As you read in today's Free Press
, Sen. Ed Flanagan is no longer sure if he's running for lieutenant governor. He says he realized it was too early and he'll make a decision after the next legislative session, which ends in May.
Flanagan, of course, has reasons to reconsider. He has been accused of inappropriate behavior in the men's fitness center of the Burlington YMCA. He denies the allegations, though he says that as a result of the brain injury he suffered in a near-fatal 2005 car accident he has found his "discretionary capabilities" are off-kilter.
I spoke to many of his Senate colleagues yesterday to see whether they thought he could continue as a senator or as a lt. gov. candidate _ several of them in person at a legislative conference in Burlington and others on the phone. No question, the topic was the buzz among members, but speaking publicly about it was not so easy. Every one of them winced when I mentioned the topic. Understandably so. The thing is complicated, sensitive, and who wants to have their name attached to it in print?
Give credit then to those who were willing to speak and help put an important question into perspective. Not all were. Sen. Tim Ashe, D/P-Burlington, asked if he could think about it and call me back. I'm still waiting. Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie, who presides over the Senate, wanted to check first with legal counsel to see what the presiding officer's role might be. Not a bad thing to know, but does that preclude making any comment?
- Terri Hallenbeck
Labels: Brian Dubie, Ed Flanagan, legislature, politics, Tim Ashe, Vermont