(Host) Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie is under consideration for the top post at the Federal Aviation Administration.
The magazine Aviation Week reports that Dubie is one of the finalists for the position but Dubie has refused all requests to discuss the matter.
VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports.
(Kinzel) Being considered for the FAA position marks the second time that Dubie has been a finalist for a top national aviation position while he’s been lieutenant governor.
In the winter of 2005, Dubie was under consideration to become the U.S. Ambassador for the U.N.’s International Civil Aviation Organization based in Montreal.
Dubie has a lot of aviation experience. He’s had a career as a commercial airline pilot, serves as a colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and in recent years helped create the Vermont Aerospace and Aviation Association.
The head of the FAA is listed at a federal pay scale level of $168,000 a year.
When the Aviation Week story came out, Dubie’s office put out a brief statement that read that the lieutenant governor "can’t speculate where the FAA will go with this appointment but that he’s watching with interest what it will mean to Vermont."
That was the first and last time that Dubie would comment about this issue:
(Dubie office recording) "Hello you have reached the office of Vermont Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie…
(Kinzel) That’s Dubie’s administrative director Martha Hanson. She says Dubie doesn’t want to discuss if he’s applied for the job, if he’s interviewed for the position or why he’s interested in the post.
Jason Gibbs is the communications director for Governor Jim Douglas. He says it’s his understanding that the FAA approached Dubie about this job:
(Gibbs)"We don’t have any indication of what the outcome might be and frankly Vermont can be very proud of the fact that they have somebody that’s so well respected in this particular field representing them as the lieutenant governor. But at this point the governor has every expectation that he and Lieutenant Governor Dubie will be running together as a team in 2008."
(Kinzel) Ian Carleton is the chairman of the Vermont Democratic Party. He thinks Dubie, as the state’s incumbent lieutenant governor, should be more forthright with Vermonters about his intentions:
(Carleton)"Moving to Washington is a big deal and I certainly respect Brian’s right to make decisions that affect his family in private, but on the other hand Vermonters do have a right to know whether their sitting lieutenant governor is considering taking a position out of state."
(Kinzel) Jason Gibbs doesn’t see it that way:
(Gibbs)"At the end of the day the lieutenant governor needs to do what he thinks is best for him and his family and perhaps seeing how far this goes and letting it run its course is something worth doing from the point of view of his family’s financial security."
(Kinzel) The post is currently being filled on an interim basis, pending the appointment of a new chief administrator. The head of the FAA serves a five-year term regardless of which political party has control of the White House.
For VPR News, I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.
AP Photo/Toby Talbot