Another successful lawyer and former legislator (both MA houses) is eager to “get back in” and make positive differences. Warren Tolman was on to describe his planks, his approaches, and why he thinks he’s the one to be the next MA attorney general.
For one of the sidetracks we dealt with in the other Dem AG candidate, Maura Healey’s show last week, he thought the two campaigns will in fact finalize a people’s pledge to limit outside money. And with a chuckle, he agreed with me that including those annoying robocalls in it would be welcome.
Tolman is very proud of his efforts as legislator in successes fighting the tobacco industry and campaign-finance and ethics reforms. Click below to hear what he intends to do if we gets the office.
Substance abuse and addiction figure in several key ways. He notes how pervasive they are in MA, as well as how few treatment beds and programs are available. He would squeeze health-care providers to give those who want to quit opiates the same weight as someone who has had a heart attack. He cites an example of a 24-year-old woman whose mother begged in vain for a treatment bed. Instead, the young woman OD’ed. “We failed her,” he said. As well as more treatment, he would crack down on physicians who overprescribe opiates.
Moreover, he refers to stats that half of state health-care money is spent on 5% of patients. He said, “I believe the single biggest issue (for MA) will be health care.” He looks to Chapter 224 as a blueprint for cost containment and said that is a key role for the AG in driving it.
Likewise, he would attack criminal-justice reform from several fronts. He wants reform of mandatory-minimums for non-violent crimes. He would prefer to see mental health care, drug-addiction treatment, and job skills training for such convicted folk. He would rather they wear an ankle bracelet and pee into a cup a few times a week than take up prison space and expense, not exiting any better than entering.
Also, he cites his two daughters and one son as partial motivation for wanting big changes to fight campus sexual assaults. For one approach, he says if elected he’ll start even before taking office to hold a campus summit on the subject. Some schools are with the program but many are lagging. He said it’s too pressing to wait.
Otherwise, he noted that among his issues on his site, were ways he’d use the AG office a little differently and some novel use of technology. For example, he’d have anti-cybercrime efforts and call for smart-gun technology on all new sales. Yet, in consumer protection, he called for traditional AG stances, such as being there for the senior who paid $5000 for a roof repair and no one every showed up.
Tolman figures his advantage headed to the primary is that this race “is about leadership versus being a lawyer.” We can check his speech at this weekend’s party convention to see how he pitches himself.