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Friday, March 1, 2013

The Scoreboard: This Week's Winners and Losers

Posted By on Fri, Mar 1, 2013 at 4:00 AM

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It's the event you've all been waiting for! No, not Burlington's Mardi Gras parade. That's tomorrow. (Look for a passed-out Andy Bromage atop the Seven Days float.)

It's this week's Scoreboard! Our regular accounting of the winners and losers in this week's news cycle. Did you make the list? Keep reading...

Winners:

Castleton Polling Institute — Vermont's fledgling polling outfit dominated Vermont political news for a week as it dribbled out results on hot-button topics from guns to wind to end-of-life choice. Finally, Vermont reporters and lawmakers alike have some data to work with as they consider a slew of tough issues.

Miro Weinberger — As Green Mountain Daily's Jack McCullough pointed out this week, both Progs and Dems are claiming in campaign messages that their respective candidates in a hotly-contested Burlington City Council race would help Mayor Miro Weinberger advance his agenda. Dude must be popular. (For the record, the Democratic mayor backs the Democratic candidate. Big surprise.)

Reporters — The fourth estate may finally get its hands on criminal investigative records, thanks to the Senate Judiciary Committee's move this week to adopt federal disclosure standards. Watch out, cops. The Burlington Free Press' Mike Donoghue's gonna getcha!

Losers after the break...

Tie Score:

Big Soda — After last week's defeat, the House Committee on Health Care brought the dreaded $24 million soda tax back to life Wednesday. But don't throw that Mountain Dew out quite yet. The tax still faces very long odds.

Vermonters First — The conservative super PAC showed it ain't no flash in the pan this week with the debut of its first post-election ads bashing Democrats on taxes. But what exactly is the group trying to achieve? Its relatively small ad buy doesn't seem likely to derail legislative Dems' plans — and the next election is, um, 20 months away.

 

Losers:

Big Wind — The Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee jettisoned a three-year — and even a one-year — moratorium on large-scale wind projects this week. But the committee approved an equally onerous provision forcing such projects to undergo the Act 250 permitting process. Runner-up losers: Big Wind's opponents, who remain decidedly in the minority, according to a new Castleton poll.

LIHEAP recipients — Without an unexpected, $900,000 supplement Gov. Peter Shumlin promised this week, the fund providing assistance to low-income Vermonters requiring fuel assistance was poised to run dry. More ominously for those who take advantage of the program, Shumlin said he's asked his administration to take a closer look at eligibility requirements.

Rep. George Till — Bizarrely, the Jericho Democrat took a walk from the House Health Care Committee last Friday to stall consideration of — and, apparently, to build support for — the soda tax bill. That plan failed when the bill temporarily fell on a 5-5 vote. Runner-up losers: Health Care Committee chairman Mike Fisher for moving forward with the vote without Till, temporarily dooming the bill. And whichever reporter erroneously first wrote that Till, a medical doctor, was tending to a medical emergency last Friday.

Seven Days' Paul Heintz — For feeding Gov. Peter Shumlin's already sizable ego by asking him about his purported presidential aspirations at a Wednesday press conference.

You — Because it looks like you'll be hearing that "sequester" word for a long time to come.

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About The Author

Paul Heintz

Paul Heintz

Bio:
Paul Heintz is a staff writer and political editor for Seven Days. He wrote the "Fair Game" political column from May 2012 through December 2016.

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