As we reported in this week's Fair Game, Agency of Natural Resources Sec. Deb Markowitz made a bit of a whoopsie last week at a Norwich University panel on Tropical Storm Irene recovery efforts. The ANR secretary and former gubernatorial candidate apparently stepped on her boss' message, criticizing Gov. Peter Shumlin's handling of the state's waterways in the weeks and months afer the August flooding.
The episode was first reported by Vermont Public Radio's Steve Zind, who quoted Markowitz as saying, "[Shumlin] early on made some statements, some ‘dig-baby-dig' type statements, that inspired Vermonters to help out in ways that ultimately are very costly not just to the ecosystem but to the infrastructure."
After administration officials pushed back on her comments, Markowitz declined or ignored several requests for an interview (we suspected she might have been stuck in time out), but she did send us an e-mail saying her comments "were misinterpreted."
Well, VPR has now posted a two-and-a-half minute audio clip of Markowitz's remarks on its website, providing a little more context to the episode.
Did VPR get it wrong? Actually, the comments are even worse than we thought. Markowitz bemoans the fact that she and her agency "didn't have a chance to educate [Shumlin] in advance" and failed to "manage up" — i.e. get her boss on message.