Candidates for attorney general debate on Switchboard

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(Host) Incumbent Democratic Attorney General Bill Sorrell defended his record in office during a debate Tuesday night on Vermont Public Radio. His Republican challenger Dennis Carver charged that Sorrell has been wasting valuable resources and energy by filing a series of lawsuits over a variety of federal issues.

Sorrell has been aggressively seeking legal remedies to prevent power plants in the Midwest from emitting contaminants that have caused various forms of pollution in the northeast. Carver says he wouldn’t pursue this case if he’s elected:

(Carver) “The attorney general of the state of Vermont is charged with dealing with Vermont issues and Vermont laws, not chasing around the country trying to hook his wagon to a federal star at our expense.”

(Host) But Sorrell says he’s involved in a number of cases because he feels the lawsuits are in the best interest of all Vermonters:

(Sorrell) “I think acid rain certainly affects Vermonters. I think what the tobacco industry did in lying about the addictive qualities of its products and trying to hook kids and being responsible for about 1,200 deaths a year in Vermont is an issue that the attorney general ought to be involved in.”

(Host) Progressive candidate Sue Davis says she supports Sorrell’s actions at the federal level but she thinks he needs to do a better job protecting the state’s water quality from chemical pollution.

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