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

The Scoreboard: This Week's Winners and Losers


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

Moose, kids, cats, congress critters, northern cities, pollsters and planes!

For more, read the Scoreboard for the week ending Friday, July 12:


F-35 coverage — The South Burlington City Council said it now supports basing F-35s in town. The Winooski City Council said it now opposes the planes. A group of medical professionals said they're "bad for our children's health." And the Vermont Air Guard said they're "the right fit" for Vermont. Like 'em or not, America's next fighter jets were the talk of the town in Chittenden County this week.

Newport — A Newport-based cycling gear company broke ground on a new facility in Derby. The Jay Peak crew announced that a lite airplane manufacturer is coming to Newport State Airport. And, most importantly, Seven Days' own Corin Hirsch and Megan James cruised to Newport to see if the city's ready for prime-time. On the downside? Newport's North Country Hospital cut 19 jobs Tuesday, according to the Caledonian-Record. Runner-up winner: Gov. Peter Shumlin, who might be able to talk the state into buying him one of those fancy Newport lite planes. Buy local, right?

Weather forecasters — They're the only reporters anybody wants to hear from these days. Runner-up losers: political reporters, for obvious reasons.

T.J. Donovan — The indictment this week of Winooski Police Cpl. Jason Nokes makes the Chittenden County state's attorney look tough on (allegedly) rogue cops — something that can't be said of erstwhile political opponent Attorney General Bill Sorrell. But by letting a grand jury do the dirty work of criminally charging the cop, Donovan avoids directly antagonizing the law enforcement community. A savvy political move by a guy looking for rematch against Sorrell? 

Losers and ties after the break...

Tie Score:

The kids — Shumlin had an adorable audience of little kiddies Wednesday when he announced a new public-private partnership to expand access to pre-school in Vermont (They even kept us reporters on our best behavior). Asked during the presser at Williston's Heartworks School whether he worried about the potential health impacts of F-35s on children, the gov said he didn't know enough to comment. But when WPTZ's Stewart Ledbetter asked Heartworks founder Louise Piche how kids at the pre-school react when F-16s fly overhead, she said some are "fascinated," but others "really feel anxiety" and "cover their ears."



Vermont delegation's priorities — Sen. Patrick Leahy wants to add comprehensive immigration reform to his legacy list, but House Speaker John Boehner's getting in the way. Sen. Bernie Sanders wants to restore lower interest rates for federal student loans, but Senate Democrats are getting in the way. And Congressman Peter Welch wants to pass a farm bill with food stamp and dairy stabilization programs included, but House Republicans are getting in the way.

Castleton Polling Institute — Vermont's first and only polling outfit came out with the results of a new survey Thursday. Did they measure support for the F-35 in Vermont? Or Shumlin's post-Dodge approval rating? Or any substantive legislative policy matters? No. They asked 629 Vermonters about... quality of life in Vermont. ZZZZzzzzzzzz...

Leahy logic — On the question of whether there was a coup in Egypt last week, the senior senator's position is "cloudy" with a chance of meatballs.

Vermont State Employees Association — Talk about a P.R. misfire. The union lost in the court of public opinion back when 63 of its workers demanded double-time after Tropical Storm Irene. This week, it also lost in the court of the Vermont Labor Relations Board, as the Vermont Press Bureau's Peter Hirschfeld first reported.

Moose — Get out of the road, bro. Runner-up winner: Cats. Stay out of the water, bro. Runner-up winningest: Sharknados. Enough said.

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