Each week when we compile The Scoreboard, we send out anemail to a number of friends, sources and other assorted scofflaws asking their help in identifying the week's winners and losers in Vermont news and politics.
This week, every single person who replied suggested thesame name for our loser column: Gov. Peter Shumlin.
We’ve never seen that kind of uniformity.
So this time we’re going to switch things up a bit and startwith the losers. Without further ado, here’s The Scoreboard for the week endingFriday, May 24:
Gov. Peter Shumlin — Politics and shady-looking land deals just don't mix. Ask Bill Clinton. Worse yet are rumors of FBI investigations. But the biggest problem for the governor in his dispute with neighbor Jeremy Dodge is that it reinforces the notion that he's a cold-hearted capitalist with little regard for poor Vermonters. Whether there's more to the story than meets the eye — and we suspect there is — this has simply been a terrible week for Peter Shumlin.
Jeremy Dodge — Looks like Shumlin's neighbor will get at least a temporary reprieve from the ouster he faced, so that's good for him. But the guy's rough story and shady past have been splashed across front pages and TV screens all week, and that's just never good. Whether or not you sympathize with his plight, it's very clear his fate is out of his own hands.
Vermont Republicans and Progressives — Will they try to capitalize on Shumlin's stumble or will they let this one play out on its own? Stand up for Dodge? Pillory Shumlin? Or play it safe and avoid potential political peril. Lt. Gov. Phil Scott dipped his pinky toe in the shallow end of the criticism pool; how'd it play?
Sen. Patrick Leahy — The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman succeeded this week at sending a largely intact, comprehensive immigration reform bill to the Senate floor. The 13-5 vote, which included three Republicans voting yes, may bode well for further action. And though Leahy failed at securing rights for gay, binational couples, he earned kudos for, well, trying.