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October 25, 2013

The Scoreboard: This Week's Winners and Losers

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

Guns, missiles, fighter jets, free speech, steeples, contractors and... Bernie Sanders.

Here's the Scoreboard for the week of Friday, October 25: 


Jack Lindley — The Republican party chairman is on the mend after a very close call. In our book — whether he keeps his leadership post or not — that makes him one serious winner. Runner-up losers: Those plotting to oust Lindley while he's still in the hospital. Can't it wait, fellas? 

Stealth missions — Remember that whole ICBM-destroying missile defense base proposed for the Vermont National Guard's Camp Ethan Allen? Yeah, that one. Though the Pentagon's top brass say they don't need an East Coast interceptor, the Missile Defense Agency quietly dispatched a five-man team to Jericho last week to check the place out, as the Burlington Free Press' Nicole Gaudiano reported Thursday.

Bernie buzz — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) kinda sorta claims he has no interest in running for president. But it was interesting that his campaign staffer, Ben Eisenberg, emailed reporters a link to an In These Times story Thursday in which his boss says, "I haven't ruled it out."


Tie Score:

Gov. Peter Shumlin — Three weeks after Vermont Health Connect's launch, the gov argued Thursday that the glitchy health insurance web portal has seen marked improvements in recent days. But surely worried his administration will miss yet another deadline, Shumlin avoided making specific functionality promises — and declined to describe any contingency plan.

Queen City guns — The Burlington City Council on Monday backed three new gun control measures that would ban firearms in bars, require their safe storage and confiscate them from those suspected of domestic violence. But another proposal — to create a city-sponsored conceal-carry permit — was shot down, and a proposed local assault weapons ban was killed in committee. The big question: Will the legislature and Gov. Peter Shumlin get behind any gun-related charter changes?

Free speech fracases — A Montpelier city hall employee drew the ire of Mayor — and commercial bank lobbyist — John Hollar after she spoke out in favor of a state-run bank, the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus' Eric Blaisdell reported this week. And a South Burlington resident got booted from Front Porch Forum after complaining about what he considered to be political hate speech, as Seven Days' Kathryn Flagg reported. We'd say more about this but don't want to get kicked off this blog.

Beer geeks — On Tuesday, the Alchemist announced that once a month it will brew an old favorite — available in growlers at the Waterbury cannery. By Thursday, alas, the first batch had run dry.



The steeple scene — Burlington's College Street Congregational Church is coping with the aftermath of an act of arson allegedly committed by a 32-year-old Burlington man.

CGI — The contractor charged with building Vermont Health Connect — not to mention the federal version of the exchange — is fielding plenty of stern phone calls from Shumlin, the gov said Thursday. And from probably every other government official in the country.

F-35 beat reporters — If either side of the pitched battle over basing holds another damn press conference, I'm gonna dive-bomb the lake. Runner-up winner: Political reporters, if Attorney General Bill Sorrell and Chittenden County State's Attorney T.J. Donovan bless us with another feisty primary.

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