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Friday, February 8, 2013

The Scoreboard: This Week's Winners and Losers

Posted By on Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 4:00 AM

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It was a loser of a week in Vermont news and politics. 

The good news? The gnar-gnar is falling from the sky — and it shall soon be shredded.

Without further ado, here's The Scoreboard for the week of Friday, February 8:

Winners:

'Death' drama — If I had a dollar for every time next week's physician-assisted suicide vote was rescheduled this week, I could buy all the break-open tickets in the world. No matter the timing, the real drama's around the vote count.

Unions — The Senate made (kind of) quick work this week of long-debated "Fair Share" legislation forcing certain non-union members to pay agency fees. Here's the question: Will unions go after freshman Sen. Chris Bray (D-Addison) for sticking his neck out in opposition to the bill?

Gannett — Print advertising revenue and subscription volume continued to drop at the Burlington Free Press mother-ship last quarter, but those new paywalls and subscription price hikes drove circulation revenue up nearly 17 percent over last year. Poynter's Rick Edmonds is calling Gannett's strategy "a spectacular success." Now maybe the Freeps can hire some copy-editors!

Sen. Patrick Leahy's relevance — Thanks to concurrent Senate Judiciary Committee fights over guns and immigration, Roll Call's Meredith Shiner wrote this week that Vermont's senior senator "might be the most important Senate Democrat outside of Majority Leader Harry Reid." Also, who's that guy Leahy was chatting with Monday in this AP pic?

Vermont's ski industry — Duh. Then again, if Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York are blanketed with even more pow-pow, how are those states' residents gonna get up here to spend all their money?

Losers after the break...

Losers:

Entergy — The Super Bowl. The UBS report. And the reemergence of the 'green field' bill. Ugh!

Montpelier — With the state's district heating plant $2.3 million over budget, it wants the city of Montpelier to pony up more than half a million bucks more, the Barre-Montpelier Times ArgusDavid Taube reports. Wait a sec. Is that the project the city council tried to can last year fearing cost overruns?

Sandy Miller and South Burlington — Geez. Talk about airing your dirty laundry in public!

Break-open tickets — Um, yeah. About that $17 million...

Department for Children and Families — Sorry, folks. There's just no way to spin your way out of the embarrassment caused by this week's disclosure of a 2012 DCF report pre-futing the Shumlin administration's plan to cap Reach Up eligibility.

Health care costs for low-income Vermonters — The federal government's decision Wednesday not to match subsidies to low-income Vermonters transitioning to the health care exchange prompted the Shumlin administration Thursday to reduce its proposed subsidies from $10.3 million to $7 million, as VTDigger.org's Andrew Stein reported. At least they'll still get part of that Earned Income Tax Credit!

Gov. Peter Shumlin — See previous three entries. Runner-up winner: Shumlin, for being in Miami this week when the shit hit the fan.

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About The Author

Paul Heintz

Paul Heintz

Bio:
Paul Heintz is a staff writer for Seven Days. He previously served as political editor and wrote the "Fair Game" political column.

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