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April 26, 2013

The Scoreboard: This Week's Winners and Losers

Scoreboard.newWho won and lost the week in Vermont news and politics? Behold, The Scoreboard for the week ending Friday, April 26:


Chikin — Everybody's favorite kale-eating t-shirt maker, Bo Muller-Moore, lost round one of his fight against Chick-fil-A this week. Apparently the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office thinks we're all too stupid to distinguish between kale and "chikin" — whatever that is.

Bankers, smokers and low-income workers — A last-minute proposal by Gov. Peter Shumlin to stick five large banks with a higher franchise tax rate seems to be going nowhere in the Senate, while the Finance Committee has put higher cigarette prices on the back burner. Most significantly, the committee's leaving alone the Earned Income Tax Credit, which Shumlin tried to gut.

Vermont newspapers and radio stations — They got a half-million-dollar infusion of cash earlier this year when the beverage industry went on a spending binge to kill the soda tax. Now those aren't empty calories.

Vermonters First — The state's left-leaning political establishment loves to poo-poo the conservative super-PAC-turned-lobbying-outfit, but it does so at its own peril. The group's latest mailer — it hit House Democrats who backed a trio of tax increases — shows it'll relentlessly target its opponents in the 18 months leading up to the next election.

F-35 opponents — The plane-haters nabbed a high-profile ally this week when Ben & Jerry's cofounder Ben Cohen scooped up the anti-Pentagon rhetoric outside Sen. Patrick Leahy's Burlington office. Runner-up loser: Leahy, who's refused to personally sit down with the opposition, but who was more than happy to take a phone call Tuesday from Cohen. Guess you gotta have Chunky Monkey bucks to get your calls returned!

Losers after the break...


Realtors, water bottlers and satellite TV purveyors — Those are the victims of the week in the Senate Finance Committee's draft tax bill. Look for a vigorous debate over the cloud tax next week on the Senate floor — and for everything to change as soon as the conference committee convenes.

Racist farmers — We hate to use the 'r' word, but really?! As VPR's Kirk Carapezza reported, a group of dairy farmers told the House Transportation Committee Wednesday that migrant workers shouldn't be allowed to drive because "they don't plan ahead" and "like to drink" after work. Using that logic, half the state should lose their licenses.

Burlington's living wage ordinance — A 55-page report issued by the Queen City late last week found that the ordinance "has gone almost entirely unenforced during the nearly 12 years it's been on the city's books," reported Seven Days' Kevin Kelley. So much for fair play.

Your wallet — The gas tax goes up next week. Enjoy!

H. Brooke Paige — The erstwhile Republican Senate candidate brought his birther lawsuit to the Vermont Supreme Court this week, arguing that President Obama isn't a "natural born citizen." But as the Burlington Free Press' Sam Hemingway reported, dude somehow couldn't manage to interest Obama in representing himself at the hearing.

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