I am an Independent voter with no allegiance to either side of the "aisle." Other than the campaign ads on TV, I know nothing about the candidates running for governor of Virginia. However, I have had a few verbal exchanges with Michael Webert and I would like to share my observations.
I approached him on the issue of elder abuse. While he admitted he was not spun up on the topic, he listened when I told him elder abuse in Virginia is at the point that child abuse was 20 years ago. He agreed there is public outcry when the media reports instances of physical or sexual child abuse, but that there is very little media coverage when an elderly person ends up in the emergency room with bruises, broken bones, or worse.
In fiscal year 2012, Virginia Adult Protective Services received almost 20,000 reports of adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Over 9,000 of these reports were substantiated. However, studies have shown that for every elder abuse case reported to authorities, nearly 24 cases go unreported.
Webert acknowledges the need to heighten public awareness of the problem of elder abuse and he has agreed to be proactive. He indicated he would work with Del. Todd Gilbert to discuss the feasibility of initiating an investigative study to research initiatives to prevent or heighten awareness of such abuse. Webert indicated a willingness to become involved.
If you are a senior or have a vulnerable parent or grandparent, do not discard Webert because you don't like Ken Cuccinelli. Do not throw the baby out with the bathwater on Nov. 5. Vote for Webert for delegate. Give him a chance to stand up for those too frail to stand up for themselves.
Madeline M. McManaway, Front Royal