Good Ol’ Norm: The gift that keeps on giving

The news arrived on Friday and got buried under the end-of-session avalanche: State Senator-In-Waiting Norm McAllister will face two separate trials on multiple sex-crime charges. Trial was slated to begin today, but the first of the two proceedings has been postponed until June 15. That’s the one regarding McAllister’s former “assistant,” which will feature testimony from McAllister’s legislative colleagues. That’ll be a real get-your-popcorn moment. (The second trial has yet to be scheduled.)

But that wasn’t the most interesting point.

No, the most interesting point is that McAllister is actively mulling a run for re-election. He told Seven Days’ Terri Hallenbeck, “I probably will file anyway. I can always change my mind and decide not to run later.”

No surprise to me. I’ve been saying all along that there’s nothing to stop McAllister from seeking re-election. Indeed, there’s nothing in state law to bar him from returning to the Senate if he wins in November — even if he’s convicted and facing prison time. The Senate does have authority to determine if someone is fit to join their august body, and it wouldn’t be hard to exclude him — if, indeed, he is convicted. If he’s acquitted, on the other hand, the Senate would be hard-pressed to banish him. He’d make everyone horribly uncomfortable, but that doesn’t constitute grounds for exclusion.

In Other News, the Republican Slimy Lies Committee — er, sorry, Republican State Leadership Committee — is back with a despicable ad targeting legislative Democrats.

RSLCadIt features Shap Smith, who is not in fact running for re-election; Senator Mark MacDonald; and a mugshot of State Rep. Stephen Carr from his recent DUI arrest.

A bit below the belt, I’d say. Not the Vermont Way, for those who still believe in such a thing.

Smith called on VTGOP leaders to disavow the ad; House Minority Leader Don Turner quickly refused.

“I respect his opinion and I dislike [the use of] that picture, but I need groups like RSLC to help in Vermont if we’re ever going to pick up more seats,” Turner said.

Yeah, he dislikes it so much he’s perfectly happy to profit from it and won’t lift a finger to stop it. And I guess he has no influence whatsoever at the RSLC.

The RSLC, for those just joining us, spent $370,000 in the closing days of the 2014 election targeting Democratic incumbents. They’re getting a much earlier start this year, which tells you they’re gonna make a serious investment in sharp-elbowed attack ads this year.

McAllister mugshotWhich brings me to a humble suggestion for Vermont Democrats. It’s time to use Norm McAllister’s squick-inducing mugshot in your advertising. Everywhere. Because the Republicans have taken off their gloves, and it’s bare-knuckle fighting time.

I mean, hey, McAllister is far more pertinent to the broader campaign than Carr. McAllister is one of only 30 Senators, and a longtime presence in Franklin County politics. Some of his alleged offenses occurred in a Montpelier house he shared with two fellow lawmakers. He was arrested on the freakin’ Statehouse grounds. He actively fought his suspension from office.

I want ads blanketing Franklin County with Republican candidates pictured next to McAllister’s sweaty mug. I want ads with Phil Scott, Randy Brock, and McAllister. I want ads with McAllister and his former Montpelier roomie Kevin Mullin that pose the question, “What did Senator Mullin know and when did he know it? And if he didn’t, how could he not?”

And if McAllister manages to ride Incumbent Magic to the GOP nomination, it’ll be time to double down. “McAllister and Degree: A Common Agenda,” “Norm and Dustin: If You Like One, You’ll Love the Other.”

While we’re at it, can we find a mugshot of then-Republican Auditor Tom Salmon’s 2009 DUI arrest? That’d be real handy. After all, Republicans were more than happy to welcome Salmon to their statewide ticket in 2010 after he left the Democratic Party and after his DUI.

And if Republicans try to complain, well, I’d refer them to Don Turner, who doesn’t seem to have a problem with this sort of campaigning.

Sauce/goose, sauce/gander.


8 thoughts on “Good Ol’ Norm: The gift that keeps on giving

  1. nortryder

    Having lived in Milton for 25 years I know both of our “representatives” too well Don Turner is a self serving weasel. The only rep worse than him is his lying side kick Ron Hubert. Ron actually was able to lie his way into office. Their collective campaign slogan is “What’s in it for me?” Those are 2 whores of the highest degree. I only hope they both end up in jail where they belong.

  2. Gen

    If only survivors of sexual assault had the option McAllister blithely refers to: “I can always change my mind and run for a second term”–oh wait, survivors do keep surviving. But not as if they could wipe the slate clean.

  3. Dave Katz

    But the Democrats Don’t Do That Sort Of Thing. Why, There’s A High Road, and We Must Take It! Our principles! Our petticoats!

    Say goodnight, HRC:
    “It’s Trump versus Clinton. It’s a well-funded mainstream Democrat against a widely reviled demagogue who will struggle to earn the support of his party’s donor base. It’s a man whose every public utterance is a potential negative ad waiting to be cut, versus the most cautious candidate in modern memory. The Clinton campaign has been given a tremendous gift, as I am sure they know.

    “They better not fucking blow it.”

    “Democrats could, for example, take their famously thin-skinned opponent, who is easily provoked into absurd and unpresidential tantrums when his insecurities are mocked, and they could bestow upon him a nickname that instead serves to reinforce his own (imagined) toughness.

    “They could call him, I don’t know, “Dangerous Donald.”
    (Thanks, John Podesta, you tired-ass Beltway hack. Go back to your box of dirt.)

    “He’s a loose cannon, and loose cannons tend to misfire.”
    (Wrong, lady. They roll around on the deck, all two tons of them, and then fall through the open hatchway and crash through the hull 20 feet below, leaving a huge, sinking hole in the ship.)

    ““Dangerous Donald,” the “loose cannon,” hated by loser Republicans, capable of doing anything. This is all straight out of the orange idiot’s dream journal.

    “And it is apparently the line the Democrats have decided to take. They’re going to build Trump up as a reckless and virile force of nature—and a true outsider—rather than expose him as a pitiful clown and an obvious fraud. This is completely backwards. As any writer who’s ever received an angry personal response from Trump can tell you, you get under his skin by mocking and emasculating him, not by feeding the myth of his power and strength, the precise qualities his authoritarian followers adore.”
    –Alex Pareene, Gawker:

    Watch. Them. Fuck. This. Up. With their consummate Insider Candidate. Who could’ve predicted? Y’think Vermont Democrats, they’ll go all Rude Pundit on Norm McAllister?

    Establishment Dems. Fucking It Up Since 1980. Nope, sorry– Bill Clinton was really David Rockefeller in drag.

      1. newzjunqie

        No my name is no not DK…buuut ‘gift that keeps on giving’ comes to mind when I observe both “Donald”– he demands he be called “Mr. Trump” *always* even when he’s not present btw — deifying himself as almighty therefore equal to God as emperors once did, yet another symptom of a sick narcissistic personality disordered mind. Those who do so have acquiesced.

        Killary is equally demanding but much more sneaky

        Mcallister kept a childlike ‘aid’ with him at all times who was not registered as such, in full view of entire statehouse, who appeared to be preteen- even sharing a room in an apartment with two other senators. One or both could have requested they get a room elsewhere however the arrangement provided MCallister cover which they had to have known…hmm. Perhaps roomies had own unique arrangements.

        Elitist entitlement of some of our lawmakers is as unsettling as Trump or Clintons complete arrogance- ony difference is the scale which is merely proportionate.

        Personally consider both Trump & Clinton two-fer equally untenable- asking which I prefer not unlike asking choice for being killed- shot or poisoned. Sitting it out if either the only choice and will not vote for anyone based on party even the dogcatcher but will leave them blank.

        Very sight of all of aforementioned is instant aversion and each one makes me queasy.

      2. Dave Katz

        I’m surprised you don’t see it, John. Skanky Norm, The Donalddick–these are the political opposition equivalent of teeball. No great fan of LBJ or Sam Rayburn, but neither of them would’ve waited a nanosecond before Ortizing both of these grobians back into the deep peanut gallery from whence they came and taking the very bark right off the GOP for a generation, waving these clowns around like the proverbial Bloody Shirt. Y’know, like, Barry Goldwater and “In your heart, you know he’s crazy”?

        I always like to play the game, “What if we were talking about a Democrat instead of a Republican?” Bill Clinton? Anthony Wiener? Elliot Spitzer? No prosecutions. None. There ya go. David Vitter? Larry Craig? Norm McAllister? All stayed in office while UNDER INDICTMENT.

        That’s politics, American style. There’s no percentage in standing around waiting for the other side to admire your magnificent principles. Ahh, when Democrats were strong, when Democrats were strong…

  4. VtSun

    Speaks to this monstrous individual’s blatant narcissism that not only did he engage in unethically and “allegedly” criminal acts, not only did he refuse to do the right thing by his constituents and resign until the case was decided so that we could have had full representation, not only did he use his power and control over others and then claim *he* is the victim, not only did he in the last couple of weeks AGAIN show he thinks he’s above local ordinances by burning during a burn ban that then got out of control, which then put emergency service folks lives at risk and cost the municipality $, but this asshat wants to run for re election??? Norm, you are a piece of work. #denisesmithforsenate

  5. VtSun

    If only we had some type of commission in Montpelier charged with the oversight of policing the actions/inactions of those entrusted by constituents to use their power for good instead if evil…hmm…like an Ethics Commission – oh wait! Our VT legislature doesn’t feel they need one of those despite overwhelming proof to the contrary!


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