The Burlington alternative weekly Seven Days sent out 400 surveys back in March asking lawmakers, lobbyists, legislative staffers and reporters to rate the legislature. The survey included a mix of categories from the serious, like "Most likely to reach across the aisle" to the more tongue-in-cheek like "Biggest Flirt" and "Best looking."
It also included the category "most ethically challenged." About 30 surveys were completed. And with just 12 votes Peter Shumlin was named the "most ethically challenged" lawmaker in Montpelier.
Now, he’s the Democratic nominee for governor. And that dubious distinction from a small sampling of the Seven Days survey is being used against him by his political opponents in commercials and press releases.
Paula Routly, founder and publisher of Seven Days and David Mindich, professor of Journalism at St. Michael’s College talk with VPR’s Mitch Wertlieb about the ramifications of the survey and how it’s being used.