December 17, 2010 Mr. Stephen A. Rupard, Jr.
123 Wildcat Drive
Richmond, Kentucky 40475
Attorney General Jack Conway
Office of the Attorney General
Capitol Suite 118
700 Capitol Avenue
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601-3449
Dear Mr. Attorney General,
I would like to start by saying thank you for all of your tireless work you do on behalf of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. I understand that your office stays busy trying hard to stand up for our rights and defend us from those who are wishing harm or are negligent to the interest of the State.
I would also like to thank you for your public service in general. Although I suspect that you and I do not agree politically, your willingness to serve and run for public office is of great importance to maintaining a free society.
Now, to my concerns. I am a public school teacher in Madison County, and have enjoyed eight years of working with the children of our county. I am a person who is deeply concerned with the well- being and welfare of families, and take an ever-increasing role in being an advocate for the principles that insure that all have equal opportunities in pursuing the American Dream and in preserving the God given Liberties that our founders were so wise to reference in our Founding Documents .
I have been taken aback by statements you have made regarding the Health Care law which was passed in this session of Congress. As a parent, taxpayer, and citizen of Kentucky I expect that you will revisit your position. You have stated [paraphrasing] that you feel that it is not prudent to spend the taxpayers’ money to take on this legislation. I simply cannot see how this is a logical position. As I read the announcements on the Attorney General website I cannot help but trip over the irony. Dannon, a large food manufacturer, is a prime target for a settlement. Their crime? Misleading advertisement.
I will, for the sake of argument, forget that it is the primarily the responsibility of the consumer to stay informed on product advertisement and claims. I will also look over the appearance of taking this issue on because there is a large net positive cash flow involved and no “real” damages incurred, at least not measurable as far as I can see.
But, what I cannot overlook is the general premise of the claim that this was pursued because of such a minute point of misleading information. To quote from your release:
“Dannon has enjoyed large profits as a result of a deceptive advertising campaign that couldn’t deliver on its promises to consumers,” … “”These types of unlawful claims will not be tolerated in Kentucky “. (Attorney General Website) (emphasis added)
What I find truly amazing is that this decision hinges upon the distinction of “one serving per day” versus “three servings per day”.
Now for my point. If the Commonwealth of Kentucky cannot tolerate this behavior, then how, in any sense of logical reasoning, can we tolerate the same types of claims from the massive, intrusive, and far-reaching Health Care bill/law? Americans all across this great land have been sifting through the thousands of pages of the Health Care law and are finding out what is in it. As you are certainly aware, polls are strongly showing that Americans are not liking what they are seeing. Also, insurance companies and employers are not happy with the small distinctions that are being unearthed. Some companies are getting exemptions, which in my mind is an admission of misleading behavior, since it was touted that this would be for the benefit of EVERYONE.
I expect an attorney to be able to examine issues in a clear, logical, fact/evidence-based manner. From the information gathered, approach the situation at hand with the interests of their client strongly in hand, and staying focused on the law reach a conclusion that is in adherence to the Constitution and common sense.
If it is worth Kentucky’s time to engage Dannon over a two day advertising misdirection, then it is certainly worth our while to join the 20+ other states that have seen the “misleading advertisement” of the Health Care law. Certainly, while the Dannon settlement may be seen as important in some circles, it does not directly impact my life or the lives of most people of the Commonwealth in a tangible way. However, the Health Care Law will directly and strongly impact EVERY Kentuckian and EVERY American.
This is precisely what we expect from our Attorney General. In all due respect, sir, your claim that it would be a waste of money is bogus. You and your staff are paid to pursue and defend the interests of Kentucky. If Dannon is worth our time and attention, so too should be the Federal Government. I don’t see how much more that a few thousand dollars “extra” of taxpayer money would be needed. This is what we expect you to do.
Please, sir, put aside your partisan politics, look at the law and the will of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We expect to be DEFENDED from intrusive, misleading, and ultimately damaging legislation that has been shoved into our lives.
I appreciate your time in reading my letter and pray that you can hear the will of the people and pursue this in our defense.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Stephen A. Rupard, Jr.