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November 01, 2013

The Scoreboard: This Week's Winners and Losers

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

Just a bunch of nothing-burgers.

Here's the Scoreboard for the week of Friday, Nov. 1:


The business community — Gov. Peter Shumlin's surprise announcement Thursday that he'll delay the mandate for individuals and small-business employees to buy insurance through Vermont Health Connect should give HR managers a breather. Not to mention procrastinators! Runner-up loser: The business community, which may be all the more confused by Shumlin's new contingency plans.

Rep. Don Turner, Sen. Joe Benning and Lt. Gov. Phil Scott — Last Wednesday, Turner and Benning — leaders of the House and Senate Republican caucuses — called on Shumlin to delay the mandate if the website's technical issues persisted. Last Friday, Scott joined their cause and made the same case on VPR's Vermont Edition. Shumlin apparently heard their advice and heeded it.

Randy Brock and Darcie Johnston — Brock, the 2012 Republican gubernatorial candidate, and Johnston, his former de facto campaign manager, looked like they were going out on a limb in September when they predicted that Vermont Health Connect just wouldn't work. Whelp, turns out they were right!

Gamblers — If you're into them fancy lotto ticket vending machine doohickeys at the local Shell station, you're in luck. The Vermont Lottery Commission is considering letting bars and restaurants have 'em, too, as WCAX and VTDigger first reported. Runner-up loser: Sen. Tim Ashe, who was served an overflowing glass of hater-ade by Green Mountain Daily's John Walters for his rather uppity reaction to the machines: They're apparently "completely vulgar" and "garish." God forbid!

Burlington housing developers — Burlington College's new campus "master plan" is the latest in a series of development projects planned for the city. That's good news for developers and those hoping for more affordable housing — and bad news for neighbors and lovers of green space.

Energy optimism— Green-energy honchos announced an ambitious goal Tuesday to power 20 percent of the state with renewables by 2020. They say more solar and wind installations — and a carbon tax — are necessary to ensure the state reaches its 90 percent goal by 2050.

The Red Sox (duh) — With apologies to the Yankees insurgency and the Expos ex-pats, Vermont is very much Red Sox Nation. Koji Uehara is reaching Heady Topper-levels of popularity right now. Runner-up winner: The University of Vermont, for avoiding the celebratory riots that broke out at UNH and UMass.


Gov. Peter Shumlin — Turns out that "nothing-burger" of a problem with Vermont Health Connect's payment system was one big Whopper. After this week's health exchange debacle, Shummy might have to rethink his "getting tough things done" campaign slogan next time around.

F-35 opponents — Critics of the plane thought they could convince the Burlington City Council to bar F-35s from landing at the city-owned Burlington International Airport, but the council shot down two resolutions to that effect Monday night. Runner-up loser: Anti-F-35 ringleader James Leas, who was evicted from VTDigger after referring to himself as a "freelancer" for the online news outlet in a call with a Pentagon spokeswoman.

Sodexo — After labor unions and students put on the pressure, the University of Vermont and Vermont State Colleges put the brakes on the food service vendor's plan to reclassify many of its employees as part-time, which would have jeopardized their benefits.

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