Tag Archives: sexual assault

Oh, and about that other ubiquitous crime wave…

One of the most eye-opening resuls from last month’s VPR Poll concerned substance abuse. When respondents were asked to name “the most important problem facing Vermont,” 17 percent named “drugs.” The only other issue scoring higher than six percent was “economy/jobs/cost of living” at 28 percent. And when asked specifically if opiate addiction is a major problem, a massive 89 percent agreed.

Even more striking were the figures for personal connections to opioid abuse. 53 percent have been affected by opiate addiction or know someone who has. And 94 percent “personally know” someone who has struggled with addiction.

Practically the entire state.

If we needed convincing that opiate addiction is a serious problem, we shouldn’t anymore.

But let’s take another pervasive issue of a similar scope. An issue that’s usually lost in the white noise, that’s never been the subject of a State of the State address.

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Clueless Norm

If there was any doubt that Senator-In-Waiting Norm McAllister is completely unmoored from reality, well, this should be the last straw.

Two months after his suspension from the Vermont legislature, Sen. Norm McAllister (R-Franklin) petitioned a Senate panel last week to restore his voting privileges.

Yeah. Because, why the hell not.

Clueless Norm’s argument is: now that his trial on gross, disturbing sexual assault charges has been delayed until May, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be able to carry out his obligations as a duly-elected lawmaker.

Yeah, no reason at all. I can’t think of one. Can you?

Just because a return to the Senate would turn that body into a daily circus (I’d be tempted to show up every day and shout “Vaginal fisting!” every time he walked by). Just because, whether he is guilty or not, a massive stench surrounds him due to the notoriety of the charges.

Just because, based on what he has already admitted and his lawyer has already acknowledged, the only remaining question is whether he “merely” made his victims submit to unpleasant sexual encounters, or whether he actually committed assault over and over and over again.

Bear that in mind, Senator Peg Flory and his other defenders.

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How can I miss you when you won’t go away?

(h/t to Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks)

Please allow me a brief gloat, a hearty chuckle, a moment of schadenfreude. Because this is just too f’n funny.

Sen. Norm McAllister (R-Franklin) is reconsidering his decision to resign from the Vermont Senate, according to a close ally.

“I don’t know what made him rethink it, but he has decided — he’s rethinking it is all I can say,” Sen. Peg Flory (R-Rutland) said Wednesday afternoon.

Heh, heh, heh, heh.

Here’s my message to Good Ol’ Norm: hang on for dear life. Make ’em drag you out kicking and screaming. Not because you deserve to keep your seat, hell no; but because your fellow Republicans (and really, the Dems as well) so desperately want to be rid of this entire affair.

I say, let ’em stew. They don’t deserve to get off this easy. Not when there are numerous second-hand stories about how ol’ Norm was a horndog at best, and maybe worse, to his female colleagues. Not when there are still serious questions to answer about what leadership knew, when they knew it, and what they did about it. (And if they really didn’t know, how loudly were they singing LALALALALA with their fingers in their ears?)

Not when there remains a distinct odor of clubby sexism around the Statehouse that needs to be dissipated once and for all.

Indeed, here’s my plea to the women of the Statehouse, past and present. If you had unpleasant encounters with McAllister, now is the time to step forward. So far, the only woman to do so is an ex-lawmaker. If some misbegotten sense of loyalty to the institution is keeping you silent, please speak up. You owe it to the truth, and to the women who will follow your footsteps.

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