Slamming Shumlin on FEMA Funding, Brock Makes Irene a Campaign Issue
At a hastily-called press conference Wednesday morning on the flood-damaged campus of the Waterbury State Office Complex, Sen. Randy Brock (pictured) took a direct shot at the crowning achievement of Gov. Peter Shumlin's first term: his administration's response to last August's devastating storm.
Clutching a stack of emails he requested from the Shumlin administration, the Franklin County Republican said the correspondence proved the governor misled the legislature and the public into believing the Federal Emergency Management Agency had promised more recovery funding than it had.
"Governors and governments can't withhold facts and information from the public they serve. Vermont taxpayers are not going to be satisfied with vague statements and reassurances that we have from the governor. They demand facts. They demand and deserve answers," Brock said, listing warning signs he gleaned from FEMA's emails to the administration. "These warnings weren't told to the legislature. And the question is: Why weren't we told? Why weren't Vermonters told?"
Brock's charge comes nearly two weeks after the Shumlin administration revealed to legislators new worries about how much money FEMA would provide to help rebuild the Waterbury complex and the Vermont State Hospital. In recent meetings with legislative leaders, administration officials claimed that FEMA had backtracked from earlier guarantees, potentially leaving taxpayers liable for tens of millions of dollars.