Planet Norm’s increasingly erratic orbit

Any time a reporter has a few minutes to spare and wants to buy the Vermont media equivalent of a lottery ticket, all they have to do is give once-and-maybe-future-Senator Norm McAllister a call. If he answers the phone, he’s almost certain to say something dumb or offensive or both.

This week’s winner was Terri Hallenbeck of Seven Days, who wrangled a juicy quote from Good Ol’ Norm, whose internal exile has, unsurprisingly, failed improve his perspective. In fact, he’s showing signs of outright conspiratorialism.

The context: Hallenbeck was previewing this week’s Senate vote on marijuana legalization. At the time, it was looking like a very close thing — maybe one vote either way. Which prompted Hallenbeck to observe that this was “the second of two recent legislative initiatives on which [McAllister] might have swayed the results.” (The other one was the paid sick leave bill.) That is, if he hadn’t been suspended in January because of those pesky sexual assault charges.

Take it away, Norm…

Reached at home in Highgate, McAllister said he would have voted against both measures. “I got an idea that’s probably why some people didn’t want me there.”

Yeah, solid thinking. It wasn’t the multiple felony charges or the pending trial or the embarrassment of having an accused felon in their midst. The Real Truth is that Norm McAllister was simply too dangerous and had to be silenced! 

Hey, I think he’s onto something. That would explain why veteran Senator Kevin Mullin could share a Montpelier rental with McAllister and witness him taking a teenager into his bedroom night after night without raising a stink. Mullin was letting McAllister entrap himself so he could be gotten out of the way! Yeah, that’s the ticket!

Back to reality. Two of the prime movers in McAllister’s suspension were Senate Minority Leader Joe Benning and President Pro Tem John Campbell.

Benning and the Republican caucus were opposed to paid sick leave.

Campbell was strongly opposed to legalization.

So why, expactly, did each of them want a dependable “No” vote removed from the rolls?

I realize I’m shooting fish in a barrel here. But McAllster’s latest comment is one more sign that we shouldn’t expect any sudden blossoming of self-awareness. This is why I believe he will stick around as long as he can, and even run for re-election, no matter how damaging it would be to his own Republican Party. Unless, that is, he is convicted, exhausts his appeal process, and is actually carted off in an orange jumpsuit for an extended stay behind bars.

4 thoughts on “Planet Norm’s increasingly erratic orbit

  1. Al Walskey

    It is my understanding that young lady in question was 21 years of age (not a teenager) at the time Norm shared the Montpelier rental with her and his fellow legislators. If this is so I feel it is important, in order to be fair to all, that any reporting about this fiasco be scrupulously accurate. I’m personally interested in learning if the audio that led to his arrest or the transcript is available for public consumption so that we can make our own judgement.

    Should Mr. McAllister be found not guilty of the charges he is facing there is still the question of his moral and ethical judgement. The political careers of John Edwards, Anthony Wiener and Bill Clinton, to name but a few, were damaged by their questionable conduct. Most voters elect leaders who are above reproach when it comes to moral and ethical judgement. The next election will allow the public to weigh in on the issue.

    In resolving this problem it is the legislature that I hold in low regard. I feel that it was illegal for the legislature to deprive the citizens of Frankllin County of representation by suspending Mr. McAllistyer because they didn’t have the intestinal fortitude to expel one of their own. The injured party whose legitimate concerns were totally disregarded by our state government is the citizens of Franklin County. The one vote and arguments that could have been made by the missing Senator could have changed the outcome of Senate votes. Therefore, In my view, the decisions made by the Senate in this session should be considered null and void!

    1. John S. Walters Post author

      I suspect you’re getting your information from a source close to Norm McAllister, if not McAllister himself. As of last May, when the allegations surfaced, the woman was 20 years old. She worked for McAllister in Montpelier the previous year, and thus would have been no older than 18 or 19, depending on her birthday. So, “teenager.”

      You are entitled to your own opinion, sir, but not your own facts.

    2. Dave Katz

      Holy Godzilla GOP Trifecta, John!
      Slitherin’ Phil Scott mumbles his way around his party’s “unity moment”, preferring to hide out at a Joe Scarborough look-alike radio program, getting a chair massage and tongue bath; Slitherino simultaneously pulls a Rubio on his elected responsibility to the State Senate in the event of ties; and Bad Grampa Norm hops in the car with Al Walskey for a trip in the way-back machine out at Mena Airport (Clintons! Vince Foster!) in the hopes that the Derangement Syndrome button still works and obliterates those pesky “facts” until the next news cycle poots forth a Donald bon mot….

      1. Dave Katz

        OK,so maybe Phil Scott didn’t do the Rubio thing. Sorry, man.

        Still, I strongly suspect Slitherino’s a closet Drumpf guy,and will come out strong pro-Fascist when the Republidummies hand Donald “We’ll kill their families”** Drumpf the nomination at 12:01 on Sad Wednesday.

        **He said that, about the terr’ists. The Geneva Convention calls it a war crime.
        Oh well; you go with the douchebag you got, rather than the one you wish you had, amirite, Phil?

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