Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

ALEC, Asbestos, And Lung Disease

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 24, 2013

The late Bruce Vento, longtime congressman of Minnesota’s Fourth District, is a legend in Saint Paul, and for all the right reasons. He was a friend of the people and the environment, and the Vento Trail that accesses downtown Saint Paul is named for him.

So when Susan Vento, his wife, writes to me about an important cause, I pay attention:

My name is Susan Vento, and I am writing to you about a cause very close to my heart. My husband, Bruce, was a Democratic member of the US House of Representatives until October 10th, 2000 when he died of pleural mesothelioma––a rare disease caused by asbestos exposure. As of yesterday, asbestos companies began using their political influence to push a new bill into Congress, led by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). It is called the “Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act.” On top of mass privacy concerns, this bill would delay and, in some cases, deny justice to people suffering from asbestos-related diseases. The FACT Act marks the beginning of a state-by-state strategy to dismantle the rights of victims.

In the name of so-called “transparency,” the bill places burdensome reporting requirements on victims applying to the bankruptcy trusts. Yet, the companies who knowingly caused the asbestos exposure have no comparable requirements. The legislation is a one-sided and unfair effort designed to harm those who have already been injured. You can find more information on the bill here. This legislation is not an effort to make the legal system more responsive. Instead, it is merely the latest attempt by big companies and individuals like the Koch brothers to avoid responsibility for their heinous wrongdoings.

Yup, it’s ALEC again. The well-heeled promoters of pretty much every idea, person, or entity that attacks the common good.

So what can we do about it? Susan has some suggestions:

I am a spokesperson for the Asbestos Cancer Victims’ Rights Campaign. The ACVRC is a national campaign dedicated to protecting the rights and privacy of cancer victims and their families. I hope that you will join our fight to defeat this unfair legislation and the potential precedent it sets. Here are a couple simple steps you can take to make a difference:

1. Sign the petition to stop legislation that threatens cancer victims!

Go to www.CancerVictimsRights.org/take-action/sign-the-petition/ and follow the instructions to sign the petition at the bottom of the page.

2. Spread the word!

Done and Done, Susan. Go get ’em!

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