(Host) Democratic Lt. Governor Candidate Matt Dunne is pledging to work full time in that post if he’s elected in November.
Under the Vermont Constitution, the position is considered part time and the salary is lower than other statewide officials.
Republican incumbent Brian Dubie, who works as a commercial airline pilot when the Legislature isn’t in session, says the outside work provides important perspective’.
VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports:
(Kinzel) Has the time come to rewrite the job description for the post of Lt. Governor? Two candidates seeking this position have very different views on this issue.
The Lt. Governor has limited duties as specified under the Vermont Constitution.
The individual is the presiding officer of the State Senate and is able to cast a vote either to break or cause a tie vote in the chamber.
The Lt. Governor earns a salary of roughly $61,000 a year – an amount that’s approximately a third less than many other statewide officers.
Democratic candidate Matt Dunne says the salary is large enough to expect that the Lt. Governor will work full time all year around:
(Dunne) “Our current Lt. Governor does not share this view of the office he chooses to work very few weeks a year for Vermonters and maintains a full time job outside of the office we all of the challenges we face this is no longer acceptable.”
(Kinzel) Incumbent Republican Brian Dubie says he works on state issues every day – no matter where he is:
(Dubie)”Howard Dean, when he was Lt. Governor, practiced medicine. Doug Racine sold cars and I am a pilot but I work full time for Vermont. There isn’t a day with the aide of a couple cell phones and a blackberry that I don’t work every day I work every day very hard for the people of Vermont.”
(Kinzel) Dubie also says his job as a pilot gives him a different perspective on many state issues:
(Dubie) “It’s by all of our life experience either work experience or work as family members – it’s through that diversity of experience that we can come up with solutions that hopefully are well thought out. And it’s the diversity of those opinions and life experiences that in my opinion led to better public policy for Vermont.”
(Kinzel) Dunne argues that this experience can be gained without holding another job.
(Dunne) “I understand that perspective and I understand it fully. However there are ways to be able to understand what is going on in the communities and businesses and industries around the state of Vermont without having to split your time between serving Vermonters and serving a corporation.”
(Kinzel) Dunne is also asking all candidates running for Lt. Governor to release personal financial statements to the public in the next few weeks.
For Vermont Public Radio I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier