Governor Phil Scott admits motive for assaulting thousands of Vermonters with F-35
The motive he admits is money. But the question remains, who gets the money?
The following letter was emailed to Vermont Governor Phil Scott today with a request for documents under Vermont’s Public Records Act. The request follows receipt of a letter from the Governor’s office (below) that admits to a motive for the assault on thousands of Vermonters living, working, or going to school in the path of the F-35 training flights: Money. The request is to learn who gets the money.
Dear Governor Phil Scott,
This is a request under the Vermont Public Records Act for documents supporting the assertions in your May 5 letter to me, below, that “Our Air National Guard is one of Vermont’s most essential and valuable state assets—both in terms of security and our economy;” that “Having the F-35 based here supports good paying jobs, strengthens our position in the aerospace economy, and helps us recruit equipment suppliers and manufacturers;” and that “The F-35 mission is essential to our state’s economy.”
Certainly, the huge amount of money each F-35 training flight costs has been widely reported: the operating cost for each flight hour for each F-35 is $38,000. As the Vermont National Guard announced the number of F-35 training flights it performs each week, and as each one lasts for more than one hour, the total payments made may be quickly calculated.
This Public Records Request is for the purpose of determining who in Vermont gets that money and how much they get. The public has a right to know who is profiting from the pain, injury, and suffering hundreds of Vermonters report from these 115 decibel F-35 training flights amidst Vermont’s most densely populated cities.
Please provide documents showing:
the number of Vermont companies that have employees working to support operation of the F-35s based at Burlington International Airport (BTV).
the tasks each of these Vermont companies perform to support operation of the F-35s based at BTV.
the number of Vermonters each Vermont company has working to support operation of those F-35s based at BTV.
the amount of money each of these Vermont companies received in 2020 for its work to support operation of those F-35s based at BTV.
the names of each of these Vermont companies.
As all 50 states plus several US territories have Air National Guard squadrons, and as the Vermont Air National Guard is tied for having the smallest number of members, the F-35 cannot reasonably be credited as providing more Air National Guard member jobs than would a different mission that is appropriate for a densely populated area. Equally important, payroll for the Vermont Air National Guard does not depend on the F-35 training flights taking place in a densely populated area. Therefore, I am not requesting documents showing the Vermont Air National Guard payroll.
James Marc Leas
On 5/5/2021 4:28 PM, Governorvt@vermont.gov wrote:
Thank you for reaching out about the Air National Guard’s operations of the F-35.
After a national search, Vermont’s Air National Guard was the third unit to be assigned to the F-35 mission, and the only National Guard unit. Vermont should be very proud our National Guard would stand out in such a competent and crowded field.
Our Air National Guard is one of Vermont’s most essential and valuable state assets – both in terms of security and our economy. Having the F-35 based here supports good paying jobs, strengthens our position in the aerospace economy, and helps us recruit equipment suppliers and manufacturers.
Combined, the Vermont National Guard provides 3,500 jobs for Vermonters -making it one of our state’s largest employers, with a collective payroll that puts it on a scale comparable to Global Foundries (formerly IBM). Burlington International Airport is also an essential economic hub for our state. The Vermont Air National Guard is a crucial partner in the operation and long-term vitality of the airport. The F-35 mission is essential to our state’s economy and the job retention and creation, housing and infrastructure goals we all share.
As a Vermonter, the Governor is proud of how the men and women of the Air National Guard dedicate their time in preparation and service to our state and country. Even in this time of uncertainty, the Air National Guard continues to maintain its readiness for their federal F-35 mission. It’s important for them to continue this work and be prepared to respond when they are called upon.
The Governor is pleased to join Senator Leahy, Senator Sanders, Congressman Welch and others in strongly supporting the F-35 basing in Vermont.
Governor’s Constituent Services Office
How to report what happened to you during your exposure to F-35 noise
Demand a halt to the F-35 training flights in a populated area, like where you live
Vermont National Guard's Complaint Line: 802-660-5379
Governor Phil Scott 802-828-3333 Chief of Staff <Jason.Gibbs@vermont.gov>
Online F-35 Spring-Summer 2021 Report & Complaint Form: https://tinyurl.com/4zjjn39x
Senator Patrick Leahy 800-642-3193 Chief of Staff <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Senator Bernie Sanders 800-339-9834 <Senator@sanders.senate.gov>
Congressman Peter Welch 888-605-7270 Chief of Staff <email@example.com>
Burlington City Council <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger <email@example.com>
Winooski Mayor Kristine Lott <firstname.lastname@example.org>
S. Burlington City Council Chair Helen Riehle <email@example.com>
Williston Selectboard Chair Terry Macaig <firstname.lastname@example.org>
VT Senate President Becca Balint <email@example.com>
VT House Speaker Jill Krowinski <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Attorney General TJ Donavan <DonovanTJ@gmail.com>