Berlin, Vt. – The Caledonian Record is the first news outlet in Vermont to lift the curtain on Sue Minter’s embellished role in the recovery that followed Tropical Storm Irene.
“We’re happy to see some Vermont media examining the exaggerated claims that Sue Minter and her campaign are making about her role in Irene recovery. We don’t know what is worse: That Minter is trying to take credit for an extraordinary statewide effort that no one Vermonter can credibly take responsibility for, or that she thinks its acceptable to mislead Vermonters into thinking she rebuilt and reopened Vermont’s roads,” said Jeff Bartley executive director of the Vermont Republican Party. “We can only assume that this exaggeration is a political calculation intended to cover up for the fact that, before being rewarded with a political appointment, Sue Minter was a part-time legislator for six years and mid-level bureaucratic with only 8 months as the head of an agency and no executive or managerial experience prior to that.”
Bartley also noted that Minter recently claimed to have “balanced” a $600 million agency budget, even though she served as an agency head for just 8 months – starting after the budget was built and leaving before the next one was developed.
“Minter and her surrogates have exhibited a Shumlin-like pattern of embellishment that needs to be addressed. She should just be honest about the scope of her resume,” Bartley said. “If Minter is so brazenly willing to exaggerate her role in Irene recovery for political gain, what else is she exaggerating?”
In an editorial titled “Hard Hat Sue,” the Caledonian Record examines Minter’s real role in the recovery, noting that “airwaves have been full of political ads saying that Sue Minter … put on her hard hat and led the recovery effort after Tropical Storm Irene hit Vermont in September 2011. Well, let’s see…” The paper first observes that in 2010, Shumlin named Minter – who served part-time in the Legislature for 6-years and was also a mid-level employee in the Agency of Commerce with no executive or managerial responsibility – as Deputy Secretary of Transportation, then they offer this following assessment of the real record:
“In September 2011, a week after Irene hit, Shumlin named a ‘Chief Recovery Officer’ to oversee state recovery efforts following Tropical Storm Irene. That officer…was Neale Lunderville, who had been Transportation Secretary and Administration Secretary for Gov. Jim Douglas. The governor’s press release made no mention of Deputy Secretary Minter,” the Caledonian Record observed.
“Over the ensuing four months, Lunderville – working with Secretary Searles and other officials – engineered a remarkable infrastructure recovery in flood affected areas. VTrans, the National Guard, and a host of private contractors pushed rivers back into their channels, reopened roads, and reconnected isolated communities to the state. In January 2012, state officials celebrated completion of the toughest task, rebuilding Route 107 from Stockbridge to Bethel. With that accomplished, Lunderville returned to Green Mountain Power, and Deputy Secretary Minter was given the title… and a somewhat different task… Minter’s principal job as Chief Recovery Officer was to coordinate relief programs and find money in Washington to pay the costs. We have no reason to believe that Sue Minter fell short in performing that important assignment…But from the record, we do not believe that (Minter) was much of a factor in bringing about Gov. Shumlin’s most – perhaps only – acclaimed success in his years in office,” the Caledonian Record concluded.
Read the full Caledonian Record editorial HERE. (Emphasis added.)