The Scoreboard: This Week's Winners and Losers
Nukers, governors, firefighters, posturers, farmers, government contractors, Wiffleballers and... Bill Sorrell.
Here's the Scoreboard for the week of Friday, August 15:
Entergy — Say what you will about Vermont Yankee — that its finances are shaky, its employees are being laid off, it won't last another refueling cycle or two, the Public Service Board will shut 'em down — but a win's a win. And Entergy, VY's Louisiana-based owner, won big this week. Runner-up winner: Entergy's hired gun, attorney Kathleen Sullivan, who's now two for two.
Peter Shumlin — Three and a half years ago, Senate President Pro Tem Shumlin heroically led his chamber to reject granting Vermont Yankee another 20-year license. That political victory led him to the governor's office — and the state to a two-year, million-dollar legal battle. Now that the state's lost at the appellate court level, ol' Teflon Shummy seems once again to be dodging the blame. Which reminds us of an apt question posed by Vermont Public Radio's Bob Kinzel last September: "Some say your strategy has been a total failure. You've achieved none of your goals, and you've cost the state millions in legal fees with more costs to come. Why are they wrong?"
Peter Shumlin — Because Dodge Gate is now finally, totally, officially over. Runner-up loser: Peter Shumlin in 14 months, when Dodge Gate will be featured in his opponent's 30-second TV ads. Second-runner-up loser: Peter Shumlin in five years, when the bulk of Dodge's $30k debt comes due.
Anya Rader Wallack — Two weeks after stepping down from the Green Mountain Care Board, Vermont's health care czar is close to signing a $100,000, no-bid contract with the state to oversee a $45 million federal grant she helped obtain. Good work, if you can get it!
Presidential posturing — As the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza often notes, "No politician goes to Iowa by accident." Well, as the New York Times first reported Thursday, former governor Howard Dean is on his way to Iowa. Democracy for America spokesman Neil Sroka further fans the flames, telling Seven Days, "Long story short... this isn't the last you'll be hearing of Dean and Democracy for America in Iowa leading up to 2016." I bet. Runner-up winner: Peter Shumlin, who, for some reason, keeps getting mentioned by Politico as a possible 2016 presidential contender, even though he has definitively ruled it out — and wouldn't stand a chance.
Bill Sorrell — Say what you will about silver linings — and Vermont's attorney general said a lot about them this week — but a loss is a loss. That Sorrell sees Entergy's win at the 2nd Circuit as a validation of his victory over Chittenden County State's Attorney T.J. Donovan last summer is just baffling. Runner-up winner: Donovan, duh, whose second campaign for AG essentially began Wednesday. Runner-up loser: The state's high-priced hired gun, attorney David Frederick.
Progressives — After launching their biennial maybe-we'll-run-for-gov dance, the Vermont Progressive Party seemed no closer to pulling the trigger at a state committee meeting last weekend, according to Seven Days' Kevin J. Kelley. If they can't or won't run in a year when the Democratic governor's taken a sharp right-ward turn on fiscal issues and the Vermont Republican Party has nearly imploded, what good are they?
David Zuckerman's wardrobe — Far be it from us to talk smack about one's professional attire, but come on, Farmer Dave! At least put on a goddamn button-down shirt when you're speaking at a press conference (see dude in bright green T-shirt and overalls at right). Tough times when Sen. Bernie Sanders outdresses you.
State workers — To save $2.5 million, the Shumlin administration is cutting overtime, travel expenses and temporary staffing. But not taxpayer-funded trips to D.C. Runner-up winners: State workers, because it's Bennington Battle Day!