To the Editor: Symington backs Sorrell for AG

In the race for Attorney General, T.J. Donovan has stated that Bill Sorrell should have steered legislators away from passing bold progressive legislation that might draw lawsuits.  As a former Speaker of the House, I want to speak up for Bill Sorrell, and for Vermont’s right to push the envelope in defense of our values.

Mr. Sorrell’s opponent argues that Vermont should be wary of big corporations with deep pockets. Wariness shouldn’t translate into passivity. It’s not good enough to pass laws that accommodate the demands of big companies with deep pockets when doing so falls short of protecting Vermonters.

Mr. Sorrell warned the legislature that campaign finance and prescription drug privacy laws would draw court challenges, but he was willing to protect Vermonters from powerful corporate interests. In approaching the prescription drug privacy suit, Mr. Sorrell earned the support of the United States government, 35 states, and a number of medical, consumer and privacy groups. When he defended Vermont’s campaign finance laws, he won in appeals until it reached the U.S. Supreme Court, where he faced the same conservative justices that ruled for corporate personhood and unlimited anonymous donations in the Citizens United case.

While Vermont did not prevail in these cases, Mr. Sorrell has only spent $5.7 million on attorneys’ fees over the years, but has brought in over $120 million in the last three years alone.

I am voting for Bill Sorrell in the primary election because he has shown he will both provide the counsel to pass strong legislation and defend that legislation in court to best serve the interests of Vermonters.

Gaye Symington
Jericho, VT
Former Speaker of the House

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