Who won and lost the week in Vermont news and politics?
Well, ponies, for sure.
Here's the Scoreboard for the week of Friday, November 15:
Vermont's congressional delegation — Gov. Peter Shumlin's been taking the heat for Vermont Health Connect's struggles, but what about the three amigos who voted for the Affordable Care Act?
Lt. Gov. Phil Scott — After last weekend's election of Scott ally David Sunderland as chairman of the Vermont GOP, it's the lite gov's party now. Runner-up winner: Party treasurer Mark Snelling, who survived Scott's attempted ouster, and who will surely continue giving him headaches. Second runner-up winner: Brian Dubie, whose adviser, attorney Brady Toensing, was installed as vice chairman.
Vermont Democratic Party — Those bored operatives over at the Democratic Party headquarters seem psyched to finally have some opposition in the form of Sunderland. They were quick to fire off a fundraising solicitation and press release this week going after the new GOP chairman.
Congressman Welch's frequent flier miles — We hear the weather's great this time of year in the Sinai! But maybe next time he should consider Barbados instead.
Single-payer — A new report commissioned by institutions opposed to Gov. Shumlin's single-payer plan argues that the administration drastically underestimated its cost. Like, by as much as $600 million. As if the bungled roll-out of Vermont Health Connect didn't do enough to rain on liberals' parade.
Food stamp recipients — The state's Department for Children and Families may accumulate as much as $800,000 in federal fines by June due to continued accounting errors in the state's food stamp program, the Vermont Press Bureau's Peter Hirchfeld reported Friday. Worse yet? Food stamp recipients themselves have to refund the government for overpayment. Last year, more than 200 households were billed-back an average of $983, Hirschfeld wrote.
The deer — Because, well, you know. Runner-up loser: Ponies.