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December 14, 2012

The Scoreboard: This Week's Winners and Losers

Scoreboard.newWhat do Justin Bieber and Gasoline Vallee have in common? Not much. Except making it on this week's Scoreboard.

Here are the winners and losers in Vermont news and politics for the week of Friday, December 14:


Sen. Bernie Sanders — It was a big week for Ol' Bernardo. He nabbed a Senate committee chairmanship, a fawning New York Times profile and a fight over gas prices with best frenemy Skip Vallee. Runner-up Winner: Congressman Peter Welch, who clawed his way back onto the House Energy & Commerce Committee.

Whooping cough — Health Commissioner Harry Chen told reporters Thursday that Vermont has seen 10 times as many cases of pertussis this year than last, prompting the Health Department to offer vaccine shots at clinics throughout the state next week.

Reps. Willem Jewett and Tess Taylor — At last weekend's meeting of the House Democratic caucus, Jewett (D-Ripton) won without opposition the majority leader post being vacated by outgoing Rep. Lucy Leriche (D-Hardwick. In a contested race for House Dems' number three spot, Taylor (D-Barre) beat Rep. Rebecca Ellis (D-Waterbury) 49 to 37.

Justin Bieber — "J.B." or "victim number three" managed to hold on to his life — and his balls — after an incarcerated Vermonter hired two New Mexican men to kill and castrate the Biebs and his bodyguard, along with two Vermonters. The guy behind the plot apparently had a tattoo of the pop star on his leg, but he sure don't sound like a Belieber to us! Runner-up Winner: The St. Albans Messenger's Jessie Forand, who, it looks like, broke the story of the Bieber connection.

Losers and tie scores after the break...

Tie Score:

Skip Vallee — Gasoline Vallee clearly wanted to pick a fight with Sanders. He succeeded. But what does that do for Vallee other than prompt a bunch of pissed-off Sanderistas to drive on by Maplefields next time they have to fill up?

Barre — On the upside, the Granite City's application to host the state's last tax increment financing (TIF) district was approved Thursday. On the downside, a gas station malfunction caused a 3000-gallon oil spill in town. Runner-up Winner: Barre Mayor Thom Lauzon, who owns several properties within Barre's new TIF district and who, the Barre Montpelier Times-Argus' David Delcore writes, has been "its most outspoken proponent."


Rutland County Republicans — Sen. Bill Carris' decision this week to step down from the state Senate comes a couple months too late for Rutland Republicans to take his seat back at the ballot box. Instead, Gov. Peter Shumlin gets to appoint a Democrat to fill the post for the next two years.

F-35 proponents — It's hard to see what politicians backing the basing of F-35 fighter jets in South Burlington gained from their trip this week to Eglin Air Force Base, other than a lot more flack from skeptical opponents. Gov. Peter Shumlin's remark to VPR's Kirk Carapezza that the jets' critics have "fertile imaginations" seemed particularly insensitive to those whose livelihoods are wrapped up in houses on the planes' flight path. And why exactly won't Sen. Patrick Leahy personally meet with F-35 opponents, as they demanded this week?

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