December 9, 2015

Governor Peter Shumlin
109 State Street, Pavilion
Montpelier, VT 05609

Dear Governor Shumlin,

Thank you for your partial response to my letter last Friday regarding your trip to Paris, France. It gives me — and I’m sure all Vermonters — great comfort to know that at least some of the expenses for this trip will be paid by some of your friends from the elite levels of academia and not by the hardworking Vermont taxpayers whom you have left behind.

What we are most curious about is why you and your Secretary of Natural Resources didn’t opt for more economically and environmentally responsible alternatives to jet setting across the Atlantic Ocean. We will continue to wait for your response to that very important question.

Also, do you feel attending this conference instead of focusing on our state’s stagnant economy, declining affordability and plummeting workforce is the job that Vermonters narrowly elected you to do just over a year ago?

With regards to the 14,500 jobs “created” since January 2011 you referenced in your response, it is important to note that your Department of Labor reports 6,100 fewer Vermonters employed now than in January 2011. Would you then agree that means 20,600 jobs have been destroyed during that time or that many of those “created” jobs — largely low paying service jobs which offer few or no benefits — remain vacant due to Vermont’s vanishing workforce?

In the spirit of transparency and Vermont’s legal requirement for disclosure of public records, I will patiently await your complete responses to these questions and the balance of the questions posed in my previous letter. For your convenience, I have included the unanswered questions about this trip below:

  • You owe it to Vermonters to itemize the cost of this trip and who is paying. That itemization should include automobile travel, airfare, lodging, meals, security, entertainment, etc. for you and any traveling companions. How large is your entourage?
  • Did you bring any personal friends or relatives? If so, how can this be fairly characterized as an “official” trip?
  • Will you disclose discussions you may have about future employment with any federal agencies associated with this trip?
  • Finally, we also understand that in addition to yourself and any of your traveling companions, that your Secretary of Natural Resources Deb Markowitz is personally attending the conference in Paris to educate world leaders about bicycles and other non-motorized transportation in Vermont. Please also answer each of the questions above for her travel.
  • Finally Mr. Governor, I believe that although we may never see eye-to-eye on political issues we can and should communicate and exchange information and ideas respectfully and in a professional manner that befits both our offices. Vermonters expect and deserve no less.

    Sincerely,

    David A Sunderland
    David Sunderland, Chairman
    Vermont Republican Party