CAN BOTH TELL US

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU CAN DO

WITH AS ATTORNEY GENERAL TO

MITIGATE SOME OF THE EFFECTS

OF THE CITIZENS UNITED

DECISION?

>> WELL, FIRST OF ALL, THE

QUESTION ON SUPER PACS, THESE

ARE PACS THAT DO NOT LIMIT

THEMSELVES TO $2,000 PER

CONTRIBUTOR CONTRIBUTION

LIMITS.

CURRENT VERMONT LAW DOES NOT

DISTINGUISH BETWEEN SUPER

PACS, THOSE THAT DO ONLY

INDEPENDENT EX-PEN DI STURS

AND OTHERS THAT DO SO-CALLED

COORDINATED EXPENDITURES WITH

CANDIDATES.

BUT JUDGE SESSIONS IN FEDERAL

COURT JUST RECENTLY IN RULING

FOR US ON A CASE BROUGHT

AGAINST US REFR EDGED THE FACT

THAT THEY ARE THOSE THAT DO

AND THOSE THAT DON'T.

OUR VIEW IS IF WE TOOK

INDEPENDENT ACTION, WE WOULD

PROBABLY BE SUED AND OUTCOME

WOULD BE IFFY.

AFTER I CONSULTED INDEPENDENT

LEADERSHIP, WE MADE THE

DECISION THAT FOR THIS CYCLE

ONLY WE WILL NOT ENFORCE, IF

THEY DO ONLY INDEPENDENT

EXPENDITURES, AND I WILL GO IN

THE LEGISLATURE IN JANUARY AND

LOOK FOR THE -- SUGGEST THAT

THE LEGISLATURE CHANGE THE LAW

TO DRAW A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN

THOSE TWO KINDS OF PACS. 

>> FOR NOW AT LEAST WE SHOULD

EXPECT THE GROWTH OF SOME

SUPER PACS. 

>> I THINK THAT'S INEVITABLE.

WHAT WE ARE SEEING NATIONWIDE,

WE ARE GOING TO SEE HERE.

I DON'T THINK VERMONT IS ANY

KIND OF AN ISLAND IN THIS, AND

BUT, YOU KNOW, I DON'T WANT TO

BE TAKING ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS

THAT WE DON'T HAVE A

REASONABLE HOPE OF HAVING A

PAYOUT, AND I HOPE THE

LEGISLATURE WILL MAKE CHANGES

IN VERMONT'S LAWS THAT WILL BE

DEFENSE I BELIEVE COME

JANUARY. 

>> T. J., WHAT ABOUT YOU?

WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY

THAN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL HAS

DONE THUS FAR AROUND CAMPAIGN

FINANCE?

>> FIRST I THINK IT IS

DISAPPOINTING THAT WE'RE GOING

TO ALLOW BIG MONEY POLITICS TO

BE IN VERMONT.

THERE'S TOO MUCH MONEY IN

POLITICS, WE ALL KNOW THAT.

THE FIRST THING I WOULD DO,

ACTUALLY, WHAT I WOULD NOT

HAVE DONE IS DECLARED VICTORY,

AS BILL IN THE ATTORNEY

GENERAL'S OFFICE DID WHEN

JUDGE SESSIONS RULED, ALLOWING

SUPER FAKS -- PACS INTO

VERMONT IS NOT A VICTORY BY

ANY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINE

NATION. 

>> YOU THINK A COURT WOULD

UPHOLD VERMONT'S LAW AFTER THE

DECISION IN THE MONTANA CASE

EARLIER THIS YEAR?

IT SEEMS THE SUPREME COURT IS

SAYING WE ARE NOT GOING TO

ALLOW FOR STATES TO REGULATE

THIS MONEY.

YOU'RE STUCK.

WOULD YOU HAVE PERCEIVED THAT

CASE AS A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE,

KNOWING IT WAS A LOSING CASE?

>> I DON'T DISAGREE WITH THAT.

WHAT I'M SUGGESTING IS THAT

THE PRESS RELEASE SENT OUT BY

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE

AFTER THE DECISION WAS THAT IT

WAS A VICTORY, ALLOWING SUPER

PAGLIANIS IN VERMONT IS NOT

A -- PACS IN VERMONT IS NOT A

VICTORY.

I AGREE WITH BILL'S SFWERGS

THAT THE TERM LAW WILL ALLOW

BASED ON CITIZENS UNITED TO

ALLOW SUPER PACS IN VERMONT.

HERE'S WHERE THE FIGHT IS ON

CAMPAIGN FINANCE.

IT IS ABOUT DISCLOSURES.

THAT'S WHAT CITIZENS UNITED

SUGGESTS STATES CAN DO, THAT'S

WHAT I AM GOING TO DO AS

ATTORNEY GENERAL, MONTANA

ATTORNEY GENERAL HAS LED ON

THAT.

THAT IS WHERE THE FIGHT IS ON

CAMPAIGN FINANCE, IS ON

DISCLOSURES.

HERE'S THE THING:

WE NEED TO FIGURE OUT WHERE

MONEY IS COMING FROM, AND SEE

WHO IS TRYING TO INFLUENCE

ELECTIONS AND POLITICIANS.  

>> THAT'S EXACTLY WHY VICTORY

IN THE JUDGE SESSIONS

DECISION, BECAUSE WE WERE

SEEKING REGISTRATION AND

DISCLOSURES BY VERMONT RIGHT

TO LIFE.

THEY WERE FIGHTING THAT, THEY

ARE TAKING AN APPEAL ON THAT,

WE MIGHT WELL END UP AT THE

SECOND CIRCUIT COURT OF

APPEALS, AND PERHAPS BEFORE

THE U.S. SPREECHL COURT

AGAIN -- U.S. SUPREME COURT

AGAIN ON DISCLOSURE ISSUES

WITH A MAJORITY OF THE

CITIZENS UNITED CASE COMING

DOWN STRONGLY IN FAVOR OF

DISCLOSURES.

SO THE NARROW DECISION BY

JUDGE SESSIONS WAS A VICTORY

FOR US.

WE WON ON THAT.

VERMONT RIGHT TO LIFE IS

APPEALING, BUT THE SECONDARY

ISSUE ABOUT THE SUPER PACS,

JUDGE SESSIONS GAVE A HINT AS

TO WHAT HE THOUGHT ABOUT THAT,

AND WE RESPONDED ACCORDINGLY.

>> LET'S TALK ABOUT

DISCLOSURES FOR A SECOND,

BECAUSE YOU ARE BOTH RIGHT

THAT THE COURT HAS CERTAINLY

PAVED THE WAY FOR STATES TO BE

MUCH MORE AGGRESSIVE ABOUT

DISCLOSURE LAW.

IF WE GO ON EITHER OF YOUR

WEBSITES, WOULD WE BE ABLE TO

FIND WITHIN A WEEK WHO IS

CONTRIBUTING TO YOU?

IN OTHER WORDS, HAVE YOU DONE

VOLUNTARY DISCLOSURES TO MODEL

WHAT A DISCLOSURE, A REAL

DISCLOSURE LAW WOULD LOOK

LIKE?

>> WE'VE GIVEN OUR FULL

FINANCE REPORT TO COMMON

CAUSE, WE'VE POSTED IT ON

THEIR WEBSITE. 

>> WHY NOT PUT IT -- THIS IS

AN INTERESTING PROBLEM, RIGHT?

BECAUSE WE HEAR POLITICIANS

SAY, WELL, WE'RE ALL IN FAVOR

OF DISCLOSURE, YET YOU BOTH

COULD DO VOLUNTARY DISCLOSURE

ONE WEEK, PUT YOUR EXCEL

SPREAD SHEETS ON SO ME,

CITIZENS HEAR WHAT YOU'RE

TALKING ABOUT CAN GO AND FIND

IT AND EVALUATE YOUR MESSAGE. 

>> I WOULD TAKE THAT UP WITH

MY CAMPAIGN STAFF.

WE CERTAINLY HAVEN'T MADE ANY

DECISIONS OTHER THAN TO DO

FULL COMPLIANCE WITH THE LAW.

AND FULL COMPLIANCE WITH THE

MEDIA REQUESTS TO US TO MAKE

OUR SXAN FINANCE -- CAMPAIGN

FINANCE REPORT FILING IN AN

EASY TO ACCESS --

>> YOU THINK THEY WILL FOR A

LAW THAT REQUIRES CANDIDATES

TO ESSENTIALLY POST LIFETIME,

WITHIN A FEW -- LIVE TIME

CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS?

IS THAT WHAT YOU'RE TALKING

WITH MORE AGGRESSIVE

DISCLOSURE LAWS?

>> WE HAVEN'T DISCUSSED THAT

RIGHT NOW.

WE'RE OBEYING THE CURRENT LAW,

AS I THINK WE CAN BOTH ATTEST,

RUNNING A SERIOUS SXAN LIKE

THIS, THERE IS A LOT GOING ON,

AND WE CAN CONSIDER THE ISSUE

OF FILING WITHIN A FEW DAYS,

BUT I CAN TELL YOU, IT IS A

LOT OF WORK TO GET THIS NEXT

FILING, WHICH IS DUE, I THINK,

TWO WEEKS FROM TODAY, OR

TOMORROW, DONE AND IN FULL

SCOMPLIENS WITH THE LAW.

-- COMPLIANCE WITH THE LAW. 

>> YEAH.

I MEAN, TRANSPARENCY IS A GOOD

THING.

I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH

IT.

I'M CERTAINLY WILLING TO LOOK

AT IT, IF THAT'S THE LAW.

I THINK TRANSPARENCY AND

DISCLOSURE IS WHERE CAMPAIGN

FINANCE IS GOING.

UNTIL WE CHANGE THE MAKEUP OF

THE UNITED STATES SUPREME

SKORT, THAT'S WHERE THE FIGHT

IS GOING TO BE.

>> VERMONT HAS SOME OF THE

MOTION LOCKED GUN LAWS IN THE

COUNTRY.

DO YOU THINK IT'S TIME THAT

THAT SHOULD CHANGE?

>> NO.

I DON'T.

I THINK THAT WE'VE GOT A LONG

HISTORY OF RESPONSIBLE

FIREARMS USE IN THIS STATE.

WE ARE THE 49TH OR 50TH SAFEST

STATE IN THE COUNTRY.

WE'RE FORTUNATE THAT WE

HAVEN'T HAD ANY OF THESE

TERRIBLE TRAGEDIES LIKE IN

COLORADO RECENTLY.

WE HAVE A LONG, PART OF OUR

RURAL NATURE, WE'VE GOT HIGHER

PERCENTAGE OF HUNTING AND

FISHING LICENSES.

I THINK THAN ANY OTHER STATE

AS PART OF OUR CULTURE, AND,

YOU KNOW, IF IT AIN'T BROKE,

DON'T FIX IT. 

>> I SUPPORT RESPONSIBLE GUN

OWNERSHIP.

WHAT I DON'T FOR IS RECKLESS

USE OF FIREARMS.

WE PROSECUTE THOSE CASES, AND

THOSE PEOPLE TO THE FULLEST

EXTENT OF THE LAW.

WE HAVE BEEN VERY TOUGH ON

PEOPLE WHO RECKLESSLY USE GUNS

IN CHITTENDEN COUNTY.

MANY OF MY FRIENDS IN

CHITTENDEN COUNTY ARE

RESPONSIBLE GUN OWNERS.

LAW-ABIDING SIT SENSE.

I SEE NO PROBLEM -- CITIZENS.

I SEE NO PROBLEM WITH

RESPONSIBLE GUN OWNERSHIP.

THE ISSUE IS IRRESPONSIBLE,

RECKLESS USE OF GUNS. 

>> LET ME JUST -- I WANT TO BE

REMISS IF I DIDN'T MENTION

THIS.

THE ISSUE WITH GUNS,

PARTICULARLY WHAT HAPPENED IN

COLORADO, IS THE ISSUE OF

MENTAL ILLNESS.

THAT'S WHERE WE HAVE TO DEAL,

I THINK, ON ADDRESSING THESE

ISSUES IS DETECTING AND A

BETTER SCREENING OF PEOPLE,

MAKING SURE THAT THEY ARE --

THEY HAVE THE FACULTIES AND

THE SKAM ABILITY TO --

CAPABILITY TO RESPONSIBLY

POSSESS A FIREARM.

IT IS THE ISSUE OF MENTAL

ILLNESS, WHICH THE REAL ISSUE

IN MY OPINION. 

>> REINCH FORCEMENT OF FEDERAL

LAW WHICH FOR THOSE WITH A

HISTORY OF MENTAL ILLNESS

SHOULDN'T BE ABLE TO OWN OR

POSSESS FIREARMS UNDER

EXISTING FEDERAL LAW.

>> WE HAVE TO TAKE A QUICK

BREAK.

WE'LL CONTINUAL OUR DEBATE

WITH THE TWO DEMOCRATS RUNNING

TO BE VERMONT ATTORNEY GENERAL

AFTER THIS MESSAGE.

STAY WITH US.

>>> WELCOME BACK.

WE ARE CONTINUING A SPECIAL

YOU CAN QUOTE ME, A TWO-PART

ADDITION WHERE WE TALK TO AND

HEAR THE DEBATE BETWEEN THE

TWO DEMOCRATS FOR ATTORNEY

GENERAL.

T. THANK YOU BOTH FOR BEING

HERE. 

>> YOU ARE VERY WELCOME. 

>> OUR LEGAL EXPERT, CHERYL

HANNA JOINS ME AS WELL. 

>> LET'S SWITCH GEARS.

HAVE YOU READ THE BECOME --

THE BOOK THE NEW

FUNDAMENTALIST AGENDA?

>> I HAVEN'T. 

>> SHE ENDORSED YOU. 

>> I AM BUSY.

I AM NOT EVEN FISHING, LET

ALONE READING. 

>> YOU KNOW THE PREMISE IS

THAT HER ARGUMENT IS THAT IT'S

REALLY HARD ON WORKING WOMEN

AND WORKING FAMILIES TO

BALANCE THEIR CAREERS, AND

ALSO TAKE CARE OF CHILDREN,

AND SHE CALLS FOR NEW, MORE

PROGRESSIVE POLICIES, ET

CETERA.

SO WE ARE INTERESTED IN WHAT

EACH OF YOU HAS DONE IN YOUR

RESPECTIVE POSITIONS TO MAKE

LAWS BETTER FOR PEOPLE WHO

WORK FOR YOU, PARTICULARLY

WORKING MOMS. 

>> WE HAVE BEEN VERY, VERY

AGGRESSIVE ON THE CONSUMER

PROTECTION FRONT TO KEEP

VERMONTERS FROM BEING SCAMMED,

FROM FALLING PREY TO THE

FASTEST GROWING CRIME IN THIS

STATE AND THIS COUNTRY,

IDENTITY THEFT.

OBVIOUSLY WORKING REALLY HARD

ON ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION,

WHICH IS GOOD FOR OUR ECONOMY,

GOOD FOR THE HEALTH OF

VERMONTERS, AND THE INITIATIVE

I DID ON LEAD IN THE

ENVIRONMENT.

WE WENT TO THE LEGISLATURE AND

GOT LEAD LEVELS REDUCED IN

CHILDREN, REQUIRING ONGOING

MONITORING, BEEN VERY

AGGRESSIVE IN TERMS OF

ENFORCING LEAD PAINT LAWS IN

OLDER RENTAL HOUSING STOCK,

AGAIN, TRYING TO ENHANCE

HEALTH OF WORKING-CLASS

VERMONTERS, AND THEIR

OFFSPRING, AND I'M PROUD OF

THE WORK THAT WE'VE DONE SO

FAR IN THOSE AREAS.

>> HOW ABOUT YOU, WHAT HAVE

YOU DONE TO HELP THE FOLKS

THAT WORK FOR YOU BALANCE WORK

AND FAMILY?

>> SURE.

I'M PROUD TO SAY I'M MARRIED

TO A WORKING MOM.

MY WIFE, JESS AND I HAVE TWO

LITTLE BOYS, AND WE UNDERSTAND

FIRSTHAND THE CHALLENGES MANY

PARENTS, MANY WORKING FAMILIES

FACE IN TERMS OF TRYING TO

WORK FULL-TIME, PAY A

MORTGAGE, PAY STUDENT LOANS,

PAYDAY CARE.

SO WE UNDERSTAND THOSE ISSUES,

BECAUSE WE LIVE THOSE ISSUES

EVERY SINGLE DAY.

AND I THINK WHEN WE'RE TALKING

ABOUT WORKING FAMILIES,

WORKING MOMS, AND IN THE

WORKPLACE, IT IS ABOUT

RESPECT, IT IS ABOUT

UNDERSTANDING, IT'S ABOUT

FLEXIBILITY.

THIS IS WHAT WE HAVE TO DO,

PARTICULARLY IN STATE

GOVERNMENT, OUR STATE

EMPLOYEES -- I'M PROUD TO HAVE

RECEIVED THE ENDORSEMENT OF

THE VERMONT EMPLOYEES

ASSOCIATION.

THESE ARE GREAT STATE WORKERS,

THEY ARE EMPLOYEES, WE SHOULD

HONOR THEM, AND PARTICULARLY

WHEN WOMEN GIVE BIRTH, THEY

SHOULD BE GIVEN ALL THE

FLEXIBILITY THEY NEED TO TAKE

CARE OF THEIR CHILDREN.

I THINK IT IS VERY CLEAR THE

IMPORTANCE OF MOTHERS BEING

ABLE TO NURTURE THEIR

NEWBORNS.

MY WIFE IS LUCKY ENOUGH TO BE

ON MATERNITY LEAVE RIGHT NOW.

IT IS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT THE

STATE SHOULD SUPPORT WOMEN,

AND SHOULD SUPPORT ANY

BENEFIT, ANY SUPPORT THEY CAN

GIVE THEM. 

>> YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT -- I

AM A PROPONENT OF PAID

MATERNITY LEAVE.

IT IS A CRITICAL ISSUE FOR A

LOT OF WORKING-CLASS FAMILIES.

YOU KNOW, MY WIFE AND I, WE

HAVE TWO KIDS.

WE BOTH WORK BECAUSE WE BOTH

HAVE TO WORK.

SO WHETHER IT IS AS A CITIZEN,

WHETHER IT IS A STATE'S

ATTORNEY, OR WHETHER AS

ATTORNEY GENERAL, I THINK PAID

MATERNITY LEAVE IS AN ISSUE

THAT DESERVES TO BE ADDRESSED

IN THE STATE. 

>> THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION

RECENTLY FOUND THAT THE STATE

HAD VIOLATED VERMONT'S EQUAL

PAY LAW.

THAT HAS A LOT OF PEOPLE

TALKING, THE ATTORNEY

GENERAL'S OFFICE MIGHT DO AN

EQUAL PAY AUDIT THROUGHOUT THE

STATE TO MAKE SURE THAT ALL

STATE EMPLOYEES ARE BEING PAID

EQUALLY, REGARDLESS OF GENDER.

WOULD EITHER OF YOU, IF

ELECTED, ORDER THE STATE TO DO

AN EQUAL PAY?

>> WE JUST HAD A STUDY FROM

UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT, WE

CO-SPONSORED WITH THE FEDERAL

AUTHORITIES AND THE EEOC AND

THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, AND

FORMER GOVERNOR WAS ONE OF THE

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS.

WE HAVE FULLY COMMITTED -- I

JUST GOT AN EMAIL THIS MORNING

FROM MY CIVIL RIGHTS UNIT,

ABOUT WORKING MORE CLOSELY

WITH THE EEOC ON THESE EQUAL

PAY AND SOME OTHER

DISCRIMINATION ISSUES.

WE'RE FULLY COMMITTED TO THAT,

AND THAT WILL BE A PRIORITY IN

THIS NEXT TERM.

>> EQUAL PAY FOR THE STATE?

>> I AM NOT SURE WHAT THAT

MEANS.

BUT IF YOU'RE SAYING -- IF

WHAT THAT MEANS IS AN AUDIT OF

EMPLOYERS AROUND THE STATE --

>> AUDIT OF STATE EMPLOYEES.

SO WE MAKE SURE THAT THE STATE

IS A MODEL EMPLOYER, THAT THE

STATE IS --

>> ABSOLUTELY.

THE STATE SHOULD LEAD IN TERMS

OF ADHERENCE TO THE LAW, AND I

WOULD HOPE THAT THE DEPARTMENT

OF HUMAN RESOURCES WOULD LEAD

THE CHARGE THERE, AND OUR

OFFICE WOULD COOPERATE IN ANY

WAY THAT THEY ASK. 

>> I GREW UP IN A MIDDLE CLASS

FAMILY WITH FIVE SISTERS.

I LIKE TO SAY I LEARNED THE

LESSON OF EQUALITY AT A VERY

EARLY AGE.

SO THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION

IS ABSOLUTELY.

VERMONT SHOULD LEAD, STATE

GOVERNMENT SHOULD LEAD, THIS

IS ABOUT EQUAL RIGHTS FOR

EVERYBODY IN THIS STATE. 

>> LET'S TALK ABOUT THE RECENT

SITUATION HAVING TO DO WITH

PROTESTORS AT THE GOVERNOR'S

CONFERENCE IN BURLINGTON.

SOME ARE QUESTIONING THE FORCE

THAT WAS USED BY THE

BURLINGTON POLICE.

T. J. DONOVAN, THIS IS YOUR

COUNTY.

I'LL START WITH YOU FIRST.

DOES THAT APPEAR TO BE

JUSTIFIED?

>> MEETING WITH THE POLICE

CHIEF TOMORROW MORNING.

WE WILL REVIEW THE EVIDENCE,

AND THEN MAKE THE APPROPRIATE

DECISION.

I HAVE A LOT OF RESPECT FOR

THE FIRST AMENDMENT, I HAVE A

LOT OF RESPECT FOR THE POLICE.

I HAVE -- I CERTAINLY

UNDERSTAND WHY THOSE

PROTESTORS WERE PROTESTING.

I UNDERSTAND THE ISSUES.

I UNDERSTAND THE ISSUES

REGARDING OUR COUNTRY'S

ADDICTION TO OIL.

SO THE ISSUE IS HOW IS THE

MESSAGE DELIVERED. 

>> DO YOU THINK THEY CROSSED

THE LINE, THEN?

>> AS I SAID, MEETING WITH THE

POLICE CHIEF TOMORROW.

WE ARE GOING TO REVIEW THE

EVIDENCE AND MAKE THE

APPROPRIATE DECISION.

WE HAVEN'T REVIEWED THE

EVIDENCE.

THAT'S NOT HOW WE MAKE

DECISIONS WITHOUT REVIEWING

THE EVIDENCE.

SO WE NEED TO SIT DOWN, REVIEW

THE EVIDENCE, APPLY THE LAW,

SEE WHERE IT TAKES US. 

>> I HAVE SEEN SOME VIDEO

CLIPS, READ SOME NEWSPAPER

ACCOUNTS, BUT I HAVE A HISTORY

OF BEING VERY HARSH ON POLICE

WHEN THEY USE EXCESSIVE FORCE.  

VERY CRITICAL OF THE

BATTLEBORO POLICE DEPARTMENT

FOR EXCESSIVE USE OF A TASER

ON NON-VIOLENT PROTESTORS,

THAT YOU SHOULDN'T BE USING

WEAPONS UNLESS IT'S NECESSARY

TO PROTECT YOURSELF OR OTHERS.

I DON'T KNOW ABOUT THE FACTS

OF THIS SPECIAL FICK CASE,

OTHER THAN SOME OF WHAT I'VE

READ, BUT THE POLICE DO NEED

TO RESPECT THE CIVIL RIGHTS OF

PROTESTORS, WHEN THE LAW IS

BEING BROKEN AND PEOPLE,

POLICE OR OTHERS OR PROPERTY

IS BEING THREATENED AND YOU

EXPECT THE POLICE TO PROTECT

THE PUBLIC AND PROTECT THE

PUBLIC SAFETY.

WE'LL HAVE TO SEE WHAT THE

FACTS OF THIS PARTICULAR CASE

ARE.

>> IT IS INTERESTING THAT YOU

SAY THAT YOU FEEL YOUR OFFICE

HAS COME DOWN HARD ON POLICE

OFFICERS.

AS YOU KNOW, A LOT OF CIVIL

LIBERTARIANS WOULD DISAGREE

WITH YOU.

THE HEAD OF THE ACLU HAS

RAISED CONCERNS.

IN MOST SKASS WHEN IT COMES TO

POLICE -- CASES WHEN IT COMES

TO POLICE FORCE, IT IS FOUND

JUSTIFIED.

WOULD EITHER OF YOU SUPPORT

THE IDEA OF AN INDEPENDENT

REVIEW BOARD TO LOOK AT THESE

CASES, NOT THE ATTORNEY

GENERAL'S OFFICE?

>> WELL, MY REVIEW IS TO SEE

WHETHER THERE'S CRIMINAL

CONDUCT ON THE PART OF THE

POLICE, WHETHER WHEN THEY USED

LETHAL FORCE, OR FORCE IN A

SITUATION, WAS THIS A CRIMINAL

ASSAULT.

AND IPROPOSING FOR

TRANSPARENCY -- I AM PROPOSING

FOR TRANSPARENCY PURPOSES THAT

ANY CRIMINAL FILES THAT ARE

CLOSED ARE NOT SUBJECT TO

DISCLOSURE UNDER THE ACCESS TO

PUBLIC RECORDS LAW.

I AM PROPOSING IN THE

LEGISLATURE COME JANUARY FOR

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS OF LAW

ENFORCEMENT, ON-DUTY CONDUCT

WHEN NO CHARGES ARE TO BE

BROUGHT, THAT THOSE FILES BE

FULLY OPEN, SO THAT THE PUBLIC

CAN SEE WHAT THE INVESTIGATION

SHOWED.

SECONDARILY, I WILL GO FURTHER

AND SAY FOR THOSE CASES WHEN A

STATE'S ATTORNEY OR MY OFFICE

CONVENES A GRAND JURY TO LOOK

AT A POLICE OFFICER'S ONDUTY

CONDUCT AND CITIZENS FROM THE

COMMUNITY MAKE THE DECISION

THAT NO CHARGE SHOULD BE FILED

THAT I WILL BE ABLE TO

DISCLOSE, OR THE STATE'S

ATTORNEY WILL BE ABLE TO

DISCLOSE THE FACT OF THE

CONVENING OF THE GRAND JURY

AND THAT NO INDICTMENT WAS

REACHED AND THERE WAS PEOPLE

IN THE COMMUNITY WHO MADE THAT

DECISION, NOT THE -- NOT TO

CHARGE, NOT THE ATTORNEY

GENERAL.

>> SO NOT AN INDEPENDENT

REVIEW BOARD, YOU WOULD STILL

KEEP THAT WITH THE AG, JUST

CHANGE --

>> IF THE LEGISLATURE WANTS TO

GO ON AND CREATE AN

INDEPENDENT ENTITY, I WOULD

CERTAINLY BE FOR -- SUPPORTIVE

OF THAT.

I KNOW NO PROSECUTOR IN

VERMONT HISTORY HAS PROSECUTED

MORE POLICE OFFICERS FOR ON

AND OFF-DUTY CONDUCT THAN I.

AND I DON'T HAVE ANY DOUBLE

STANDARD.

ASK THE FORMER SHERIFFS OF

WINDHAM AND WASHINGTON COUNTY,

REMOVED FROM OFFICE.

ASK THE POLICE CHIEF WHO WAS

SENT TO PRISON AND ALL OF THE

OTHER CASES FOR ASSAULT AND

LYING, AND THEFT AND SEXUAL

MISCONDUCT ON DUTY, AND ET

CETERA, ET CETERA.

I DON'T HAVE A DOUBLE STANDARD

FOR POLICE, I JUST SUGGESTED

TO ONE PERSON LAST NIGHT WHO

WAS ASKING ME ABOUT THIS THAT

IS ON A MUNICIPALITY, BY

MUNICIPALITY BASIS IT COULD BE

DECIDED.

IF BURLINGTON POLICE

COMMISSIONER SOME OTHER ENTITY

REVIEWS ACTIONS OF THE POLICE

DEPARTMENT, THE CITY COUNCIL

SHOULD DO THAT. 

>> LEADERSHIP ISN'T ABOUT

TALKING ABOUT THE NOTCHES ON

YOUR BELT, IT IS ABOUT PUBLIC

TRUST.

WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT IS

AN ISSUE OF PUBLIC TRUST, AND

ANYTIME YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT

LAW ENFORCEMENT, ANYTIME YOU

ARE TALKING ABOUT THE

CREDIBILITY OF LAW

ENFORCEMENT, YOU ALWAYS KEEP

THE PUBLIC TRUST IN BLIND.

IN ORDER TO ENHANCE -- IN

MIND.

IN ORDER TO ENHANCE PUBLIC

TRUST WE NEED TRANSPARENCY.

THIS IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN

MR. SORRELL AND I.

I PROPOSE VERMONT ADOPT

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION 7 RULE

WHICH BASICALLY SAYS RIGHT NOW

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS ARE

PRESUMED SECRET.

THE FEDERAL LAW IS, IT'S

PRESUMED PUBLIC.

THAT'S GOING TO ENHANCE PUBLIC

TRUST IN LAW ENFORCEMENT.

THAT'S A GOOD THING.

YOU KNOW, ALL THESE CASES,

WHERE WE HAVEN'T DISCLOSED

ANYTHING, THAT LEADS TO CALLS

FOR THESE INDEPENDENT REVIEWS.

IF YOU DO THINGS

TRANSPARENTLY, THERE IS NO

NEED FOR THAT.

SO LET'S GET IT RIGHT THE

FIRST TIME, EVEN MORE

IMPORTANTLY, SENATOR DICK

SEARS, SENATOR OF THE

JUDICIARY COMMITTEE, WHO

ENDORSED MY COMMITTEE, AS HAS

THE HOUSE OF THE JUDICIARY

COMMITTEE, SENATOR SEARS HAS

SAID HE WILL INTRODUCE THIS

LEGISLATION, ADOPTING THE

FEDERAL STANDARD THIS SESSION.

THAT'S PROGRESS.

THAT INDICATES THAT THE

PARTNERSHIPS I'M WILLING TO

DEVELOP WITH KEY LEGISLATIVE

MEMBERS, WE ARE GOING TO MAKE

REAL PROGRESS THAT WILL

ENHANCE THE TRUST IN LAW

ENFORCEMENT, THAT'S THE

VERMONT WAY. 

>> WE HAVE TO END THE FIRST

HALF HOUR OF THIS DEBATE

BETWEEN THE TWO DEMOCRATS

RUNNING FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL,

BILL SORRELL AND T. J.

DONOVAN.

CHERYL HANNA WITH VERMONT LAW

SCHOOL, THANKS FOR BEING HERE.

STAY WITH US.

NEXT SUNDAY WE WILL CONTINUE

THE DEBATE, WE WILL GET TO BIG

ISSUES LIKE HEALTHCARE AND

VERMONT YANKEE.

THANKS FOR WATCHING, EVERYONE.

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