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Friday, May 3, 2013

The Scoreboard: This Week's Winners and Losers

Posted By on Fri, May 3, 2013 at 4:00 AM

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Who won and lost the week in Vermont news and politics? Behold, The Scoreboard for the week of Friday, May 3.

Winners:

Fletcher Allen Health Care — Nothing'll make your week quite like the gift of a $13 million property.

Jane Kitchell & Tim Ashe — The approps and finance chairs got their budget and tax bills through the Senate this week relatively unscathed. Both bills picked up bipartisan support from a handful of Republicans each — and both earned nay votes from Sen. Anthony Pollina (P/D-Washington), who evidently isn't going along to get along.

Labor — They lost battles this week over unionizing states' attorneys and requiring newspaper bosses to pay unemployment insurance. But on the biggest labor issues of the session — "Fair Share" and creating a home health care workers union — they won big.

Patrick Leahy — Vermont's senior U.S. senator hits the crème de la crème Sunday talk show this week with an appearance on NBC's "Meet The Press." But when will we next see him back in Vermont?

Seven Days — For coining the term, "flatlander cows."

Losers after the break...

Tie Score:

The teevees — The Senate hit the satellite TV industry with a tough new tax Wednesday, but DISH Network and DirecTV aren't taking it lying down. Look for negotiators of a final tax deal to get all weak-kneed once all those couch potatoes pick up the phone to hammer 'em.

Physician-assisted dig-nicide — Sure, the original Oregon-style doc-death bill cleared the House this week, but it remains to be seen whether the Senate will budge. All eyes are on Sens. Bob Hartwell (D-Bennington) and Peter Galbraith (D-Windham), who remain the two likeliest swing votes. 

Reach Up beneficiaries — The Senate accepted new limits to the welfare program, but included enough exemptions to render it far less harsh than the version first proposed by Gov. Peter Shumlin. 


Losers:

Deb Markowitz & Patrick Berry — The ANR secretary and Fish & Wildlife commissioner still have their jobs, but their reputations took a hit this week when the Associated Press' Dave Gram documented their post-Irene plant-scapades. So much for Marko waging a political come-back and making another bid for statewide office.

Vermont Workers Center — They summoned hundreds of activists to the Statehouse lawn Wednesday for a May Day rally to "put people first." But their presence was barely felt inside the building, where all the budget and tax action was taking place. Why didn't they occupy the Senate and House chambers?

Peace of mind — Sketchy envelopes and packages shut down Congressman Peter Welch's Burlington office and downtown Montpelier for a few hours each this week. It's a post-Boston world.

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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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