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Friday, July 5, 2013

The Scoreboard: This Week's Winners and Losers

Posted By on Fri, Jul 5, 2013 at 4:00 AM

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Who won and lost the week in Vermont news and politics?

Lobbyists, flag thieves, health care haters, jets, the news and maybe you! 

Behold, the Scoreboard for the week ending Friday, July 5:

Winners:

Dzemila Heco — Nearly six years after an accident on Route 15 in Essex rendered her paraplegic, the Essex Junction woman won a $43.1 million verdict in her lawsuit against car seat maker Johnson Controls. The Burlington Free Press' Sam Hemingway, who first reported the story Monday, quoted a legal expert calling the verdict the largest in state history.

Vermont businesses — They'll pay less in unemployment insurance taxes now that the state has repaid a loan from the U.S. Department of Labor. Runner-up loser: Unemployed workers, whose benefits were capped at $425 at the height of the recession.

Health care reform haters — Vermonters for Health Care Freedom scored a rare round of press hits this week when it circulated a letter written by. U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darell Issa (R-Calif.) taking aim at the state's new health care exchange. 

Davis love — Gov. Peter Shumlin jumped on the #TeamWendy bandwagon last week when he called Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis to congratulate her on her famed filibuster to halt an anti-abortion bill. Does his call mean the Democratic Governors Association, which Shumlin chairs, is trying to recruit Davis to run for governor? Not necessarily. Shummy dodged that question at a press conference earlier this week.

Stannard love — VTDigger's Andrew Stein doled out the love for lobbyist extraordinaire Bob Stannard in an unsurprisingly entertaining exit interview this week. Is this the last we'll see of the Manchester native in Montpelier? I highly doubt it.

F-35 publicity — First came the Boston Globe. Then Harper's. Now the New York Times.

Losers and ties after the break...

Tie Score:

Danilo Lopez — Vermont's most famous migrant farm worker isn't yet in the clear, but a "stay of removal" he plans to file on Monday may keep him in the country a little longer. Speaking of famous, Lopez even made Seven Days' first cartoon issue this week in a story written by Andy Bromage and illustrated by Jen Sorensen.

 

Losers:

Homeless Vermonters — As Seven Days' Kathryn Flagg first reported last Friday, new emergency rules drawn up by the Agency of Human Services will soon slash the number of homeless Vermonters eligible for emergency housing. That's prompted one nonprofit down in Brattleboro to start collecting sleeping bags and tents, according to The Commons' Olga Peters.

The Vermont Guard and Head Start — Remember the sequester? As VTDigger's Alicia Freese reports, furloughs at the Guard start next week, while the state's Head Start programs have already laid off 22 staffers and cut enrollment by 150. 

The news — You know there ain't much of it when the Associated Press writes up a four-graph news brief on an appointment to the Vermont Commission on Women — and news outlets across the state run with it.

Flag thieves — 'Murica's gonna hunt you down, drag you from your hidey-hole and bring yer to justice! 

Vermont — The roads are collapsing, the strawberries are moldy and it WON'T STOP RAINING!

You — If you're not seeing Phish in Saratoga Springs this weekend.

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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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