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June 21, 2013

The Scoreboard: This Week's Winners and Losers

Scoreboard.newWho won and lost the week in Vermont news and politics? 

Race car drivers, Dominican banana growers, dirty hippies, VPR listeners, journalists and more! 

Behold, the Scoreboard for the week ending Friday, June 21: 

Winners:

Lt. Gov. Phil Scott — No really, he's a winner. With Gov. Peter Shumlin out of town Thursday night, Scott "took the first victory for a Vermont Acting Governor in state history in the 50-lap Late Model Feature" at Thunder Road, WCAX reported. As if there's a lot of competition in the gubernatorial racing realm! You'd have to round up a couple of bears to get Shummy moving that fast. Runner-up losers: Taxpayers, who foot the bill for round-the-clock gubernatorial State Police protection, only to see their acting gov veering around a race track at top speed.

Changes of attitude — After biting the hand that regulates it, the struggling Vermont Health CO-OP adjusted its attitude this week and decided to listen to — rather than fight — the Department of Financial Regulation's criticisms. Runner-up winner: Jerry Diamond, the gov's Dodge-gate lawyer and one of the CO-OP's newest board members. Dude hasn't gotten this much press since running for governor in 1980.

Big Ben — After remembering the Dominican property he left off his 2010 financial disclosures, Shumlin told Seven Days he lets a guy named "Big Ben" grow bananas on the 3/4-acre property for free. Paging Jerry Dodge!

Mark Mitchell — He got un-fired this week — at least for now. Runner-up loser: The VSEA, for obvious reasons.

Howard Dean nostalgia — You have the power (to read a lot of Ho-Ho nostalgia stories this week)! But will Dr. Dean run it back in 2016? I wouldn't count on it.

John McClaughry nostalgia — Because, hey, why not?!

(Safe) hippie sex — Seventh Generation co-founder Jeffrey Hollender is getting into the, um, toxin-free, fair trade condom business, WCAX's Gina Bullard reported this week. Best part of Bullard's story? The hilarious woman-on-the-street interviews on Church Street. Be sure to check it out.

You! — That is, if you go vote for yourself in the new "Best Facial Hair" or "'Daysies Man' Doppelganger" categories in this year's Seven Daysies (Ballots close at 5 p.m. Friday, FYI).

Losers after the break...

Tie Score:

Danilo Lopez — All three members of Vermont's congressional delegation have now weighed in on the fate of Vermont's most famous migrant farm worker, as Seven Days' Andy Bromage reported. But will their letters be enough to tip the scales? No doubt Sen. Patrick Leahy could halt Lopez's deportation with a single phone call to the right person.

VPR listeners — After an eternity of agonizing pledge drive banter, VPR is promising to stop hassling us and let us listen to Terry Gross uninterrupted, starting Saturday. Runner-up winner: Mitch Wertlieb, because that's one winning bro fro. Second runner-up winner: Plainfield, which seems poised to win VPR's Town Challenge ice cream social contest. COME ON, BURLINGTON!

Losers:

The national journalism scene — We lost a good one this week with the death of Michael Hastings.

The Vermont journalism scene — The Rutland Herald laid-off at least four employees this week, including chief photographer Vyto Starinskas, assistant sports editor Carleton Laird and New England Business Journals editor Robin Pollack, according to several insiders. We'd provide you with more details, but after three days of attempting to reach Herald publisher John Mitchell, state editor Rob Mitchell and general manager Catherine Nelson, they still haven't called us back. Hey guys, my number is: (802) 865-1020, ext. 30.

Dairy farmers — They got hosed by the U.S. House.

The Bob Stiller comeback — When the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters visionary was ousted as board president last May, he pledged to make a comeback. But as Vermont Business Magazine reported Thursday, he's retiring from the board instead. By appointing to its board three seasoned execs from American Express, Credit Suisse and Proctor & Gamble, the company seems to be taking Wall Street's advice to beef up its corporate governance.

Springfield drug dealers — As the Herald's Susan Smallheer reported, 22 of the 33 people arrested in a major drug bust Wednesday were Springfield residents. Damn, that's gotta be half the town!

That third drink — House Judiciary Chairman Bill Lippert (D-Hinesburg) told WCAX's Kyle Midura he's gonna make another go at lowering the legal blood alcohol content limit from .08 to .05 next session. Will he have any more luck than he did in 2000 or 2008?

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