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Dunne for Lt. Governor

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Policy issues aside, Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor Matt Dunne has a singular issue that strikes a bipartisan chord: He believes the lieutenant governor’s salary of $61,000 per year is significant enough to warrant a full-time effort from the elected candidate. He notes Lt. Gov. Dubie is gone almost two-thirds of the year working as an airline pilot.

He doesn’t begrudge Dubie his job as a pilot, and he freely admits that prior public servants in the lieutenant governor’s post also worked part-time at other jobs (Howard Dean was a doctor while being lieutenant governor and Doug Racine helped with his family’s South Burlington auto dealership, to name two). But he makes two valid points: the position’s salary has been raised significantly since Dubie became Lt. Gov., and, more importantly, he wants to serve the state full-time because he believes there is more than enough work to do to help Vermont and Vermonters grow and prosper in the new economy.

“The current lieutenant governor has decided that in spite of the fact he gets $61,000 in taxpayer money — nearly double the average wage of a Vermonter — that he doesn’t have to show up more than one-third of the time,� Dunne told the Independent in a Monday interview. “To me, that’s not in keeping with Vermonters’ expectation that someone is going to work hard on their behalf … I’m running for this office because I would love nothing more than to get up every single day to work on behalf of Vermonters to take on these complex problems that don’t fit into one committee or another.�

Dunne, who was first elected to the Legislature at 22 and is now 36, is not only an intellectual powerhouse on a host of policy issues, he’s also eager to help lead the state into the new economy with the promise of good-paying jobs and sustainable growth. He says Vermont is at an economic crossroad (see the full interview on Page 1A) and asks the question: “Do we want to become a park for retired, affluent people, or will we become a center for innovation where young people will be able to create and have jobs to compete in the global market?� His intention, if elected, would be to work hard to help create those new jobs.

But forget, for the moment, any policy issue — just on his work ethic, high energy and solid community values, his candidacy is exciting and inspiring; and he has a point about that $61,000 salary.

Angelo S. Lynn

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