Good Ol’ Norm: Bloodied but not unbowed

Heh-heh. Just as I predicted, Senator-in-Purgatory Norm McAllister has filed petitions to run for re-election.


Sorry. Political junkies get a little excited at the prospect of chaos among the comfortable class. And I bet the Franklin County GOP is wetting its collective pants.

VTDigger broke the news; McAllister dropped off his petitions at the Franklin County courthouse this morning, and (showing uncommon restraint for him) was not immediately available for comment.

Need I remind you: McAllister faces two trials on numerous sex-crime charges; he allegedly coerced women (over whom he exercised some measure of control) to have sex with him. He was arrested on the Statehouse grounds in the last days of the 2015 session; the Senate then spent the entire off-session with its head stuck in the sand, hoping Norm would just go away. When he didn’t, the Senate decided to suspend him for the remainder of the session.

So now that he’s thrown his hat in the ring, let the speculation begin…

— If there are any candidate forums for the Franklin County senate race, they’ll have to invite McAllister. Won’t they?

— Thanks to the massive deference Vermont voters give to incuments, he stands a decent chance of winning the Republican primary.

— If so, the Franklin County GOP will have to decide how to handle him. He’d be one of two Republicans on the ballot. Do they ignore him? Do they put him on any campaign materials? If not, are they effectively ceding the seat to a Democrat?

— If, say, there’s a candidate event in Franklin County that, say, features Phil Scott and Randy Brock and local politicos — and Norm shows up — do they throw him out?

— And, how do they handle any outside materials, say from the Republican State Leadership Committee? Could the local Republicans convince the RSLC to leave McAllister out of it?

— Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that McAllister is re-elected. He would then end up squarely in the laps of the Senators who didn’t want to deal with him last time — and with Senators who still defend the guy. The Senate can decide on the fitness of McAllister, and thus decide to exclude him. But do they actually remove him? If not, are the people of Franklin County stuck with only one Senator again?

And on a separate track: What if he’s found not guilty in both trials? Does the Senate have any excuse to bar him from serving?

Maybe none of this will happen. It’s quite possible that McAllister will be found guilty and will drop out of the race. But I’ve gotta admit, I’m rooting for a few more rounds of chaos. Our political class has been far too comfy in evading the fact that Norm McAllister was in their midst for all those years and nobody said boo.


5 thoughts on “Good Ol’ Norm: Bloodied but not unbowed

  1. Susan Prent

    He was probably hanging around the Courthouse already for other reasons. Why not file and demonstrate how truly he lacks the capacity for shame and remorse?

    His trial is on the Court docket for June 13,14,15, and 16. The 13th and 14th have pretrial business on the agenda, so I guess the 15 and 16 will get to the meat of the matter. I hope a good many Franklin County voters avail themselves of the opportunity to witness the proceedings.

  2. newzjunqie

    Can’t wait to see who the “female lawyer” that’s also a legislator assigned by Mcallister to assist his female farm-hand to get her kids from state custody, undoubtedly to make himself appear as a powerful string-puller.

    Looking back find it sad & disturbing that a child-like assistant accompanied & stayed in the same quarters as Mcallister in full view of male roomates, statehouse & on senate floor. Personally would have called CPS anonymously which may have happened but kinda doubt it.

  3. NanuqFC

    Vt GOP will most likely continue to take shaky shelter behind the “innocent until proven” line — every one of the GOP that you mentioned is male. The deeper question is what Carolyn Branagan will do, since she signed on to run for Norm’s seat in an attempt to save it from going to the Democrats, and she has the credibility to succeed. She’s been asked several times over the years to run for senate and always refused. Now that she’s taken the leap, there’s Norm, screwing things up (ahem) again.

    Branagan being the other GOP candidate (assuming Dustin Degree runs again) does help alleviate the “good ol’ boys” frat-house ethos of the Franklin County senate delegation, much needed since the Democrats have two women running for senate: former Senator Sara Kittell, and Friends of Northern Lake Champlain Executive Director Denise Smith.

  4. Susan Prent

    And it sounds if Norm is doing his best to drag Degree under the bus with him.
    About Degree, he said the following to Digger:

    “We practically lived together through the campaign cycle,” McAllister said. “He knows more than what a lot of people do. He was with me.”

    Stay tuned.


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