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Former SGA Pres. Under Attack for Gov't Funded Social Media Work

State Auditor Candidate claims Kleinhans was overpaid

By Tyler Dumont
On September 13, 2012


A past president of the Lyndon State Student Government Association ("SGA") is coming under fire for receiving $5,000 in taxpayer money for social media work.
The Vermont Digger reported on Tuesday, Sept. 4that the money paid to John Kleinhans (class of 2012) for his work on Facebook amounted to "$40 a like."

Kleinhans also served as a member of the Vermont State College Board of Trustees while attending LSC.
Both Vermont Digger ( and the Burlington Free Press are following the story.

Doug Hoffer, Democratic candidate to replace the outgoing auditor, Thomas Salmon (R), who has served since 2006, criticized Salmon for paying Kleinhans to create a tax-funded health and weight-loss program  called, "Accountable to You, Accountable to Me."
Hoffer said that the state auditor is the one who should be held accountable.
"This is an example of why we need a change in direction at the Auditor's Office," Hoffer told the Burlington Free Press. "I'm highlighting this to remind voters I
know how to do this work and that the auditor's office itself needs to be audited."
Kleinhans, however, defended the program - and his paycheck.

"We wanted to reach out to Vermonters to get them to have healthier outcomes," Kleinhans told The Critic in an exclusive interview. "We were trying to change people's lives before it's too late.

The former SGA president said his project went way beyond Facebook.

"The criticism that it was nearly $41 per Facebook like was awfully wrong," he told The Critic. "There were so many different avenues, and parts of the project. It had a directive to it. I was directly overseeing the budget of the auditor."

Kleinhans said that the $5,000 he received went directly back into the community.
"It wasn't just Facebook," he said. "We incorporated Twitter and other social media. I went to different colleges. I was interviewed on the radio and television, including a feature on "The :30" on WCAX-TV. I also spoke to different leadership groups across the state. I wasn't a poster child for this - I was basically the middleman to set this up and get better outcomes. It was continually run out of the auditor's office."

Kleinhans said the social media work was just one of many things he did for Salmon's re-election campaign.

"Starting in 2010, I ran all operations for his campaign for auditor, including
events, voter outreach, and coordinating with interns," he said. "I travelled across the state."
Salmon claims on the state auditor's website that the goal of the "Accountable to You, Accountable to Me" program is to "empower 1,000 Vermonters to be accountable with their lives."
Kleinhans told The Critic that at least so far, the program has not come close to achieving that goal.

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