Plenty of folks expressed an interest in my column this week, in particular as it pertains to State Auditor Tom Salmon and his use of a taxpayer-purchased camcorder to record a speech at a political fundraiser in June.
As I detailed in this week's "Fair Game", we at Seven Days decided to request that Salmon's office produce the contents of the camcorder as it is a public record under state law. They did comply, and charged us $105 to produce the three DVDs.
I've embedded the video detailed in the column, a roughly 13-minute speech delivered to a small group of supporters at a June 11 fundraiser. The event was dubbed "Welcome Home, Tom!" and asked folks to donate as little as $25 to be "Friends of Tom" or $500 to be an event sponsor.
A note to viewers/readers: I inadvertently added an extra five minutes of video to the political fundraiser event. The fundraiser speech lasts about 13:10, the rest is a clip from a speech he gave to the Vermont League of Cities and Towns.
It's helpful to put the timing of this even into context. At the time, Salmon, still a Democrat at the time, was making noise that he wanted to run for governor — in 2012.
As of June, Gov. Jim Douglas was still running for reelection in 2010, and though it would have been a tough bid, it's likely he would have won a fifth term in office. That all changed in August when Douglas decided to not run for reelection. A month later, Salmon jumped stream and joined the Republican Party.