The Scoreboard: This Week's Winners and Losers
Below are the other winners in Vermont news and politics this week — and the losers. Behold, a special budget address edition of the Scoreboard for the week ending Friday, January 25:
Republicans — They might not be able to elect a governor in Vermont. Good thing they've already got one! Runner-up winner: Ronald Reagan for making an unlikely appearance in a Vermont gubernatorial budget address.
The Bernie - Gasoline Vallee Bromance — On Tuesday, we got a hearing in the Vermont House featuring the best frenemies: Sen. Bernie Sanders (by speakerphone) and Maplefields magnate Skip Vallee. And on Thursday, Costco got a positive decision on its Act 250 permit to build gas pumps at its Colchester warehouse, drawing praise from corporation-loving Sanders and scorn from environmentalist Vallee. I'm telling you folks; get 'em a reality TV show!
Vermont Fuel Dealers — By going after break-open tickets to fund thermal efficiency, Shumlin's budget proposal avoided taxing home heating fuels. Then again, if there ain't $17 million at the local VFW post, look for legislators to do what Shummy won't.
Smart meters — BREAKING: Smart meters won't kill you. But those tinfoil hats might!
Tax Department auditors — If Shummy gets his way, they'll be hangin' out at bars, collecting proceeds from break-open tickets.
Losers after the break...
Progressives — Shumlin's EITC and Reach Up proposals were a slap in the face to progressivism, but at least they give the Progs something with which to differentiate themselves from Shumlin and his fellow Republicans. Ahem, I mean Democrats.
Century Arms — One of the world's largest dealers of surplus military weapons has been operating under the radar in Franklin County — until this week.
Drunk Elks Club members — Who knew they spent so much on these break-open ticket things?! The bad news gets worse: If Shummy gets his way, they'll be paying even more — or winning less!
Shumlin's "broad-based tax" pledge — If a gas tax ain't broad-based, what on earth is?
Clean water — Though his own administration says it'll cost $156 million a year to clean up Vermont's rivers and lakes, Shumlin uttered not a word about funding clean water efforts in his 29 minutes at the podium Thursday. So much for the Conservation Law Foundation having an inside man with the ear of the governor.
The teleprompter guy — Whoever was in charge of Shummy's teleprompter Thursday should be prompted to get another job.
Kristin Carlson — The WCAX reporter and anchor put the Shumlin administration on notice during a media briefing Thursday not to delay the release of its health care financing report until just before her newscast. So when did they hit the send button? 4:46 p.m. Thanks for the late afternoon news dump, team!
UPDATED with additional Loser: Paul Heintz for misspelling Kristin Carlson's name in the original version of this post.