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

The Scoreboard: This Week's Winners and Losers

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So who won and lost the week in Vermont news and politics?

Big boxes, prisons, pandas, tans, Republican unity, Putney nudity, Waterbury canneries and.... Vermont Health Connect. Duh.

Here's the Scoreboard for the week of Friday, November 8:

Winners:

Jeff Davis — With an assist from Gov. Peter Shumlin, Vermont's biggest big-box store developer won a promise this week from the Preservation Trust of Vermont and the Vermont Natural Resources Council that both will drop their opposition to his proposed Derby Wal-Mart. In exchange, developer Jeff Davis agreed to pony up $200,000 to the Preservation Trust for remediation efforts in Orleans County, while the state promised to appropriate another $500,000 for downtown tax credits. Davis also pledged to refrain from proposing future Walmarts in the state until 2020. Runner-up loser: VNRC executive director Brian Shupe, who spent years fighting Walmarts while working at Smart Growth Vermont, and looked visibly pained at the deal's announcement Wednesday. He called it "bittersweet."

Gov. Peter Shumlin — Terry McAuliffe's narrow victory in Virginia's closely watched gubernatorial race gave Shumlin an important victory in his first year as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association. And because he and the DGA effectively distanced themselves from the only other guber race in the country — New Jersey Republican Chris Christie's reelection romp — they avoided taking blame for the loss. Runner-up winner: Vermont's own Robby Mook, who solidified his credentials as one of the top political operatives in the country.

Lt. Gov. Phil Scott — A week after the Republican lite gov stood in solidarity with the Democratic gov at a tough health care announcement, Scott managed to scare the Vermont GOP's conservative chairman out of running for reelection. The next day, he announced he was bringing Republican rock star Chris Christie to town. Looks like Scott's moderate Republican brand is catching on. 

Corrections Corporation of America — A few months ago, the state extended its contract with the nation's largest prison corporation for another two years, as Seven Days' Mark Davis reported this week. Under the agreement, Vermont will continue to send up to 660 inmates and $34 million to Kentucky and Arizona.

X-chromosomes — With Shumlin's appointment of Marjorie Ryerson to a vacant House seat Friday, the House Democratic caucus became majority-female for the first time ('course, House Progressives currently boast a 4-1 female-male ratio). So when's Vermont's statewide political scene gonna stop being such a sausage fest?

Miro's tan — A year after JetBlue eliminated its nonstop Florida flight out of Burlington International Airport, Mayor Miro Weinberger on Tuesday heralded the arrival of Allegiant Air, a low-cost airline that plans to offer twice-a-week service to Orlando. Hey Miro, you pack the sunblock; I'll bring the Coronas.

Panda putsch — "Is Brattleboro big enough for two Pandas?" the Brattleboro Reformer's Howard Weiss-Tisman asked in last Saturday's paper. Evidently not, now that the owners of the 25-year-old Panda North are up in paws about a new Panda West that recently opened on the other side of town.

No-pants Putney — You know Windham County's getting wacky when even burglary becomes clothes-optional.

 

Losers:

Burlington — For the first time since 1997, a Burlington Police Department officer discharged his service weapon Wednesday afternoon, killing New North End resident Wayne Brunette. As the Vermont State Police investigate the incident, the officers involved have been placed on administrative leave.

Vermont Health Connect — Until it's fully up and running, the state's health insurance web portal will continue to earn its place here on the Scoreboard.

Low-income Vermonters — Some 1400 Vermonters in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program will have to find new fuel dealers this winter after new state regulations prompted 11 fuel dealers to bolt from the program.

Republican unity The knives are out in advance of Saturday's Vermont Republican Party leadership elections. With GOP chairman Jack Lindley out of the running, will former Bernie foe John MacGovern really lock up conservatives' support — or will Team Scott take the day? Runner-up loser: Mark Snelling, who managed to offend both Scott and Campaign for Vermont founder Bruce Lisman in a single day, prompting him to apologize to the latter, if not the former.

Grinders — We've got trouble, right here in River City! That's right. Those crazy teens in Stowe are grinding. Grinding, I say! Runner-up losers: reporters who describe such devilish dancing as "the suggestive dance style known as grinding... where two or more dancers rub or bump their lower bodies against on another suggestively." Note to the Stowe Reporter: Next time, can you please explain "twerking?"

Beer geeks — Pour one out for the Alchemist Cannery's retail store, which is closing to the public November 15. Wait! Don't pour one out! That shit's worth its weight in gold.

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