Two years ago, the Republican State Leadership Committee funneled $370,000 into Vermont, backing candidates in close races for the Vermont House. The VTGOP won several of those seats and took away the Democrats’ supermajority status.
So far this year, the RSLC has spent a lot less. But a handful of closer-to-home moneybags have taken matters into their own hands. They’ve donated more than $100,000 to individual Republican House candidates and House Minority Leader Don Turner’s political action committee.
In the small-dollar world of State House campaigns, that’s a huge amount of money.
First, a hat tip to Green Mountain Daily’s Sue Prent, who reported on the Franklin County iteration of this phenomenon a couple weeks ago. Turns out, it’s only part of a bigger pattern. But because the money is broadly dispersed, the pattern has attracted little attention.
Two of the donors are familiar names to anyone who follows Vermont politics. The other two might be new to you.
The various critters who live under the Golden Dome must have felt a great sense of relief when Sen. Norm McAllister’s trial was delayed by at least three months. The trial was to have begun this week, and would have featured a parade of elected officials taking the stand and doing their best Sergeant Schultz impersonations. “I saw nothing. I heard nothing. I know nothing.”
Unseemly, to say the least. And it might have interfered with the free flow of Democracy In Action that we usually see at the Statehouse this time of year.
(Hey, you in the back row: Stop laughing.)
So now it’s put off until May 10, when the Legislature will almost certainly be safely adjourned. Ohh, you can bet your sweet bippy they’ll be gone by then.
Well, it’s a relief for the Legislature. It’s the worst possible news for Franklin County Republicans. McAllister’s trial won’t even begin until a mere fortnight before the filing deadline for major party candidates.
I’m sure the party is lining up a candidate for McAllister’s seat (two current Representatives, Carolyn Branagan and Corey Parent, are being mentioned). But I’m convinced that McAllister is clueless enough to file for re-election.