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VA Senate GOP Leader Tommy Norment Excoriates Young, Black Woman Speaking on Behalf of Poor Virginians At Risk of Having Their Utilities Cut Off

Norment says he's voting against the bill because of the "lady"'s "discourteousness"

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As you might recall, Virginia Senate GOP leader Tommy Norment has a long history of being slimy, nasty and racist. For instance, see:

So I guess it’s not surprising to see Tommy Norment behaving true to form. In this, check out below how Norment reacted yesterday to a young, African-American woman from the Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC).

First, see above for video of Dana Wiggins from the VPLC politely – albeit at greater than one minute’s length, which apparently she wasn’t supposed to do – explaining her organization’s position on Sen. Jennifer McClellan’s important bill, which would “[require] every utility providing electric, gas, or water service to develop an Emergency Debt Repayment Plan (EDRP) for residential customers…to ensure that debt repayments accrued during a certain state of emergency or a certain service disconnection moratorium, in addition to the customer’s regular utility bill are sustainable and affordable for the customer.”

Now, obviously, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and with winter approaching in a few months, keeping the heat and lights on is absolutely crucial for poor families. And in the end, fortunately, the bill passed out of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee by an 8-5 vote. So that’s the good news. The bad news is that Sen. Tommy Norment (R) got *really* upset that Wiggins had gone over a minute and, as you’ll see in the next video, excoriated her for “discourteousness” and for having “talked over Mr. Chairman multiple times,” even going so far as to state that he was going to *vote against the bill* because of it!

In the video above, Norment really loses it – just coincidentally, I’m *sure* (snark) – towards a young, African-American woman. And why? Yep, for the horror of going over a minute and for apparently not being deferential enough to “Mr. Chairman.” Note that many, many speakers go over a minute – this literally happens ALL THE TIME! – including ones to Norment’s liking, such as right wingers on a variety of issues (or a representative from Dominion Energy or whatever), and Norment never seems to have a problem with *them*. But in this case, a young African-American woman arguing on behalf of poor people…damn, good ol’ boy Tommy was downright *triggered*! Check it out in the video, above. Also, here’s an annotated transcript [annotations in blue/bold]:

“Mr Chairman my comments are a little obtuse. [NOTE: The dictionary definition of “obtuse” is “annoyingly insensitive or slow to understand,” and that’s certainly the case re: Norment! LOL] I’m getting to the point in my legislative career where [NOTE: It’s the point where Norment should RETIRE!] I think advocates need to appreciate that there are consequences for their discourteousness. [NOTE: That’s right, Norment is going to punish poor Virginians because he’s annoyed that someone speaking in support of the bill was supposedly not courteous or deferential enough. What a value system, huh?] The lady from the Virginia Poverty [NOTE: Norment can’t even get the name of her organization right, or maybe the word “Poverty” and “Law” burn in his mouth, and he can’t get himself to say them? LOL] talked over Mr. Chairman multiple times, ignored the admonition to cut off her remarks and was just outright rude. [NOTE: Sure, she should have stayed within her 1-minute limit and not talked over “Mr. Chairman” – if she even heard “Mr. Chairman” given that she was doing this remotely – but seriously, let’s see Norment do this to members of the public who share his right-wing political views. Don’t hold your breath!] And for that I am going to vote against this. [NOTE: Again, of all the reasons to vote against a bill aimed at helping poor people not have their utilities cut off during a deadly pandemic, the fact that Norment thinks a speaker was “outright rude” is about as petty and pathetic as you can get.] I just think that her behavior needs to improve. [NOTE: You know who else’s “behavior needs to improve?” Perhaps Tommy Norment should look in the mirror for a change?]”