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Friday, December 13, 2013

The Scoreboard: This Week's Winners and Losers

Posted By on Fri, Dec 13, 2013 at 4:00 AM

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

Two words: Ed Adrian.

Here's the Scoreboard for the week of Friday, December 13:

Winners:

Vermont Health Connect — After weeks of bad press, the state's health insurance exchange nabbed a few good headlines after Gov. Peter Shumlin announced Thursday that more and more Vermonters are signing up. Granted, those who've found the most success purchasing health insurance are the ones who bypassed the exchange entirely and went straight to their insurance companies. But, hey! Coverage is coverage!

Ed Adrian — The former Burlington city councilor, Democrat and Twitter junkie put the Vermont press corps to shame this week when he ponied up $50 to attend the Vermont GOP's winter gala Wednesday night. When the press learned they weren't invited (after tickets sold out), Adrian's tweeting and blogging of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's keynote address made him virtually omnipresent. 

Beltway ShummyHaving won reelection Monday as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, look for Gov. Peter Shumlin to play a more prominent role in the national political debate. This year, after all, the DGA played in just one gubernatorial election. Next year, 36 seats are up for grabs.

Jim Douglas — The former gov's run-in with a deer last weekend gave everyone a chance to dust off their old gubernatorial deer and bear jokes. We're just glad he and his wife, Dorothy, walked away unharmed. Now, can we get this guy his security detail back?

Ken Squier — The legendary owner of WDEV-Radio won the Vermont Press Association's Matthew Lyon Award for his lifelong commitment to the first amendment. Squier and WDEV were honored at the VPA's not-so-annual meeting and awards ceremony Thursday at Montpelier's Capital Plaza. Runner-up winners: Everyone else who took home hardware. The Burlington Free Press and Seven Days both won the VPA's "general excellence" awards for best daily and non-daily papers. The Freeps took home 13 awards, while Seven Days, the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus and the Herald of Randolph each took home eight.

Tie Score:

Vermont Republican Party — By all accounts, the Vermont GOP's big fundraiser was a rip-roaring success. It brought in the cash, energized activists and shifted the narrative away from "Vermont Republican Party in disarray." Alas, thanks to Gov. Christie vanquishing the press, the headline of nearly every story about the event focused on the press being barred from it. Lesson learned?

Bruce Lisman — Campaign for Vermont, retired Bear Stearns exec and Shelburne resident Bruce Lisman's political advocacy group, is staffing up, the Burlington Free Press' Terri Hallenbeck reported Monday. By hiring an executive director and lobbyist, the outfit is sure to influence the Statehouse debate this winter. But why on earth does Lisman keep claiming that folks like Gov. Peter Shumlin and House Speaker Shap Smith are following his lead, when nothing he's proposed is anything new?

Losers:

Peter Shumlin — The governor on Wednesday lost any remaining credibility he might have had with the press corps about when he learned about Vermont Health Connect's problems — and when he disclosed them to the public. His claim that an off-handed remark at a July 8 forum in Burlington constituted "transparency" doesn't pass the straight-face test. Here's hoping he'll get his story straight soon about when he knew the exchange was cruisin' for a bruisin'. Runner-up winner: Vermont Public Radio's Taylor Dobbs, whose solid story prompted the latest Shummy switcheroo.

Janet Ancel and Tim Ashe — The legislature's tax committee chairs tried to pull off a last-minute reform to the state's tax code in May. When House Speaker Shap Smith and Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell blinked, they promised to bring the plan back in January 2014. As seemed obvious then, that ain't gonna happen.

Rutvegas.com — The city of Rutland lost its website domain name late last week, the Rutland Herald's Josh O'Gorman reported Tuesday. The new owner? Some dude in Panama. 

WCAX-TV — With the departure of Kristin Carlson, Channel 3 is losing one of its best reporters and anchors. Politicians may not love Carlson's hard-hitting questions (or her trademark snark), but we certainly do. Runner-up winner: Green Mountain Power, which scored another solid hire.

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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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