Saturday, September 24, 2011

Taking the Petty Road: Governor Shumlin, Hurricane Irene, and Entergy's Charitable Donation

I wish Vermont had a governor who was a class act. I wish Shumlin was the kind of politician who does the right thing in public. The kind of politician who does the courteous thing. The kind of politician whose public face is thoughtful and non-vindictive.

You understand that I am saying "I wish we had the kind of politician who..." I do not expect that all politicians are wonderful people. I just expect that politicians will behave in a certain way in public because it is politically wise to do so.

We don't have that kind of governor.

The storm and the aftermath

Hurricane Irene did a lot of damage in Vermont. Hundreds of people lost their homes. There was a major need for disaster relief. In response, people and businesses have donated time and money to help those who have suffered.

Governor Shumlin recently held a press conference to thank the Vermont businesses who contributed large amounts to disaster relief. Shumlin thanked Vermont Public Radio for hosting a $625,000 fundraiser; Blue Cross Blue Shield for giving $150,000; ICG software for giving $30,000; and Coca Cola for giving $25,000. He thanked many other businesses for their contributions also.

He didn't thank Entergy. He didn't even mention Entergy. Entergy donated $50,000 to United Way of Windham County and also provided a matching grant of up to $50,000. Windham County is Shumlin's home county. All in all, Entergy contributed up to $100,000, depending on how well United Way is able to match part of the grant.

Shumlin didn't mention Entergy when he listed the businesses who helped their neighbors by giving large donations.

Petty petty petty

Would it have hurt Shumlin to list Entergy along with the others? I don't think so. Nobody would think that including Entergy's donation in a list would mean that Shumlin loves Vermont Yankee. Listing Entergy's donation wouldn't have hurt the state's case in the lawsuit. It wouldn't have hurt anything. It would just have acknowledged a major donation.

Instead, Shumlin had to be petty and leave Entergy out of the list.

I hope our next governor is more of a class act.

Update: Shay Totten of 7 Days wrote an excellent post about this snub to Entergy (snub is his word and I agree). Among other things, Totten found that Entergy had donated $130,000 to local charities, just for disaster relief..


jimwg said...

Wish there were some way to get an article like this "out". What a sleezely guy! The mainstream media were crickets on this and so are pol blogs. If I were an union atomic worker I'd quickly whiff which side the wind's blowing and stand up on my hind legs and start running the pro-nuclear ads their own companies are skittish of running (Natural Gas Ads even have no problem talking about flacking!) After all, atomic workers, in the end it's your jobs at stake here as well as our clean energy future!

James Greenidge

gerry said...

I wouldn't mention a company trying to buy good press while suing the people of Vermont.

Call me crazy but I don't detect one whiff of real concern for the people of Vermont. The donation is another ad buy for Entergy Louisiana

Meredith Angwin said...

Entergy Louisiana operates in only Louisiana and the Gulf States. Entergy Nuclear operates Vermont Yankee.

Yes. You are crazy. Entergy has always been one of the biggest charitable donors in Windham County. They have been donating money to the Boys and Girls Club and United Way..basically, forever. I suspect that if you lived in Vermont you would know that.

Anonymous said...

Many of St. Peter's most ardent supporters behave in the same way. So no surprise there.

22a-rbZD.007 said...

Entergy prides itself on proactive, socially responsible shouldering of whatever charitable task needs doing, throughout its entire business region.


There's an "Alice's Mirror" newly erected all along the Vermont border, that inverts everything it sees.

I guess you were fooled by it.
Try not to get too dizzy !

Meredith Angwin said...

Entergy Vermont Yankee routinely gives over $300,000 to charities in its area. This is from 2008. Thanks to Nuke Roadie for the link.