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EXCLUSIVE: Cianci Weighs in on Providence Mayoral Race

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

 

Former Providence Mayor Vincent `Buddy’ Cianci Jr. was feeling good Tuesday after being released from Miriam Hospital. Good enough, in fact, to quickly weigh in on the 2014 Providence Mayoral race.

"There're a lot of apathy. Not a lot of well-known faces. Not much activity."

He praised the staff at Miriam, where he received treatment for rectal cancer, and is optimistic about his recovery through chemotherapy over the next three months. Cianci, 73, holds the 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. drive time slot on 630 WPRO. He is slated to be back behind the microphone Monday. The former mayor has been mulling another run this year, but hasn't announced a decision.

Campaign plans speculated

Cianci, who has asked the media to respect his privacy while he recovers, said there would be time discuss the election in the future. His patience, however, won't stop local political experts from speculating on the impact of another Cianci campaign. Among them is former Mayor Joseph R. Paolino, Jr., who has been loud and clear about his support for a possible Cianci campaign.

"With Mayor Taveras leaving, and I think he's done some great things, I think people in Providence are looking for somebody who's going to get something done. Creating jobs, economic development, the changing skyline, the tax base. I think people are tired of listening to a lot of talk and want someone who gets things done," Paolino said.

Paolino said he doesn't know if Cianci will run again. And he took care to say that he respects the other candidates. He called City Council President Michael A. Solomon one of the best council presidents the city has ever had.

"He knows how to do things. But Buddy is on a whole different level."

An open book

Cianci has a colorful past. While some people may see a felony conviction as a drawback, Paolino was quick to point that the mayor is an open book.

"There's nothing anybody can tell you that you don't know about Buddy Cianci. His past, his private life, now his health … Everybody knows everything about him. He has lived it on the front page of the newspaper and electronic media. He's probably the most vetted candidate we'll ever have run for office."

M. Charles Bakst disagrees

Former Providence Journal Political Columnist M. Charles Bakst disagrees. (Bakst began the conversation by stating he supports Democratic Candidate Brett Smiley for mayor.)

"Health wise, I wish him well. I hope this heightens the public awareness of cancer and saves some lives. Politically, I'm not a fan of his. I believe people are tired of him."

Bakst disagrees with Cianci's politics – and believes the city would not reelect Cianci – but he agree's with the former mayor's assertion that there's little excitement in the race. A gubernatorial race will nearly always overshadow a city mayoral race. Especially when there are no big names in contention for that office.

"It's absolutely being overshadowed by the race for governor. Angel Taveras, if he's elected, would be the first Latino governor. Gina Raimondo would be the first woman governor. Allan Fung would be the first Asian governor. And Clay Pell is one of the more unusual candidates."

While Bakst made a point of saying he'd "be against Cianci for sure," he said Cianci's name alone would fire up the public's current apathy in the mayoral race.

A new Providence

It's important to note that the city Cianci ran for more than 21 years has changed a lot since he left Providence City Hall in 2002. Rhode Island's Hispanic population has grown from 90,820 in 2000 to 130,655 in 2010. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, Rhode Island is now the 12th most Hispanic state in the country. An estimated 13 percent of Rhode Island residents are Hispanic. The Hispanic population in Providence County is 19 percent.

According to former Rhode Island Attorney General and political commentator Arlene Violet, this is not the Providence that Cianci once ruled.

"Because of the changing demographics, former Mayor Cianci would only have a shot if Mayor Tavares and the other Hispanic office holders backed him," Violet said.

Thomas A. "Tad" Devine, a Block Island resident who was senior adviser in Al Gore's 2000 and John Kerry's 2004 Presidential campaigns, wouldn't speak directly to the Providence mayoral race. He spends most of his time in D.C. and believes the truth about a possible Cianci bid could be found by polling the electorate. He did say, however, that Cianci's recent cancer announcement could be a factor.

"A new set of circumstances with his health could make people feel differently about him today than they did yesterday."

 

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Comments:

Is there anything more disgusting, than the thought of this?!?!??!?!??

Comment #1 by pearl fanch on 2014 01 29

If Providence was to elect this creep mayor, then they get what they deserve.

Comment #2 by Mark St. Pierre on 2014 01 29

"a lot of apathy" there were about 200 people at the Solomon kickoff event today. They were all excited. Not a lot of apathy to be found. This city needs to move forward.

Comment #3 by John Durst on 2014 01 29

"a lot of apathy" there were about 200 people at the Solomon kickoff event today. They were all excited. Not a lot of apathy to be found. This city needs to move forward.

Comment #4 by John Durst on 2014 01 29

And since Buddy who has been moving the city forward?..Providence has gone down the tubes..this over taxed,illegal sanctuary crime ridden rat hole is the result of a progressive democratic political agenda that has destroyed the beautiful fabric of our great neighborhoods.All you progressive dems are responsible, and if Providence keeps electing these extreme left wing loonies Providence will be doomed forever!

Comment #5 by LENNY BRUCE on 2014 01 30

Jojo Monkey -

Agree. Well said, Sir. The usual suspects must be nervous. Buddy has yet to state his intentions yet they're already in a tizzy, frenetically overstating their histrionic objections to his sure-win candidacy.

Nice of Golocal to quote the resentful and their obsolete left wing grousings.

Providence was always in the news for the good when Buddy was mayor. But the Left and the syndicates it finds useful couldn't have that.

So they smeared Buddy, accused him of what which they do, attacked him with Judicial Terrorism, and the news for the past decade has not been so good, has it?

Buddy Cianci was the best thing to happen to Providence and as most magnanimous Joe Paolino states with clarity, he's the best vetted candidate going; everybody knows Buddy. Everybody.

Ask people anywhere in our beautiful country, it's amazing how many know Buddy anbd have the best to say about him.

The sullen, churlish, ghouls from the Haunted House of Discarded Left Wing Idols who're well wishing here - the phrase 'damnation by faint praise' comes to mind - can never take that away.

Providence never looked so good as it did on Buddy's watch. And apparently the Paolino family must have confidence that Buddy may run and win, given their fine investment expressions of confidence in the city's properties of late.

All good news, which explains why Leftist ghouls are gassing off like doomstruck, dingbat magpies.

One can only wish Buddy the best. He's endured far more than many who burp their leftist platitudes could hope to survive.

Comment #6 by paul zecchino on 2014 01 30

Tired of Buddy?And this from a repulsive schmuck like Charlie Bakst?No surprise he supports Brett Smiley-a 34 year old carpetbagger who became head of the Providence Water Supply Board seemingly by magic and has made it a personal crusade to promote civilian disarmament.When it comes to being tired of people,Bakst wears out his welcome the minute he walks into a room.I don't think Buddy Cianci will run again-he probably makes a much better living at WPRO without the hassle of being in public office-but there are no candidates with broad appeal.If John Lombardi gets into the race it might be interesting.

Comment #7 by Joseph Bernstein on 2014 01 30

Joseph Bernstein -

Thanks for the refresher on Smiley, had heard the name before, couldn't place it.

The Left never quits with its anti-gun agenda, does it?

Comment #8 by paul zecchino on 2014 01 30

Paul-there another Smiley-Mark-he is the chairman of the state Republicans and a strong 2A supporter.It can be a little confusing.

Comment #9 by Joseph Bernstein on 2014 01 30

Joseph Bernstein - Ahh, thanks for the additional info & clarification re Mark, the 2A supporter vs. 'Carpetbag' Brett.

"Wears out his welcome the minute he walks into a room". Fits.

Comment #10 by paul zecchino on 2014 01 30




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