Super Scoreboard: This Week's Winners and Losers | Off Message

Super Scoreboard: This Week's Winners and Losers

It's been quite a week. Between Superstorm Sandy and a looming election, there was no shortage of news.

So this week we bring you an expanded edition of The Scoreboard. And, somewhat unusually, we've found way more winners than losers.

Here's the list for the week of Friday, Nov. 2:


Vermont — Fourteen months after Tropical Storm Irene, Vermont would've had a tough time taking another direct weather hit. We're thankful Sandy mostly passed us by — and we're thinking of our friends in New Jersey, New York and elsewhere in the eye of the storm.

Green Mountain Power — Vermont's dominant power company faced its first major test since gobbling up CVPS earlier this year — and it passed with flying colors. GMP secured out-of-state (and -country) line-workers early, turned the lights back for 29,000 customers by 7:30 Tuesday morning (eventually 48,000 within 48 hours), and then sent its line-workers down south to help harder-hit states. A job well done.

The Media — With Irene in mind, Vermont news outlets took Sandy seriously and worked hard to get good information out quickly. The Burlington Free Press, Rutland Herald and Barre-Montpelier Times Argus dropped their online paywalls, Vermont Public Radio produced special coverage Monday night and the state's TV stations flooded the zone.

Bill and Lou — The Green Mountain College oxen got a temporary reprieve after hippies freaked out.

Doug Hoffer — The Democratic/Progressive state auditor candidate produced the best ad of the election season this week. And he managed to make a serious point about the influence of money in politics without sounding like a Debbie Downer. As of this writing, more than 3000 people have watched the video on YouTube (and likely many more on Vimeo). But because it won't see the light of day on TV, most folks who haven't made up their mind probably won't get a chance to see it.

Phil Scott — The Republican lieutenant governor burnished his bipartisan bona fides this week by attaching himself to Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin during the state's response to Sandy. Then he spoke out against a negative ad produced by Sen. Randy Brock, his party's gubernatorial nominee. Like Republican state auditor candidate Vince Illuzzi, he's done an effective job of distancing himself from the more extreme elements of his party.

BrattleboroMore jobs and more yogurt. Everybody wins!

M. Dickey Drysdale — As first reported by Green Mountain Daily, the conservative super PAC Vermonters First recently bought two quarter-page ads in the Herald of Randolph attacking Rep. Sarah Buxton (D-Tunbridge). But because he "deplores" super PACs, Herald editor Dickey Drysdale donated the $504 payment from Vermonters First to the Randolph Area Food Shelf. Talk about leading by example.

Gene Bergman — One of two Progressives running for a two-member House district in Burlington's Old North End, Bergman took part in a debate I moderated last night featuring local candidates for the House and Senate. In one of his answers, Bergman took the unusual step of bashing the moderator for writing a weekly blog feature calling out the week's winners and losers. Ballsy move. You, sir, are definitely a winner!

Losers after the break...


Randy Brock — The Republican gubernatorial candidate could have closed out his uphill race against Shumlin with his reputation as a thoughtful, reasonable guy intact. Instead, he rolled out a nasty, misleading attack ad seven days before voters cast their ballots. This was short-term stupid and long-term stupid.

Howard Dean — I'm sorry, but did Ho-Ho really say that the treasurer's race is a "referendum on whether you want big money, in terms of these super PACS, to play a role in Vermont politics?” This coming from the dude who voiced ads for and provided strategic advice to the first super PAC to pour money into a Vermont political race? Give me a break.

Jack McMullen — Speaking of Dean, Republican attorney general candidate Jack McMullen finally tried to wack Democratic Attorney General Bill Sorrell over his alleged coordination with a super PAC. Talk about too little too late. McMullen will get his hearing in Chittenden Superior Court — but not until two days after the election. Why'd he wait so long?

Cassandra Gekas — Props to the Progressive/Democratic lieutenant gubernatorial candidate for landing a post-election gig — and for being totally forthcoming when we called to ask her about it. But applying for one job when you're running for another is, um, a little off-message.

Political nerds — It's official. Not a single nonpartisan organization has commissioned a poll in Vermont during this year's general election. Castleton took a pass. So did WCAX. So did VPR. The situation's so bad for reporters desperate for data that the Vermont Press Bureau's otherwise discerning Peter Hirschfeld wasted 850 words last weekend writing about a month-old, robo-poll commissioned by a left-wing interest group. Come on, Pete! That ain't news.


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