Contact: David Sunderland, VT Republican Party Chair
Date: June 25, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
VTGOP STATEMENT ON POTENTIAL JOB LOSSES IN VERMONT
Thousands of Vermonters’ Jobs at Stake While Governor Shumlin Mingles in Chicago and Takes Yet Another Vacation
“Our thoughts are with those Vermonters whose jobs are threatened by a potential IBM sale or closure and we strongly encourage any prospective buyers of this magnificent facility to fully understand the unique value of the skilled and dedicated Vermonters who have worked at this site for decades. These workers, and their families, deserve leadership in Montpelier that values them and their employers as much before a crisis as they suddenly do when layoffs, sale or closure threaten their economic security.
“In this time of economic uncertainty in our state, the lesson for Vermonters may be that policies enacted in Montpelier have real consequences for our state.
“Decisions about who we elect as our chief executive, and who we elect to represent us in Montpelier, have an impact–sometimes a profound impact–on our lives, our incomes, our families and future opportunities.
“It’s time for a change. Vermonters deserve so much more.”
–David Sunderland, Chairman
‘WHATEVER IT TAKES’?
Governor Shumlin on Tuesday said Vermont was on a “heightened state of alert” over the potential of thousands of job losses at IBM’s Essex manufacturing plant. He went on to say “he’s prepared to do ‘whatever it takes’ to save those jobs” (Peter Hirschfeld, “In Event Of IBM Sale, Shumlin Ready To Deal To Keep Jobs Local,” Vermont Public Radio, June 23, 2014).
Apparently, a “heightened state of alert” and doing “whatever it takes” to save jobs includes an out-of-state political trip and taking a vacation.
Governor Shumlin’s official schedule shows him leaving the Green Mountain State Tuesday afternoon for a soiree with partisan political big-wigs in Chicago, IL where he will stay through Wednesday.
Governor Shumlin wants you to think that, though he’ll be exhausted from rubbing elbows with the rich and famous and the time change – he will rollup his sleeves, get right back to work and labor day and night to spare Vermont families thousands of more job losses.
The truth, however, is this:
Governor Shumlin — at this potentially pivotal point in our state’s history — will go from his national political event (where he’ll no doubt be raising money) to another vacation through Monday (Governor Shumlin’s Public Appearance Schedule for the Week of June 23, vtdigger.com, June 20, 2014).
NO ONE SHOULD BE SURPRISED BY HIS POLITICAL PRIORITIES
For years, Governor Shumlin has dissed IBM — formerly our state’s largest employer:
– As the leader in the State Senate, then Senator Shumlin called the company’s representative “a liar” during a discussion about energy policy (John Dillon, Yankee Decommissioning Bill Prompts Political Spat, Vermont Public Radio, April 22, 2008).
– For decades, IBM has cited the importance of transportation and infrastructure improvements to their business. Soon after taking office, Governor Shumlin declared the current proposal for the Circumferential Highway project dead (Eli Sherman, Shumlin Ditches Original Circ Highway Plan, Calls for Redesign, vtdigger.com, May 21, 2011).
– For a manufacturing facility like IBM, energy prices are a major factor in production costs and overall profitability. Under Governor Shumlin, Vermont’s electricity costs have gone from one of the lowest cost in the region to one of the highest in the country. Vermont economist Art Woolf articulated this in a recent interview on WCAX. “Our electric rates are pretty high — very high by national standards, and they are going up, whereas nationally they are flat or down — that’s an issue (for IBM).” (Efforts Underway to Keep IBM Jobs, WCAX.com, June 23, 2014)
It’s time for a change.