Surprising, and rather shocking, news out of the Statehouse today, courtesy of Paul Heintz:
The Vermont Senate is considering stripping Attorney General Bill Sorrell of his powers to prosecute campaign finance violations. Replacing him, according to lawmakers who support the idea, would be an independent elections oversight commission.
… “The fact that the attorney general is charged with investigating him or herself is clearly ridiculous,” says Sen. Anthony Pollina (P/D-Washington), a member of the committee.
Those wanting to strip Sorrell of his authority include Dems, Repubs and Progs. No partisan witch hunt here. Two thoughts:
— This shows the breadth and depth of the Sorrell-hatred among the political class. To even propose such a slap in his face is a big deal. For all this to happen in a matter of days is pretty extraordinary. It’s like a dam breaking under pent-up pressure.
— If the Legislature has time to think about this and even write a bill, how can Governor Shumlin go on saying he’s too busy to think about it?
Sorry, a third thought:
— The Senate Government Operations Committee has asked Sorrell to give testimony next Tuesday. Will our Two-Fisted Attorney General have the stones to show up? Or will he send one of his many minions?
C’mon, Bill. Don’t be a wussy.
Oh, who am I kidding? He’s the biggest wussy in town when it comes to facing tough questions. I bet he’s beating the bushes right now for an out-of-state meeting that he simply can’t miss. Maybe Baron & Budd can help him out. “Sorry, urgent conference on the MTBE lawsuit. Gone till Wednesday.”
Of course, if he doesn’t show, it’ll be an unmistakable “f*ck you” to the Legislature and the entire concept of accountability. But hey, that’s been his entire response to the scandal so far; why change now?
Still, the very fact of the Committee’s interest is a strong sign that the tide has already turned against Sorrell. The untenability of his position may become clear enough that even he will see it.
Note to Governor Shumlin: Put on your track shoes. It’s time for your patented trick of running to the front of a parade and claiming to be its leader.
Postscript. From the department of Fiddling While Rome Burns, here’s the latest Tweet from Sorrell’s official account:
“Just another day at the office,” eh, Bill?