So, Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell (D) won’t be seeking re-election. Why? Oh, the usual reasons: abuse of power, independent investigations, that sort of thing. Typical the-rules-for-other-people behavior, really:
[Bill] Sorrell is awaiting the outcome of an independent investigation of alleged campaign finance violations. Gov. Peter Shumlin appointed former state Rep. Tom Little to conduct the probe.
The charges against Sorrell were levied by Brady Toensing, vice chairman of the Vermont Republican Party, and claim that Sorrell coordinated with a super PAC, failed to report campaign expenditures on 16 occasions, improperly coordinated campaign activities with Dean Corren in 2014 and received a large campaign donation from a law firm he later hired.
Via @baseballot: my RedState colleague @baseballcrank also helpfully pointed out that Bill Sorrell, of course, is a screaming hypocrite on the subject. This one requires a little bit of explanation, so hang on. As it stands right now the Vermont state doesn’t have unified tickets for the executive branch: the Governor is a Democrat (Peter Shumlin), and the Lt. Governor is a Republican (Phil Scott). Last year a Democrat/Progressive (yeah, you can tell it’s Vermont) candidate (Dean Corren) challenged Scott and lost. OK, great news. But then Sorrell’s office stepped in and decided that Corren and the state Democratic party coordinated in a way that violated Vermont’s campaign finance laws.
Now that’s also OK: campaign finance laws are typically stupid as all get-out, and Democrats should enjoy the implications of them, since they love campaign finance so much. And this would be a good case as to why: Sorrell’s office turned a $255 in-kind contribution into a $72,000 fine, including a $10,000 fine levied against Corren personally. The Vermont legislature hastily responded by capping the fines the AG’s office could levy in these kinds of cases, which is probably a good idea but may not help Corren much.
Now, I can somehow bear to watch the legal travails of a progressive Democrat who is currently discovering that ‘campaign finance reform’ stings like the dickens when they spray it directly into your eyes. Never doubt that. But there’s just something marvelous about watching a state attorney general get caught doing the very things that he previously castigated others for. Especially this one: Bill Sorrell has been endlessly litigious on the subject*. Which is probably not very surprising, when you think about it: shame and guilt can manifest in the most interesting of ways…
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*Also infamous, for given values of ‘infamous.’ Bill Sorrell’s name is not unknown among those who follow this stuff, usually in connection with a flashy lawsuit. I do so love politicians who think that they’re immortal; it’s great job security for me.