Shumlin taps former reporter to be aide
By Peter Hirschfeld
Vermont Press Bureau | December 07,2012
Louis Porter is seen at a news conference Thursday in Montpelier. Gov. Peter Shumlin announced Porter’s appointment as Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs.
MONTPELIER — A former political reporter who covered the Legislature for the Vermont Press Bureau has been named to a high-profile post in the administration of Gov. Peter Shumlin.
Louis Porter, who ended his five-year stint at the Vermont Press Bureau in late 2010, will serve as secretary of civil and military affairs.
Porter will be responsible for pushing some of the administration’s top initiatives through the Legislature, where he’ll soon be lobbying some of the same lawmakers he used to cover.
Shumlin cited Porter’s “respectful and collaborative relationship” with lawmakers as one top reason for the hire.
“He is someone whose integrity and extraordinary intelligence and commitment to what’s best about Vermont has always impressed me,” Shumlin said of his new hire Thursday. “So when we convinced him to come join this administration, I’ve got to say it was a great day.”
Porter will leave his job as lakekeeper for the Conservation Law Foundation, where he has been a vocal critic of the Shumlin administration’s pollution remediation efforts in Lake Champlain, as well as of the river dredging that occurred immediately after Tropical Storm Irene.
But Porter said it was a no-brainer to take a job with an administration that he believes is moving the state in a positive and exciting direction.
The 37-year-old Adamant resident isn’t officially on board yet, but he’ll join the Shumlin team prior to the next legislative session.
He replaces Alex MacLean, who is leaving government for a job in the private sector.
MacLean left the secretary job in mid-summer to manage Shumlin’s re-election campaign, then rejoined the executive branch after the election.
The civil and military affairs post has long been used by governors to house top campaign aides inside the administration.
Porter said it’s too early to say what kind of role, if any, he’ll play in electoral politics. He’ll make $72,000 a year.