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Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



Salmon has a problem with red wine

Tom Salmon has been saying he's sorry for the past 24 hours.

The state auditor was cited for driving under the influence of alcohol late Friday night after police pulled him over for failing to use his turn signal.

Police reportedly asked him if he had been drinking and he readily admitted he had. He had celebrated with staff earlier in the evening. A blood alcohol test found .086 percent, just over the threshold the state has said it is illegal to drive.

Salmon hasn't made any excuses for what happened. "I made a mistake. I screwed up. I'm going to face the consequences, take my medicine." His court date is Dec. 3.

Is this just embarrassing or a significant political liability?

-- Nancy Remsen


Tom Salmon's behaviour has certainly been questionable lately.

Did anyone see his performance at the Unemployment Trust meeting last week?

It was unbelievable and despicable.

This alcohol problem might explain it.

It amazes me how someone born with a silver spoon in his mouth can say that unemployed can live on $300 a week.

Actaully, it's a good thing he switched to be a republican - with his troubles, and recent comments he fits right in!
Is this just embarrassing or a significant political liability?

at this point, unless something both more and major crops up than already has been the case thus far this week (including the recent revelations of prior bad debts, etc.), this particular incident would seem to be an embarrassing moment rather than a 'significant political liability', certainly nothing keeping one from running for or holding statewide political office, unless or until the voters were to decide otherwise.

in addition, since it has been raised as being issues elsewhere, his switching of parties and his political statements since he has done so are a separate matter and yet another matter for voters to decide as well, the former of which most independent-minded voters could care less about than lock-step party-line voters.
I dare say a lot of Vermonters have driven with a level of .086. Remember when the legal limit was .10?

So by itself this is not a big deal. But along with the party change, the debts, etc., people may start to wonder about it.

I actually think he is correct that unemployment benefits may need to be cut some. Vermont has very generous social programs, more generous than we can afford. Stop cutting state workers and start shaving the social benefit programs!
You have dwindling revenues and skyhigh entitlement programs - it will be very hard to keep that up unless you raise taxes
"Sky high entitlement programs!" The equivalent of $7.50 an hour. Try living on that yourself for six months or so without tapping any other resources and see how well you do. It might give you some compassion for others--not holding my breath though.
"...pulled him over for failing to use his turn signal."

I wouldn't try to rationalize Salmon's actions but pulled over for not using a turn signal? Geesh. Clearly it was a slow night in Montpelier. Where are the conspiracy theorist when you need one?
There but for the grace of God go I . . .
Drinking and driving is a serious issue. The cop that pulled him over was doing his job.

Salmon shouldn't drive after an evening of drinking. I don't care if other people do it. It puts other people in harms way.
"It amazes me how someone born with a silver spoon in his mouth can say that unemployed can live on $300 a week."

You are clueless. Read the news much? He was born a former Governor's son, but he was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He started out with no money and he earned every cent he's got, which still ain't much.

He can identify with working people who are being taxed to death in this state by the flatlander, trust-funded Demsin the Legislature who actually WERE born with silver spoons (her privileged Royal Highness Gaye Symington come to mind?). Good for him.
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