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Gov. Shumlin goes AWOL

MONTPELIER-Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D)left town last week and prompted some political jokeying and joke telling during his unannounced vacation.

According to Vermont Republican Party Chairwoman Pat McDonald, "Two months into his first term, Gov. Shumlin is taking a vacation." His press secretary, Bianca Slota, said he left last Thursday morning and is out of state until Tuesday night. Slota says she does not know where the governor is "vacationing."

WCAX-TV reported that Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding did not know the governor's whereabouts, but said he can be reached by moble phone.

Lt. Gov. PhilScott (R)became acting governor during Shumlin's absence.

"Simply being reachable by cell phone is not an acceptable substitute for knowing the whereabouts of our head of state," McDonald said. "Vermonters deserve better. Why is it that no one seems to know where Gov. Shumlin is?"

The timing of Shumlin's mystery trip prompted questions about what was going on-was his absence for personal, health or political reasons?

The governor had just returned to Vermont from a trip to Washington, D.C. to attend a three-day National Governor's Association meeting.

McDonald said "Vermonters need to know that the chain of command is intact and that the lines of communication are open and working for the security and safety of our state. From a transparency and confidence perspective, the process was handled very poorly."

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