Awww. Vermont’s Worst Senator™, Peter Galbraith, is feeling all butthurt. The Slummin’ Solon was on the short end of a (cough) 29-1 vote Thursday on one of his most dearly-held issues: campaign finance reform.
The State Senate, after going back and forth and back again on Galbraith’s pet cause, a ban on corporate contributions, finally decided to pass a bill without the corporate ban. In the end, Galbraith was all by himself.
Naturally, he took his defeat with all the grace you’d expect from a former diplomat. He called the bill a “sham,” accused his fellow Senators of “hypocrisy,” and added these thoughtful reflections:
“The Senate voted to allow wealthy people to cheat,” Galbraith said Friday. “It was not a great day for the Vermont Senate, that’s for sure.”
He oughta know about wealthy people gaming the system, since he self-funded his two Senate campaigns to the tune of $50,000 a pop — more than enough money to scare off any candidate who didn’t happen to be fabulously rich. Banning corporate contributions may be a good thing in general, but it’d have the happy side-effect of closing off one possible fundraising avenue for potential Galbraith challengers.
All I can say is he deserved what he got.
He screwed up the Legislature’s campaign finance reform effort last year with his insistence on a corporate ban, and he did his best to screw it up again this year. And I haven’t even mentioned his ham-fisted intervention in the death with dignity debate, which killed Claire Ayer’s thoughtful bill and substituted his back-of-a-napkin version.
Given the fact that there are several Senators who agree with Galbraith on banning corporate money, I suspect the 29-1 tally reflects a deep disdain with his antics. Jeanette White, sponsor of the campaign finance reform bill (who must feel like she’s been on a two-week roller coaster ride), chided Galbraith for comments that were “not respectful to the 29 other senators or to the process itself.”
What we’re left with, after all the Senatorial sturm und drang, is a pretty darn good bill that had the solid backing of all three major parties and STILL had all kinds of trouble getting through the Senate, which is quite a remarkable feat. In the worst possible way.
The bill now goes to the House, where it may or ;may not run into more trouble, but at least it won’t have to deal with the Slummin’ Solon anymore.
The thing about a prophet without honor in his own country is, sometimes it’s because the prophet is too far ahead of his time to be recognized by those closest to him. And sometimes it’s because he’s so bumf**k crazy that he alienates everyone around him..