Tag Archives: Attorney General

Well, somebody’s trying to fill all those empty slots

Last night I was having dinner with The Loyal Spouse, and we were talking about the Vermont Republican Party’s dearth of statewide candidates — no official hopefuls for Attorney General, Auditor, Secretary of State, or Treasurer. I half-jokingly said I was thinking of starting a “Me for AG” write-in campaign — asking my Tens of VPO Readers to consider writing me in for Attorney General on the Republican primary ballot.

I guess somebody out there was listening, because That Very Same Evening, the following showed up in my Twitter feed: Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 3.57.43 AM

That’s the Burlington Republicans, or whoever does their Tweets, soliciting write-in votes for a Burlington lawyer for Attorney General. The Facebook link is to a newly-established FB page for a group called “RecruitFour.” Its purpose is to find Republicans willing to run for those statewide offices.

Guess this puts the kibosh on my own candidacy. But sorry as I might be to lose a chance at some Fred Tuttle-style low comedy, I’m heartened to see somebody — ANYBODY — step up and try to fill this embarrassing shortfall. It’d be a bad thing, really, if a random collection of write-ins (or a coordinated joke write-in campaign, ahem) were able to snag these precious ballot slots. As much as I revel in Republican misfortune, it is one of our major parties, and it has a role to play in the process. Not really a good thing for democracy if the Republican ticket were to include the likes of Yours Truly, Vermin Supreme, Lobsterman, and Annette Smith.

So far, Recruit Four has gotten all the way up to One. McCormack is a very youthful looking attorney with the law firm of Burak, Anderson & Melloni. According to his bio page on the firm’s website, he got his law degree from Boston University in 2000, and was admitted to the Vermont Bar in 2004.

RecruitFour describes Shane-O-Mac’s view of the AG’s office thusly:

Shane would make a great Vermont Attorney General because he believes this office needs to do more to curb our legislature from entering into unwarranted action that only leads to millions in legal costs–money we cannot afford.

Good old Republican thinking, that. Although I doubt that a Republican AG would get very far with that argument in a one-sidedly Democratic Legislature.

Anyhoo, best of luck to Mr.McCormack and RecruitFour. Even if it does force a premature end to my own political ambitions, it’d be good to have some actual Republicans running on the Republican ticket.

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The price we pay for cheap crap

Two news items on a single theme: Big Mac Mystery Meat, and toxic baubles.

Second one first, ‘cuz there’s a direct Vermont connection. Two-Fisted™ Attorney General Bill Sorrell has filed suit against Dollar Tree, purveyor of cheap crap and nothing but cheap crap, “for selling jewelry that contains toxic substances.”

What’s more, DT is a repeat offender. Sorrell says the bottom-barrel retailer is in violation of an earlier agreement to stop selling jewelry with unacceptably high levels of lead and cadmium. Charming. Sorrell’s office says the chain has sold “over 30,000 individual items… through its stores in Barre, Bennington, Burlington, Derby/Newport, and Rutland.”

The original 2010 settlement arose from what the AG’s office calls “a growing awareness… that many products imported from China and other countries contained toxic substances.” And the release adds, not at all reassuringly, that

“…although Dollar Tree routinely requires the testing of products it purchases for resale to consumers, its testing protocol does not ensure that all items of jewelry sold in its stores are free of toxic substances.”

Uh-huh. They require testing, but their testing program “does not ensure” the safety of their customers. I guess if they had a really thorough testing program, that’d interfere with the free and open flow of cheap crap. Which probably violates Dollar Tree’s constitutional right of free speech. Heck, if money is speech, isn’t a commercial transaction also speech?

On to Mystery Meat. McDonald’s, purveyor of oddly gray “hamburgers,” is portraying itself as “a bit deceived” over an audit of a Chinese meat supplier. The Daily Mail reports that Shanghai Husi Food was shut down after “a TV report showed workers apparently picking up meat from the factory floor, as well as mixing meat beyond its expiration date with fresh produce.” Yum, yum!

Mickey D’s CEO Don Thompson says “We are no longer serving product from the primary facility there that has the challenges and the issues.” I should hope so.

But that’s not the bad news. The bad news is this, from CNBC:

McDonald’s and many other food companies rely on third parties to perform audits to check whether facilities are complying with food safety rules and other regulations. It is not uncommon for suppliers at the center of food safety scandals to have received high marks on their audits.

Apparently, a whole lot of weak links in our food chain is the hidden price we pay for Cheap McCrap. And cheap pizza and “chicken,” since KFC and Pizza Hut have also served meat from Husi’s factory floor and compost heap.

At least they didn’t find elevated levels of lead or cadmium. Then again, how can we be sure they’re testing for that?

Oh, and let’s add Item 2.1 to my list: the opening of Pier 1 in South Burlington, bringing a whole world of cheap crap to one convenient location. Not to mention screwing its workers:

Long-time Williston resident Jeffery Fucci… will manage the new store, leading a team of approximately 35-40 associates. Associate hours fluctuate based on the needs of the business and the season.

That’s right, folks. All the “associates” will see their hours fluctuate “based on the needs of the business.” Yay, more crappy jobs for Vermont!