Who won and lost the week in Vermont news and politics?
Workers, swimmers, drinkers, Welch, Dodge, Bernie, Shummy & Brommy. That's Andy Brommy to you.
Here's the Scoreboard for the week ending Friday, July 19:
Gov. Peter Shumlin — By striking a very reasonable deal with aggrieved neighbor Jeremy Dodge, the gov should finally be able to put his real estate troubles behind him — at least until next fall, when his political opponents will undoubtedly resurrect the issue. That is, unless there are any more Jerry Dodges out there... Runner-up losers: The Republican operatives who hoped to fan the flames a little longer on this one.
Jeremy Dodge — Last fall, the guy was one step away from losing his land to tax sale. Now he's got five years to pay off a low-interest mortgage. He got exactly what he wanted: his house — and another chance to hold on to it. Now, let's hope the family and friends who were so quick to jump in front of a TV camera remain by his side to help him pay Shummy back.
Gov. Peter Shumlin (redux) — Turns out the gov got a nice boost to his bank account in January when his campaign repaid him the $275,00 he loaned himself during his 2010 gubernatorial race. Better yet, none of his (obvious) potential 2014 opponents — Randy Brock, Phil Scott, Brian Dubie or Bruce Lisman — turned in impressive fundraising totals this week. Runner-up loser: Shumlin's small-dollar donors, whose money went straight to the gov's personal bank account.
Vermonters — If Norwich's Jane Stetson is named ambassador to France, we all get to party down at the American embassy in Paris, amiright amiright?!?!?!
Losers and ties after the jump...
Bill Sorrell and T.J. Donovan — Neither of last year's battling AG candidates raised much cash in the past six months, but the Vermont Press Bureau's Peter Hirschfeld captured quotes from the two epitomizing their respective political approaches: Sorrell says he hates being bothered to campaign, while Donovan says he continues to wake up at night in a cold sweat with visions of hanging chads chasing him through through a haunted house. Well, almost.
Homeless Vermonters — On the upside, the Department of Children and Families is backing off stringent news rules that would make it difficult for them to seek shelter in area motels, VTDigger's Alicia Freese reports. On the downside, they're still homeless.
Congressman Peter Welch — On the upside, he raked in nearly $122,000 last quarter — more than 80 percent of it from D.C.-based political action committees. On the downside, the Vermont press corps, which usually ignores the congressional delegation's quarterly filings, actually covered his PAC largesse this time around. Who know?! Maybe next time they'll try to find out what these PACs are getting out of the relationship!
IBM — By refusing to disclose layoff totals and calling on state government to keep the tally secret, Big Blue managed to drag out a bad news story as long as possible — and piss off pretty much everybody in the state. Runner-up winners: Shumlin (dubs redux!) and Secretary of Labor Annie Noonan for standing up to the company, when most Vermont politicians (Shumlin usually included) prefer to kiss the company's ass.
Vermont workers — First IBM. Now VTDigger's Andrew Stein is reporting that Vermont Yankee employees are "essentially being asked to reapply for their jobs" — right when the nuke plant's owner, Entergy Corporation, is planning nationwide layoffs. One source tells Stein that the company could axe 10 percent of its 650-person Vernon workforce.