FACT CHECK – Vol. 2: Say One Thing, Do Another…

The Governor’s Financial (Non)Disclosure

While Governor Shumlin’s stated support for public financial disclosure by elected officials is in line with what Vermonters want and deserve, his actions, once again, tell us what he really thinks of the public’s right to know. The fact is Gov. Shumlin did not fully disclose his financial interests in the last election cycle. This is not only in conflict with his recent statements, but also raises more questions about the nature of his 2012 East Montpelier land deal which was made in concert with four campaign donors. Vermonters deserve a governor who can be praised for his honesty and integrity, not his crafty, and increasingly deceptive, political prowess.
–Brent Burns, Political Director, VTGOP

Governor Shumlin: “It’s just important for the public to know, when you’re going to be the chief executive of the state or frankly be in involved in making laws for a state what assets you have and what conflicts you might have…”

(Source: Vermont Public Radio, Group Calls For Tougher Ethics Laws, Peter Hirschfeld, January 2, 2014)

“Though Shumlin has released his tax documents for 2009 and 2011, and information about his assets in 2010, including a list of 18 properties worth $4.5 million and dozens of stock market investments worth an additional $6 million, he has not provided an update since…..Alex MacLean, Shumlin’s campaign manager, has said the governor will not provide the public with a more recent disclosure of his investments. ‘We answered that question a while ago, he did release his tax returns and his assets have not changed in any significant way,’ she said.”

(Source: VTDigger.com article “Why Mandatory Financial Disclosures for Vermont Politicians Won’t Be a Campaign Issue Anytime Soon”, Anne Galloway, October 24, 2012, emphasis added)

This Land Deal

“Asked why he has not disclosed his financial assets during this election cycle, as he did when he first ran for governor in 2010, Shumlin noted that he had disclosed his income earlier in the year and said, “My assets haven’t changed since the last race.”

“But you just bought a piece of property,” VTDigger’s Anne Galloway said. “How can that be true?”

“I didn’t own the piece of property,” Shumlin responded, without explaining what he meant by that.

(Source: Seven Days, Off Message Blog – “Facing Questions About East Montpelier Property, Shumlin Storms Out of Press Conference”, Paul Heintz, October 5, 2012, emphasis added)

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