GoLocalProv Has a Peek into Cianci’s New Book

Monday, March 07, 2011


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What will he say? Who will he attack? Did he ever take a bribe? For months, some have been anticipating the arrival of Buddy Cianci’s new memoir. With the book due to be released next week, GoLocalProv has the sneak peak of the top ten revelations in Politics and Pasta: How I Prosecuted Mobsters, Rebuilt a Dying City, Advised a President, Dined with Sinatra, Spent Five Years in a Federally Funded Gated Community, and Lived to Tell the Tale.

1. “Not one cent, not once.”

The former mayor cops to a number of mistakes he made over the course of his long career, but refuses to admit to ever accepting a bribe. He points to a recorded conversation in which he threatened to cut the testicles off of any man who asked one contractor for money. That recording, he says, was never played in court.

2. “Good, I’m pro-life.”

Ask any of the mayoral candidates last year how many times they were asked about their stance on same-sex marriage or abortion and they’ll cringe. Unless you’re Chris Young, these are topics candidates generally avoid because there’s no right answer and more importantly, mayors have no say in these matters. But Cianci claims he came out as pro-life in the early ‘90s in part because two opponents were pro-choice. “Beginning at that moment,” he writes. “I had always been pro-life. Why not? Was it hypocritical? I prefer to consider it political.”

3. The Raymond DeLeo Fight

So what really happened the night Buddy and Raymond DeLeo got into a fight that led to the Mayor resigning? Not what the papers claim, Cianci says. Buddy says he never attempted a push a lit cigarette in DeLeo’s eye or hit him with fireplace log. Oh, and he merely threw the ashtray in DeLeo’s general direction, not directly at him.

4. He was the Angel Taveras of the ‘70s.

Providence was a Roberts, Reynolds, Doorley city when Buddy Cianci threw his hat into the ring to run for Mayor in 1974. In Politics and Pasta, Cianci goes into great detail about what it took to convince locals that a guy with a vowel at the end of his last name could be Mayor. Who would have thought, 36 years later, a Dominican-American named Angel Taveras would be trying to convince voters that he could overthrow the Italian stronghold on the city?

5. “The dumbest decision I ever made in politics”

Cianci’s biggest regret in his career is that he didn’t run for Senate in 1976. He says he could have beaten John Chafee, but that Chafee came to him in tears and begged him not to run. He claims Linc’s father told him, “this is my last chance and I’ve earned it.” Cianci makes bizarre allegations about John Chafee.

6. He was the anti-corruption candidate

Unless you’re a lifelong Rhode Islander or truly infatuated with Providence politics, you probably never knew that Buddy Cianci’s 1974 mayoral campaign centered on labeling incumbent Joseph Doorley as the leader of a corrupt administration.

7. Rape or consensual sex?

While in law school, Cianci was accused of raping a woman. He was never prosecuted and claims the woman chose to go home with him and that the sex was consensual. He blames the Providence Journal for blowing the story way out a proportion.

8. He was incredibly lucky

Like so many men at the tail end of the ‘60s, Buddy Cianci was drafted and was about to head to Vietnam when he received the unfortunate news that his father passed away. While home for the funeral, a colonel asked if he’d rather be transferred to Fort Devens, Massachusetts, to be closer to his mother. Seven years later, he was elected Mayor of Providence.

9. Giving up the “squirrel” was difficult

Cianci says one of the things that truly bothered him about going to jail was having to give up his hair piece. “Not because I cared particularly what it looked like – I didn’t think it was going to affect my social life – but rather because it was symbolic of the loss of control.”

10. Who gets it the worst?

It won’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who listens to the Buddy Cianci Show, but former mayor Cianci probably hits Governor Lincoln Chafee, Congressman David Cicilline and Police Chief Dean Esserman the hardest of all of his enemies in the book. Running a close second is probably the Providence Journal


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