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June 28, 2013

The Scoreboard: This Week's Winners and Losers

Who won and lost the week in Vermont news and politics? 

Pipe organ-istas, raccoons, vagrants, eardrums and, um, Patrick Leahy.

We humbly present you with the Scoreboard for the week ending Friday, June 28:


Vermont trailblazers — It's hard to overstate the role our little state has played in advancing gay rights over the years. Here's to the Vermonters who led the way and helped make possible the Supreme Court's decision Wednesday to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act.

Sen. Patrick Leahy — Immigration reform, SCOTUS decisions, an FBI director nomination, the ongoing NSA surveillance debate. If you're Leahy — and you like nothing more than being at the center of it all — this was a good week.

Evolution — Absent from the voluminous coverage in Vermont of DOMA's evisceration (including my own) was mention of one salient fact: Back when DOMA passed the Senate in 1996, both of Vermont's senators, Leahy and Jim Jeffords, were among the 85 who voted for it. Only then-Congressman Bernie Sanders voted against it. In the years since, Leahy evolved quite a bit and became one of the loudest cheerleaders for DOMA's repeal. Did he make up for that first vote?

Payoffs — Speaking of evolution, Sanders spent weeks pretending he might not vote for immigration reform, complaining that the bill allowed too many guest workers to take American jobs. But in the end, as the National Review's Jonah Goldberg wrote this week, "his support was bought with a $1.5 billion youth jobs program" that doesn't have a heck of a lot to do with immigration reform.

Burlington vagrants — Sure, they can still get booted from Church Street, but at least they get to read the 14-page legal memo justifying the legality of their eviction!

Holly Maniatty — Without question, she is Vermont's dopest sign language interpreter. Runner-up winner: Pipe organ geeks.

Losers after the break...


Eardrums — The Air Force ain't the only ones making a racket these days. Anti-F-35ers brought the noise to Burlington's City Hall Park and downtown Montpelier on Tuesday, demonstrating just how loud those planes might be. Runner-up winner: F-35 protesters, whose media savvy improves with every passing week. These guys sure know how to play us media hacks.

Pedantic union bickering — OMG! An AFSCME official mispronounced "MAHN'-tee-peller?!" In the fight between a "Boston-based prison guard union" and the "out-of-state, New York City-based SEIU," the rhetoric isn't shaping up to be particularly inspiring.

Dodge disclosure — Adult Protective Services might be investigating Gov. Peter Shumlin's shady land deal with East Montpelier neighbor Jeremy Dodge, but we might never know about it, VTDigger's Andrew Stein reported Wednesday.

That raccoon — What a bully! Runner-up winners: Those kids. Totally badass.

Your weekend/summer plans — Because it's raining. Again. What is this shit?

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