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YCQM: Sept. 16, 2012 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

YCQM: Sept. 16, 2012

Posted: Updated:
BURLINGTON, Vt. -

>> Announcer: FROM VERMONT'S MOST TRUSTED NEWS SOURCE, WCAX BRINGS YOU YOUR NEWSMAKERS, YOUR NEIGHBORS. THIS IS "YOU CAN QUOTE ME."

>>> GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE. THANKS FOR JOINING US. I'M KRISTEN CARLSON. OUR NEWSMAKER THIS SUNDAY MORNING IS SENATE VINCE ILLUZZI. HE'S A REPUBLICAN RUNNING FOR AUDITOR OF ACCOUNTS. THANKS FOR BEING HERE.

>> THANK YOU.

>> JOINING THE QUESTIONING IS KYLE MIDURA WHO IS COVERING THIS RACE.

>> THANKS, KRISTEN. SENATOR ILLUZZI, THE FIRST QUESTION, THE OBVIOUS ONE, WHY ARE YOU RUNNING FOR STATE AUDITOR?

>> I SERVED IN THE VERMONT SENATE FOR 32 YEARS AND DECIDED LATE LAST YEAR THAT IT WAS TIME TO MOVE ON FROM THAT POSITION, A THIRD OF A CENTURY AS VERY LONG TIME, AND SO THE QUESTION WAS, DO I LEAVE PUBLIC SERVICE OR DO I TRY TO SERVE FROM A DIFFERENT VENUE, FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE, AND AFTER TALKING WITH MY FAMILY, WITH MY COLLEAGUES IN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, AND AFTER LEARNING THAT TOM SALMON WAS NOT GOING TO BE SEEKING RE-ELECTION, I DECIDED TO THROW MY HAT IN THE RING AND RUN FOR THE POSITION.

>> NOW, YOU WERE TOIG WITH ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR A WHILE AFTER THE INITIAL INDICATION. WHY DO YOU NOT WANT TO RUN FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL? WHY DID YOU PICK AUDITOR AND HOW DO YOU SORT OF STOP PEOPLE HE WAS JUST SHOPPING FOR AN OFFICE?

>> AS I SAID, I WAS THINKING OF LEAVING, SO I WAS LOOKING TO SEE IF THERE WERE OTHER OPPORTUNITIES, BUT VERMONT HAS A HISTORY, A TRADITION OF NOT TURNING OUT INCUMBENTS, AS WAS DEMONSTRATED REALLY ACROSS THE BOARD JUST A FEW WEEKS AGO, AND SO WHEN THERE'S AN OPENING, IT GIVES YOU AN OPPORTUNITY TO REALLY APPROACH THE OFFICE AND TALK ABOUT YOURSELF AND WHAT YOU'D BRING TO IT INSTEAD OF TRYING TO TAKE DOWN OR CRITICIZE THE CURRENT OFFICE-HOLDER. I FELT MUCH MORE COMFORTABLE IN THE POSITION OF SAYING I'VE GOT THE SPEERN, I'VE BEEN THERE, I'VE CREATED THE PROGRAMS, HELPED TO FUND THEM, I'VE OVERSEEN THEM, AND THIS WOULD BE AN OPPORTUNITY TO LOOK AT THEM FROM A FISCAL AND PERFORMANCE PERSPECTIVE, WHICH THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY HAS A DIFFICULT TIME DOING.

>> YOU'RE RUNNING AS A REPUBLICAN, BUT PEOPLE WHO KNOW YOUR RECORD IN THE SENATE CAN SAY IT'S VARIED. YOU HAVE SOME DEMOCRATS WHO SUPPORT YOU AND SOME PROGRESS SIEVES. YOUR OPPONENT, DOUG HOFFER, IS RUNNING AS A PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRAT. HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN YOUR CHOICE TO BE A REPUBLICAN?

>> WELL, 32 YEARS AGO, THIS IS THE YEAR THAT RONALD REAGAN WAS FIRST ELECTED, TO PUT A TIME STAMP ON IT, A VERY LONG TIME AGO, I WAS 26 YEARS OLD AND THE ORLEANS COUNTY REPUBLICANS THOUGHT THAT I WOULD MAKE A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR POLITICAL OFFICE. AND ACTUALLY, THEY RECRUITED ME. AND IT WAS A DECISION THAT I MADE AS A YOUNG MAN, A VERY LONG TIME AGO, AND OVER THE YEARS I'VE BEEN ASKED BY TWO DIFFERENT CHAIRS OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY TO ESSENTIALLY SWITCH PARTIES AND JOIN THEIR CAUCUS, IN PART BECAUSE OF MY VOTING RECORD, MY RELATIONSHIP WITH DEMOCRATS, MY ABILITY TO WORK ACROSS PARTY LINES. AND ALTHOUGH I'VE GIVEN IT SERIOUS CONSIDERATION, IN THE END, I CONCLUDED THAT THERE ARE A NUMBER OF VERMONTERS IN VERMONT HISTORY, DATING BACK TO FRANK BILLINGS, GEORGE AIKEN, BOB STAFFORD, ALL OF WHOM REALLY WERE REPUBLICANS, BUT AS I CHARACTERIZE THEM, VERMONT REPUBLICANS, NOT DRIVEN BY IDEOLOGY, BUT RATHER DRIVEN BY TRYING TO GET THE JOB DONE, AND I REALLY FIND MYSELF, AS DEMONSTRATED BY MY VOTING RECORD, AS BEING IN THAT CAMP, IN THAT BRANCH OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

>> ARE YOU VOTING FOR MITT ROMNEY?

>> WELL, I'M NOT GOING TO GET INTO WHO I'M GOING TO VOTE FOR AND NOT VOTE FOR. I'M TRYING TO RUN MY OWN CAMPAIGN AND NOT BE HELPED OR HURT BY VOTES THAT I MAY CAST ON MY OWN. I CAN SAY THAT WHEN MITT ROMNEY WAS GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS, I THINK HE DID A FAIRLY GOOD JOB. IN 2008, WE VOTED A COMPREHENSIVE HOUSING BILL TO HELP WITH SMART GROWTH AND DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT, BROUGHT OUT SOME IDEAS -- BORROWED SOME IDEAS FROM HIM. SOME OF THE COMMENTS OBVIOUSLY MADE ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL HAVE BEEN SOMEWHAT EYE-OPENING, BUT THE FACT REMAINS THAT I'M RUNNING MY OWN RACE INDEPENDENT OF OTHERS AND SO I'LL LEAVE IT AT THAT.

>> BUT YOU SAID YOU SORT OF ALIGNED WITH THE REPUBLICAN PARTY OF THE PAST IN VERMONT, THAT IN THE PRESENT, YOU'RE RUNNING AS REPUBLICAN RIGHT NOW, SO YOU SUPPORT REPUBLICAN IDEALS RIGHT NOW AS THE PERSON ON TOP OF THE TICKET.

>> WELL, I SUPPORT VERMONT REPUBLICANS WHO SHARE MY VALUES, AND THAT IS TO ADDRESS THE ISSUES, NOT IDEOLOGY. WHAT I'VE SEEN HAPPEN MORE AND MORE ON THE NATIONAL LEVEL, AND I MUST SAY THIS ON BOTH SIDES, VOTES TEND TO BE CAST BASED ON IDEOLOGY, NOT TRYING TO GET SOLUTIONS ACROSS THE FINISH LINE, AND YOU SEE THAT IN WASHINGTON WHERE THEY REALLY DON'T EVEN TALK TO EACH OTHER ANYMORE EXCEPT PERHAPS FOR PHOTO OPS WHEN THEY'RE IN THE WHITE HOUSE OR AT A PRESS CONFERENCE AT THE CAPITOL, AND THAT'S JUST NOT THE WAY WE DO BUSINESS HERE IN VERMONT. SO I'VE REALLY TRIED TO ADDRESS ISSUES, COMMON-SENSE SOLUTIONS, AND USE THAT AS THE BACK DROP TO THE DECISIONS THAT I'VE MADE OVER 32 YEARS.

>> ONE QUICK QUESTION BEFORE WE MOVE ON TO SORT OF THE ISSUES THAT YOU'RE GOING TO BE RUNNING ON AND WHAT YOU HOPE IN THE AUDITOR'S RACE, BUT WHY DO YOU THINK SAYING YOU DO SUPPORT OR COULD SUPPORT MITT ROMNEY, WHY WOULD THAT BE A LIABILITY FOR YOU?

>> WELL, IT'S NOT NECESSARILY A LIABILITY, BUT THE -- ANY TIME THAT YOU'RE A CANDIDATE FOR OFFICE AND YOU HAVE A LONG VOTING RECORD, AS I DO, AND THE ABILITY TO WORK WITH PEOPLE ACROSS PARTY LINES, YOU HATE TO HAVE A DECISION MADE ABOUT YOU, ABOUT HOW YOU'RE GOING TO VOTE FOR A PARTICULAR CANDIDATE. I WANT PEOPLE TO VOTE FOR ME BASED ON WHO I AM AND WHAT I'VE DONE, MY ACCOMPLISHMENTS, WORKING FOR THE POOR, LAND CONSERVATION, HELPING THE HOMELESS, AND NOT WHAT MAY BE AN IDEOLOGICAL VIEWPOINT OF ANOTHER CANDIDATE RUNNING FOR ANOTHER OFFICE.

>> THAT BEING SAID, WHAT ISSUES DO YOU THINK NEED TO BE ADDRESSED IF THE VOTERS DO GIVE YOU THE NOD TO TAKE OVER THE AUDITOR'S OFFICE?

>> WELL, THE AUDITOR HAS SOME FAIRLY STRAIGHTFORWARD DUTIES, AND THAT IS TO AUDIT STATE FUNDS, FEDERAL FUNDS, AND THEN TO UNDERTAKE PERFORMANCE AUDITS. OVER THE LAST THREE YEARS, PARTICULARLY STARTING IN 2009 FOLLOWING THE 2008 RECESSION, THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY BEGAN TO, INSTEAD OF SIMPLY APPROPRIATING MONEY TO NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS AND OTHERS, WE'VE STARTED TO REQUIRE PERFORMANCE CONTRACTS. MY COMMITTEE WROTE THE 2009 AND 2010 AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT VERSION OF LEGISLATION FOR VERMONT, AND WE DECIDED THAT INSTEAD OF SIMPLY HANDING OUT AN APPROPRIATION, THAT WE WANTED CERTAIN GOALS MET AND WE WANTED BENCHMARKS AND WE WANTED REPORTS BACK TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY. AND SO WHAT I SEE THE OFFICE DOING IN ADDITION TO THE AUDITS THAT ARE REQUIRED BY FEDERAL AND STATE LAW, IS TO REQUIRE THAT ALL PROGRAMS, WHETHER THEY'RE ADMINISTERED BY A DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY OR NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION, MEET CERTAINLY BENCHMARKS SO THAT THEY CAN BE EVALUATED TO DETERMINE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THOSE PROGRAMS. IS THE MONEY BEING SPENT AS DIRECTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY? IS IT BEING SPENT AS EFFICIENTLY AS POSSIBLE? AND IS IT MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF VERMONTERS OR THE INTENDED BENEFICIARIES? THAT WILL BE THE THEME OR THE BACKDROP AGAINST WHICH I WOULD OPERATE THAT OFFICE, AND THE REASON I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT IS THAT ONE THING I'VE LEARNED OVER MY TENURE IN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY IS THAT IT'S VERY DIFFICULT FOR THE LEGISLATURE, ONCE A PROGRAM IS ESTABLISHED, TO THEN CHECK TO SEE HOW EFFECTIVE THAT PROGRAM IS. WE'RE A PART-TIME LEGISLATURE, WE MEET FOUR DAYS A WEEK MOST OF THE TIME, AND OFTENTIMES, THOSE COMMITTEES ARE INTERRUPTED BY JOINT ASSEMBLIES AND SPECIAL EVENTS, AND ONE OF THE THINGS I'VE LEARNED AS A MEMBER OF THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE IS THAT SIMPLY SPENDING 30 MINUTES WITH A DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY DOES NOT GIVE YOU A REAL GOOD SENSE OF HOW THAT MONEY IS BEING SPENT. AND SO I SEE MYSELF COMPLEMENTING THE WORK OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, WORKING WITH THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, RELYING ON THE RELATIONSHIPS THAT I'VE DEVELOPED IN TRYING TO TARGET CERTAIN PROGRAMS AND EXPENDITURES TO MAKE SURE THAT VERMONTERS ARE REALLY GETTING THE BEST BANG FOR THEIR BUCK.

>> TO WHAT EXTENT IS THAT ALREADY BEING DONE AND WOULD YOU NEED MORE FUNDING IN ORDER TO DO IT AS THOROUGHLY AS YOU IMPLY YOU WOULD LIKE TO DO THAT?

>> WELL, IT'S BEING DONE MORE AND MORE. IT HAS EVOLVED OVER THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS, AND THEN WHEN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY BEGAN TO WRITE PERFORMANCE CONTRACTS INTO THE APPROPRIATIONS PROCESS, IT'S BEING DONE MORE AND MORE, SO THERE ARE BENCHMARKS THERE, BUT THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY DOESN'T REALLY HAVE THE TIME TO THEN TAKE THE RESULTS OF THOSE PERFORMANCE CONTRACTS, EVALUATE THEM, AND DECIDE WHETHER THERE SHOULD BE ANY CHANGES IN PROGRAMS, WHETHER FUNDING SHOULD BE INCREASED OR DECREASED, WHETHER THERE SHOULD BE PARAMETERS ESTABLISHED THAT ARE NOT THERE NOW, AND THAT'S WHERE I REALLY THINK THAT THE EXPERIENCE THAT I'VE DEVELOPED OVER MY LEGISLATIVE CAREER WILL COME IN HANDY. I KNOW WHAT THE LEGISLATURE'S EXPECTATIONS ARE, I'VE BEEN INVOLVED IN CREATING AND FUNDING THEM WITH THOSE PROGRAMS, AND I HAVE A SENSE WHERE SOME OF THE DEFICIENCIES ARE, BUT GIVEN THE LIMITED ROLE OF THE LEGISLATURE AS FAR AS TIME, WE HAVEN'T BEEN REALLY ABLE TO FOLLOW THROUGH ON THAT. SO I SEE MYSELF BRINGING THAT APPEARANCE, THAT KNOWLEDGE OF THOSE PROGRAMS, TO THE FOREFRONT, SITTING DOWN WITH THE APPROPRIATE COMMITTEES OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, AND SUGGESTING THAT THIS MIGHT BE AN AREA WHERE WE COULD TAKE A LOOK AT A PERFORMANCE AUDIT AND SEE IF WE CAN GET MORE EFFICIENCY, A BETTER OUTCOME FOR THE TAX DOLLARS THAT ARE SPENT.

>> ONE OF THE BIGGEST ISSUES OF HOW TAXPAYER MONEY HAS BEEN SPENT IS THIS ISSUE OF OVERTIME. THERE'S A CASE OF A STATE POLICE TROOPER WHO IS NO LONGER A PART OF THE STATE POLICE, BUT HE ALLEGEDLY, AS YOU KNOW VERY WELL, RACKED UP HOURS THAT HE NEVER WORKED, RESPONDED TO CALLS THAT NEVER HAPPENED. THIS IS NOW PLAYING OUT IN THE COURT. IT BECAME PART OF THE AUDITOR'S RACE AND YOU CAME OUT WITH A PLAN TO SORT OF OVERSEE IT. WHEN IT COMES TO THAT, FIRST, DOUG HOFFER, WHO'S YOUR OPPONENT, LET'S HEAR HIS RESPONSE TO YOUR PLAN.

>> I WAS A LITTLE SURPRISED BECAUSE MOST OF THE CORE ELEMENTS OF HIS SUGGESTIONS ARE ALREADY CONTAINED IN STATE HUMAN RESOURCE POLICY MANUALS. PEOPLE ABOVE SUPERVISORS, AGENCY AND DEPARTMENT SECRETARIES AND COMMISSIONERS FOR THE FIRST PART, HAVE TO MAKE IT CLEAR TO THE FOLKS BELOW THEM THAT THESE EXISTING POLICIES HAVE TO BE ENFORCED.

>> DOUG HOFFER SAYING, YOU KNOW, A LOT OF YOUR POINTS THAT YOU CAME OUT WITH, OVERSEEING, THE OVERSIGHT AUTHORITY HAPPENING, IS THAT ALREADY HAPPENING?

>> IT IS IN FACT NOT HAPPENING AND CASE IN POINT IS THE CASE HERE IN CHITTENDEN COUNTY. THERE MAY BE SOME OBSCURE MANUALS BURIED IN SOME DEPARTMENT OF PERSONNEL HANDBOOK. THE FACT REMAINS THAT OVERTIME HAS BEEN APPROVED BY THE SAME PERSON SEEKING OVERTIME AND THEN BY ROTE HAS BEEN APPROVED BY SUPERIOR OFFICERS. WHAT I'VE PROPOSED IS THAT AS WE DEVELOP NEW SOFTWARE FOR THE HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT, THAT WE SET IT UP SO THAT ANY TIME THERE IS OVERTIME REQUIRED, THAT THE AUDITOR OR DEPARTMENT HEAD OR COMMISSIONER OR SECRETARY CAN LOOK AT EITHER A SPECIFIC INDIVIDUAL OR A DIVISION OR AN ENTIRE DEPARTMENT TO SEE IF OVERTIME IS BEING RACKED UP BEYOND WHAT IS CALLED FOR IN THE NORMAL DAY-TO-DAY OPERATION OF THAT PARTICULAR AGENCY. AND AS YOU KNOW, ANY TIME YOU'RE DRIVING DOWN THE ROAD AND YOU SEE A POLICE CAR PARKED ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD, YOU TEND TO SLOW DOWN BECAUSE YOU REALIZE THAT YOUR ACTIONS ARE SUBJECT TO VERIFICATION, AND THAT'S WHAT I'M SUGGESTING HERE. THAT WE DEVELOP THE SOFTWARE AND THE PROTOCOLS SO THAT INSTEAD OF IT BEING BURIED IN SOME MANUAL AT THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES, THAT FOLKS WHO FILL OUT THESE TIME SHEETS WILL KNOW THAT THEIR ACTION WILL BE REVIEWED AT SOME POINT, UNANNOUNCED, AND IT'S THAT ALONE THAT WILL BRING ABOUT COMPLIANCE WITH THE APPLICABLE LAWS OF THE STATE. WE HAVE LAWS AGAINST MURDER. MURDER STILL HAPPENS. WE HAVE LAWS AGAINST THE MOST SERIOUS CRIMES THAT ONE CAN IMAGINE, THOSE OFFENSES STILL OCCUR, BUT THEY'RE OFTENTIMES CRIMES OF OPPORTUNITY WHERE THE PERPETRATOR DOES NOT BELIEVE THAT THEY ARE BEING WATCHED OR WILL BE CAUGHT. WE'RE GOING TO JUST SET UP THE SOFTWARE SOFTWARE, THE SYSTEMS, SO THAT THERE ARE SHOT CHECKS, UNANNOUNCED IF NECESSARY, AND TAKE A LOOK AT THAT. BUT OVERTIME FRAUD IS REALLY A VERY SMALL PIECE OF WHAT THE AUDITOR DOES. I HAVE LEARNED, AS A MEMBER OF THE SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE THAT ACTUALLY OVERSEES THAT DEPARTMENT, IS THAT IT'S MOSTLY THE INEFFICIENT USE OR MISMANAGEMENT OF FUNDS WHERE THE TAXPAYER DOES NOT GET HIS OR HER BANG FOR THE BUCK. WE GIVE OUT HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN PAVING CONTRACTS AND EDUCATION, AND IT'S NOT THE FRAUD THAT DRIVES INEFFICIENCY. IT'S THE MANNER IN CHA LOT OF THOSE FUND -- IN WHICH A LOT OF THOSE FUNDS ARE SPENT, SO IT'S MY GOAL TO TRY TO BRING ABOUT EFFICIENCY. HOW DO YOU SPEND THAT MONEY, DO IT IN A WAY THAT MAYBE COSTS LESS, AND ACCOMPLISHES THE BEST POSSIBLE OBJECTIVE FOR THE OUTCOME, WHETHER IT'S THE QUALITY OF EDUCATION OR HOW OUR ROADS ARE MAINTAINED AND PAVED, WHETHER THEY'RE DONE ON A PROPER CYCLE. THOSE ARE THE KIND OF RECOMMENDATIONS THAT -- IT'S NOT JUST THE NUMBERS ALONE THAT YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT.

>> HOW BIG OF A PROBLEM DO YOU THINK OVERTIME ABUSE IS IN STATE GOVERNMENT?

>> I THINK IT'S A VERY INSIGNIFICANT PROBLEM.

>> WHY DO YOU THINK THAT?

>> FIRST OF ALL, I'VE WORKED WITH THESE PROGRAMS FOR A THIRD OF A CENTURY.

>> BUT WOULD YOU HAVE THOUGHT A CASE LIKE THE ONE THAT'S BEING LOOKED AT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF I TALKED TO YOU A YEAR AGO?

>> YES, THEY DO HAPPEN FROM TIME TO TIME. AS I SAID, THERE ARE LAWS AGAINST ALMOST EVERYTHING THAT SOCIETY DEEMS UNACCEPTABLE, YET THEY CONTINUE TO HAPPEN.

>> YOU THINK THIS IS AN ISOLATED --

>> I THINK IT'S AN ISOLATED CASE. I'VE WORKED VERY CLOSE WITH THOUSANDS OF STATE EMPLOYEES ACROSS STATE GOVERNMENT.

>> SO WHY IMPLEMENT A BIG OVERARCHING SYSTEM LIKE THIS IF YOU'RE SAYING THIS IS JUST AN ISOLATED SITUATION?

>> WELL, IT'S ISOLATED BECAUSE MOST PEOPLE AROUND US, BY AND LARGE, STATE EMPLOYEES ARE HARD-WORK, DEDICATED, AND THERE'S ALWAYS THE EXCEPTION TO THE RULE. BUT IF THE SOFTWARE SYSTEMS WHICH ARE NOW BEING PURCHASED AND DEVELOPED ARE PUT INTO PLACE SO THAT THERE CAN BE SPOT CHECKS WITHOUT THE NEED TO SEND AN INVESTIGATOR OR AN ACCOUNTANT TO A PARTICULAR AGENCY AND LOOK THROUGH RECORDS, THAT WILL HAVE THE EFFECT OF DETERRING THE CONDUCT BECAUSE EVERYONE FILLS OUT ONE OF THOSE TIME SHEETS WILL KNOW THAT SIMPLY BY CLICKING A MOUSE ON HIS OR HER PERSONNEL FILE --

>> SOMEBODY WILL BE LOOKING AT IT.

>> YES.

>> WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A BRIEF BREA

>> WELCOME BACK, EVERYONE. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT STATE SENATOR VINCE ILLUZZI. HE IS RUNNING AS A REPUBLICAN FOR AUDITOR OF ACCOUNTS, AND A PROGRAMMING NOTE, WE'LL BE TALKING TO HIS CHALLENGER, THE DEMOCRAT PROGRESSIVE DOUG HOFFER NEXT SUNDAY ON "YOU CAN QUOTE ME."

>> AS WE COME BACK, SENATOR ILLUZZI, FIRST QUESTION FOR YOU RETURNING FROM THE COMMERCIAL BREAK, LAST TIME AROUND MR. HOFFER RAN AGAINST THE INBUM BENT TOM SALMON WHO'S NOT IN THIS RACE. YOU WERE QUITE COMPLIMENTARY OF HIM IN THAT ONE REPORT, SPECIFICALLY CALLING HIM AN INVALUABLE IN ALL THE COMMITTEES YOU HAVE SERVED. THAT BEING SAID, WHY DO YOU FEEL YOU'RE THE RIGHT MAN FOR THE JOB AND NOT MR. HOFFER?

>> I'VE BEEN ASKED THAT QUESTION AND IT'S A GOOD QUESTION, A FAIR QUESTION. FIRST I WANT TO SAY THAT I'VE ENJOYED WORKING WITH DOUG HOFFER. I'VE INVITES HIM TO COMMITTEES WHICH I HAVE CHAIRED OVER THE YEARS AND HIS INPUT IS VALUABLE, BUT AS I SAID A FEW MINUTES AGO, NUMBERS ARE NOT THE ANSWER IN AND BY THEMSELVES. YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE OF HOW STATE GOVERNMENT WORKS, YOU HAVE TO HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH THE PROGRAMS AND SYSTEMS AND DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES, AND YOU REALLY HAVE TO HAVE THE RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE PEOPLE WHO RUN THOSE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES AND ORGANIZATIONS THAT RECEIVE STATE DOLLARS, BECAUSE IT'S A COLLABORATION BETWEEN ALL OF THEM THAT BRINGS ABOUT THE IMPROVED EFFICIENCY AND OPERATION OF STATE GOVERNMENT. AN ANALOGY I CAN GIVE YOU IS THIS. WHEN YOU GO SEE YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER AND YOU HAVE A PARTICULAR COMPLAINT, YOU'RE HAVING HEADACHES, THE HEALTHCARE PROVIDER WILL SAY, OKAY, WE'RE GOING TO DO SOME DIAGNOSTIC TESTING, WE'RE GOING TO SEND YOU IN FOR A CT SCAN OR AN ULTRASOUND OR MAYBE AN X-RAY, DEPENDING ON WHAT THE PARTICULAR COMPLAINT IS, AND THEN THE HEALTHCARE PROVIDER TAKES THAT DIAGNOSTIC TEST RESULT AND RELYING ON HIS OR HER TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE, THEY WILL DEVELOP A DIAGNOSIS AND A TREATMENT PLAN FOR YOU. DOUG EXCELS AT CRUNCHING NUMBERS. HE WILL TELL YOU THAT I AGREE WITH THAT AND THAT'S WHY WE CALLED HIM INTO THE COMMITTEE TO SHARE HIS VIEWS, WHICH WERE SOMETIMES IN CONFORMANCE WITH OR IN OPPOSITION TO OTHERS. BUT WHERE I THINK I BRING -- WHAT I BRING TO THE TABLE IS THAT I HAVE HELPED TO SET THOSE PROGRAMS UP. I'VE HELPED TO FUND THEM. I'VE OVERSEEN THEM. I KNOW THE LEGISLATORS WHO ARE IN THOSE POSITIONS OF SETTING POLICY. I HAVE THEIR RESPECT AND I RESPECT THEM, AND I KNOW HOW THE GOAL -- WHAT THE GOALS OF THOSE PROGRAMS ARE. AND SO LIKE THE X-RAY TECHNICIAN WHO IS AN INVALUABLE PIECE OF THE ENTIRE HEALTHCARE DELIVERY SYSTEM, I HAVE THE TRAINING AND THE EXPERIENCE AND THE BREADTH OF KNOWLEDGE OF HOW STATE GOVERNMENT SHOULD WORK, IS EXPECTED TO WORK, AND IS HOPED TO WORK, AND CAN BRING THAT OVERALL TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE TO THE TABLE AND HOPEFULLY DO A BETTER JOB AT THE MANAGEMENT OF THAT OFFICE.

>> CONSIDERING HOW CLOSE YOU ARE TO MANY OF THOSE LEGISLATORS, DO YOU FEEL YOU WILL NEED TO ADD ANY DISTANCE BETWEEN YOURSELF AND THOSE LEGISLATORS IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN OBJECTIVITY?

>> LEGISLATORS BY AND LARGE ARE NOT THE ONES WHO EXECUTE THE POLICIES OF STATE GOVERNMENT. LEGISLATORS SET POLICY. IT'S THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH THAT IMPLEMENTS THOSE POLICIES, AND THAT'S WHERE THE AUDITOR'S OFFICE FOCUSES ITS ATTENTION. SO TO SAY THAT YOU HAVE TO HAVE DISTANCE FROM THE LEGISLATORS IS REALLY -- IT'S NOT A NONSEQUITUR, BUT REALLY NOT WHERE THE FOCUS IN THE OFFICE IS, UNLESS OF COURSE YOU'RE FOR SOME REASON AUDITING THE LEGISLATURE. BUT REALLY, IT'S THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF STATE GOVERNMENT THAT ADMINISTERS TAXPAYER FUNDS, EITHER STATE OR FEDERAL TAX DOLLARS, AND IT'S THE GRANTEES OF THOSE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES THAT IN MANY CASES SPEND THE FUNDS AND THAT'S WHERE THE FOCUS OF THE AUDITOR'S OFFICE IS, IS HOW THE MONEY IS BEING SPENT, WHETHER IT'S BEING SPENT EFFICIENTLY AND WHETHER THE INTENDED BENEFICIARIES ARE BENEFITTING FROM THOSE EXPENDITURES.

>> LET'S TALK ABOUT MONEY BECAUSE THIS WEEK GOVERNOR SHUMLIN SAID HE HAD SOME DISAPPOINTING TALKS WITH FEMA. THE MONEY IS STILL UP IN THE AIR. EVEN SO, THE ADMINISTRATION IS GOING FORWARD WITH PLANS TO REBUILD IN WATERBURY. PUTTING ON THE AUDITOR'S HAT S THAT PRUDENT?

>> I THINKS'S ESSENTIAL THAT WE HAVE -- THINK IT'S ESSENTIAL THAT WE HAVE ADEQUATE STATE BUILDINGS BOTH FOR STATE EMPLOYEES AND MENTAL HEALTH PATIENTS AND OTHERS. I DON'T THINK WE CAN WAIT FOREVER. ONE OF THE BIGGEST CRITICISMS I'VE HAD ABOUT FEMA IS THAT HERE WE HAVE OVER A YEAR FROM WHEN TROPICAL STORM IRENE HIT AND WE STILL DON'T HAVE RESOLUTION OF, YOU KNOW, HUNDREDS OF CLAIMS FOR COMPENSATION. IT'S FRUSTRATING, BUT AT SOME POINT, YOU NEED TO MAKE AN EXECUTIVE DECISION AND DECIDE THAT WE SIMPLY CAN'T REMAIN IN LIMBO FOREVER OR AT LEAST FOR ANOTHER YEAR OR TWO. SO I HAVE NO OBJECTION TO A JUDGMENT CALL THAT HE HAS MADE IN THAT REGARD. I THINK THAT FEMA WILL EVENTUALLY PAY SOME FUNDS. IT MAY REQUIRE CONGRESSIONAL INTERVENTION, BUT NONETHELESS, THE STATUS QUO OF JUST WAITING AROUND FOR A FEDERAL AGENCY TO MAKE A DECISION IS NOT APPROPRIATE.

>> YOU SERVED AS A STATE'S ATTORNEY. IS THAT SOMETHING, IF YOU WERE ELECTED, YOU WOULD CONTINUE TO DO? HAVE YOU LOOKED INTO THAT?

>> I'VE ACTUALLY LOOKED INTO IT. I ASKED THE SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE TO LOOK INTO IT, AND THE STATUTE DOES ALLOW YOU TO HOLD BOTH POSITIONS. WHETHER I HOLD IT OR NOT IS ANOTHER QUESTION. I THINK THERE WOULD HAVE TO BE SOME TRANSITION PERIOD. ONE OF THE THINGS I DON'T WANT TO HAPPEN IS TO HAVE THE OFFICE ESSENTIALLY CLOSED AND MERGED WITH ANOTHER COUNTY, BUT SPEAKING OF THE STATE'S ATTORNEYS OFFICE, ONE OF THE ISSUES THAT HAS COME TO MY ATTENTION SERVING AS STATE'S ATTORNEY IS THAT LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES BY AND LARGE ARE NOT EQUIPPED TO HANDLE FRAUD COMPLAINTS.

>> BEFORE WE MOVE ON TO THAT, I DIDN'T QUITE HEAR AN ANSWER. IF YOU'RE ELECTED, WOULD YOU HOLD TWO JOBS?

>> I THINK I WOULD FOR A TIME PERIOD UNTIL I TRANSITION OUT OF THAT POSITION.

>> OKAY.

>> IT'S A FOUR-YEAR TERM. IT DOESN'T EXPIRE UNTIL 2014.

>> SO HOW LONG WOULD YOU --

>> IT DEPENDS ON WHAT DECISION -- IT WOULD HAVE TO BE A DISCUSSION WITH THE GOVERNOR, WITH THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH.

>> OKAY.

>> THE FOLKS WHO ADMINISTER THAT DEPARTMENT. BUT ONE OF THE BIG THINGS I'VE LEARNED AS A STATE'S ATTORNEY IS THAT POLICE AGENCIES ARE NOT EQUIPPED TO HANDLE CLAIMS ALLEGING EMBEZZLEMENT OR FRAUD, AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I THINK WOULD MAKE SOME SENSE IS TO HAVE SOME RESOURCES ON TAP AT THE AUDITOR'S OFFICE THAT A LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY COULD CALL UPON TO DO A FORENSIC AUDIT AND THAT WOULD REALLY GIVE A STRENGTHENING HAND TO THOSE AGENCIES, BECAUSE OFTENTIMES THEY DO NOT HAVE THE FUNDS AVAILABLE TO UNDERTAKE A FORENSIC AUDIT, AND THEN THERE'S A TUSSLE BETWEEN THE VICTIM WHO IS FACED WITH PRESENTING EVIDENCE TO A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY THAT THERE HAS BEEN IN FACT BEEN AN EMBEZZLEMENT, AND THE POLICE AGENCY WHICH SAYS WE DON'T HAVE THE MONEY TO CONDUCT THESE AUDITS, TIGHT BUDGET AND SO ON, SO ONE OF THE THINGS I'VE TALKED ABOUT IS HAVING AUDITORS AVAILABLE IN CASES WHERE CALLED UPON FOR ASSISTANCE BY LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES SO THAT THEY CAN GO IN AND CONDUCT A FORENSIC AUDIT, GIVE THAT INFORMATION TO THE LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, AND THEN A DECISION COULD BE MADE ON WHETHER THERE HAS BEEN FRAUD OR EMBEZZLEMENT IN A CASE SUCCESSFULLY PROSECUTED. RIGHT NOW, IT'S SOMEWHAT A MEXICAN STAND-OFF BETWEEN VICTIMS AND POLICE AGENCIES BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE THE FUNDS.

>> WOULD THOSE AUDITORS BE COMING DIRECTLY FROM YOUR OFFICE OR WOULD THOSE BE NEW POSITIONS THAT WOULD HAVE TO BE INSTALLED?

>> WELL, DEPENDING ON -- I'M NOT PREPARED TO SAY WE NEED TO ADD MORE STAFF AND COST TO THAT OFFICE. BUT IF THERE WAS A FUND AVAILABLE, 50,000, $100,000, WHICH WOULD ENABLE THE AUDITOR'S OFFICE TO CONTRACT WITH CPAs AROUND THE STATE, SO IF A POLICE AGENCY SAYS WE'VE HAD THIS COMPLAINT, WE THINK THERE'S SOME LEGITIMACY SO IT, WE'D LIKE TO HAVE THE ASSISTANCE OF THE AUDITOR'S OFFICE, THE AUDITOR'S OFFICE COULD CONTRACT WITH A FIRM, GIVE THEM A BUDGET OF 3 TO $5,000, AND ASK THEM TO DO IT. CPAs, OF COURSE, HAVE REAL CRUNCH TIMES DUE TO TAX FILING DEADLINES WHEN THEY'RE BUSY, BUT THE REST OF THE YEAR, THEY'RE CERTAINLY AVAILABLE AND HAVE THE EXPERTISE TO HELP OUT LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES, SO I ENVISION SOMETHING ALONG THOSE LINES, CALLING UPON EXISTING RESOURCES TO HELP LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES, HELPING THEM MAKE A DECISION ON WHETHER TO PROCEED WITH A COMPLAINT.

>> WE TALKED A LOT ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE IN THE LEGISLATURE, OVER THREE DECADES. I KNOW PEOPLE WHO HAVE WORKED WITH YOU FOR A LONG TIME AND I KNOW YOU HAVE A RECORD, A LOT OF PEOPLE SAY YOU'RE VERY SAVVY. SOME OF YOUR CRITICS MIGHT SAY YOU'RE A LITTLE CUNNING OR SLICK. TOWARD THE END OF THE LEGISLATURE, I'M SURE YOU KNOW YOU'VE BEEN A KEY PLAYER IN PUTTING SOME PROVISIONS IN BILLS AT THE LAST MINUTE. HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THOSE CRITICS? I'M SURE YOU'VE HEARD THIS.

>> WELL, THERE WAS AN ARTICLE -- A SURVEY OF LEGISLATORS, WHO ARE THE BEST LAWMAKERS, AND AT THAT TIME SENATOR SHUMLIN AND I WERE NUMBER ONE AND NUMBER TWO. I DON'T KNOW WHO CAME IN FIRST OR SECOND, BUT THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS IS ONE OF COMPROMISE.

>> AND WEREN'T YOU ALSO RATED ON THAT SAME -- NOT THE SURVEY, BUT YOU WERE ETHICALLY CHALLENGED?

>> I THINK HE WAS NUMBER ONE AND I WAS NUMBER TWO OR THREE ON THAT, AND ONE OF THE THINGS I CAN SAY IS THAT OFTENTIMES AT THE END OF THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION WHEN A NUMBER OF SIGNIFICANT ISSUES ARE DEAD IN THE WATER, YOU NEED TO HAVE SOMEBODY MAKE AN EXECUTIVE DECISION, AND OVER THE CAREER OF 32 YEARS, PARTICULARLY SINCE I BECAME CHAIRMAN OF A COMMITTEE IN 1991, THAT WAS THE INSTITUTIONS COMMITTEE AND NOW THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, HOUSING AND GENERAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE, I'VE BEEN IN A POSITION TO EITHER SAY, OKAY, WE'RE JUST GOING TO DEFER AND KILL THIS BILL OR ALLOW IT TO DIE BY IT'S OWN NATURAL CAUSES, OR WE'RE GOING TO PUT TOGETHER A PACKAGE OF AMENDMENTS THAT WILL ACCOMPLISH THE OBJECTIVE. IT MAY NOT BE EXACTLY WHAT ONE SIDE OR THE OTHER WANTS, BUT NONETHELESS, WE'RE GOING TO GET THE JOB. WHEN YOU DO THAT, YOU SOMETIMES PLEASE PEOPLE. SOMETIMES YOU UPSET THEM, SO I THINK THAT'S WHERE THAT COMES FROM.

>> WE'RE OUT OF TIME. I WANT TO THANK SENATOR VINCE ILLUZZI, THE REPUBLICAN RUNNING FOR STATE AUDITOR AND GERNG I WANT TO LET FOLKS KNOW NEXT SUNDAY OUR GUEST WILL BE THE DEMOCRAT PROGRESSIVE CANDIDATE DOUG HOFFER. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.

>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH, KRISTEN AND KYLE.

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