Pubdate: Fri, 05 Mar 2004
Source: Waukesha Freeman (WI)
Copyright: 2004 The Waukesha Freeman
Author: Gary Storck


I had to laugh when I saw a press release issued by state Rep. Dan
Vrakas' office extolling all the problems solved by the Assembly's
passage of his special interest legislation, Assembly Bill 595, which
would "protect the food industry from frivolous lawsuits filed by
those who claim that food alone made them fat."

There was no pressing need for this legislation and no such lawsuits
have been filed in the state. But Vrakas felt that it was an important
issue, and enough of his state Assembly colleagues agreed that banning
lawsuits by obese restaurant customers was more important than taking
up pressing issues like the economy, jobs and health care.

Vrakas' press release went on to note, "Multiple polls, such as one
from Gallup, have found almost 90 percent of Americans oppose obesity

If Vrakas really cared what polls found, then why wasn't Vrakas a
co-sponsor of his Republican colleague Gregg Underheim's recently
introduced medical marijuana bill, Assembly Bill 892? Polling,
including Gallup nationwide and Chamberlain Research Associates here
in Wisconsin, has found more than 80 percent support for medical marijuana.

But rather than standing up for sick and dying state residents who
face unnecessary suffering and early death because of the lack of
legal access to medical marijuana, Vrakas is silent. Perhaps Vrakas'
constituents are satisfied with the representation he provides, but
even they support medical marijuana by more than 80 percent.
Hopefully, Vrakas will have an opponent this November so his
constituents can weigh in on whether they want someone who represents
special interests or their interests.

Gary Storck, Madison

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