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Side of the Rhode: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not in RI Politics?

Friday, August 10, 2012


Who’s Hot

Allan Fung & John Robitaille -> Everyone is buzzing about General Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras being the favorites in the 2014 Governor’s race, but the Republicans will certainly be able to put up a quality candidate as well. Mayor Fung is widely viewed as the star of the party (but would he challenge his close friend Taveras?) and Robitaille nearly pulled off a victory in 2010. If it’s a four-way race again, anything could happen.

Gary Sasse, Scott Gibbs & Marcel Valois -> Kudos to these talented individuals for putting together a proposal to revamp the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (EDC). The agency has been rightfully ridiculed thanks to the 38 Studios debacle, but there is no question that, if managed correctly, it can play a vital role in improving the economy.

Dan McKee -> The Cumberland Mayor is pushing a more efficient public safety system in his town that will result in savings by merging fire departments but will not cost anyone their job. It appears to be another smart play by a guy who looks like he may have a solid shot at Lieutenant Governor in 2014.

Libby Kimzey & Gayle Goldin -> Congrats to the two legislative candidates in Providence who picked up endorsements from Providence Mayor Angel Taveras last weekend. Kimzey is running on the same sort of platform Taveras ran on in 2010 (New Providence VS Old Providence), but it is still tough to count out John Lombardi in that race. The endorsement for Goldin may go a long way on the East Side in her Senate race against Maryellen Butke.

Donald Lally & Michael McCaffrey -> This legislative duo co-sponsored the bill that made it illegal for felons to carry body armor and it paid off in a big way this week when police arrested a Pawtucket man who had a gun, a knife and two cans of pepper spray in addition to body armor in his car.

Elizabeth Beisel -> The feel good story of the year in Rhode Island. Congrats on bringing home both silver and bronze from the Summer Olympics.

Who’s Not

Brendan Doherty -> In the campaign gaffe of the year thus far, a Doherty volunteer attempting to do a little recognizance work was caught red handed (and on video) by the Cicilline campaign. The fact that he called from Doherty’s campaign headquarters just makes it worse.

Anthony Gemma -> It’s never a good sign when your field director quits a month before the Democratic primary. Gemma has focused almost all of his efforts on going door-to-door through the 1st Congressional District. One has to wonder what impact, if any, his field director’s departure will have moving forward.

Gina Raimondo -> It’s extreme to suggest the Treasurer is involved in some elaborate pay-for-play plot for accepting a few thousand dollars in campaign contributions from employees of companies that received state contracts, but that doesn’t make it right either. The smart play here would be to return the money just to make sure it doesn’t come up again in 2014.

William O'Brien -> The North Providence State Rep. candidate this week was caught using the same campaign language as Jimmy Carter’s grandson (a Georgia State Senator). While Mr. O’Brien may have had Jason Carter’s permission, you still have to question his decision-making skills. More importantly, kudos to whomever did the opposition research on this story.

Mike Riley -> He’s the most credible challenger Jim Langevin has ever had, but suggesting he would support Congressman Allen West for President was a slight slip up for Mr. Riley. There is a path to victory for Republicans in Rhode Island, but throwing your support behind extreme right wing politicians is not the answer.

Providence Housing Authority -> The mess at the PHA continues now that HUD is threatening to defund the agency because it appointed the chairman of the board as the interim executive director without requesting a waiver. It’s just another mistake from a board that has struggled so much recently that they want to hire an agency to help them with crisis communications.


Dan McGowan can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @danmcgowan.


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kimzey??? Is she still voting out of New jersey,a post office box or from Rep Tanzis old Narragansett address ?

Comment #1 by anthony sionni on 2012 08 10

Al (tax you ) Fung. Well maybe you should stroll around Cranston and speak to the blue collar person like myself about the property taxes this loafer has done nothing about. And look into why we are having more home invasions ? Cranston has a section that makes South Providence troubled section look like East Greenwich. I think your star may have some Fung-us on it.

Comment #2 by Jay Mmmm on 2012 08 10

"Anthony Gemma -> It’s never a good sign when your field director quits a month before the Democratic primary. Gemma has focused almost all of his efforts on going door-to-door through the 1st Congressional District. One has to wonder what impact, if any, his field director’s departure will have moving forward."

This will have no impact! Gemma will win,wait and see! People have had enough of cicilline!

Comment #3 by anthony sionni on 2012 08 10

@ Sionni, Lombardi should do just fine. No P.O. for John just a hard committed worker.

Comment #4 by Jay Mmmm on 2012 08 10

William O'Brien what are you thinking ? Jimmy Carter's grandson. You would have been better off using Grace Diaz's punch lines.

Comment #5 by Jay Mmmm on 2012 08 10

Angel clean house PHA. If not those rodents will have you in the outhouse.

Comment #6 by Jay Mmmm on 2012 08 10

People should watch the Second Congresional GOP primary debate on stateothestateri.com. State of the State and Operation Clean Government will hereafter have separate Vimeo channels and websites.

Comment #7 by Michael Gardiner on 2012 08 10

Wow Dan, 11 hots!!

Comment #8 by tom brady on 2012 08 10

"a little recognizance work"???

Yet another reason why it will never be "The NBC Evening News, with Dan McGowan.

Fox News, on the other hand ...

Comment #9 by Charles Drago on 2012 08 10


By your logic the politicians that receive union contributions should return those donations. I'm all for it. Do you agree?

Comment #10 by george pratt on 2012 08 10

Allow me to say this - for all of the Gemma supporters - if he should lose the primary - will you throw your support behind Brendan Doherty? Or will you vote for the "sake of the party"? Serious question to ponder. You scream for change but will you actually make that change?

Comment #11 by christine spaziano on 2012 08 10

You present us with a classic sophistry: a logical argument based on a false premise.

In your case, the false premise is that Brendan Doherty represents meaningful, positive change vis a vis David Cicilline.

Brendan Doherty, like David Cicilline, promises nothing new. By their actions and their public pronouncements, they exhibit neither the vision, the courage, nor the will to reinvent how a member of Congress does business.

Brendan Doherty, like David Cicilline, will "call for" this and "urge" that -- and in the process, contribute nothing to the struggle to break partisan gridlock.

Brendan Doherty, like David Cicilline, stands for nothing but the status quo and, of course, for himself.

Brendan Doherty and David Cicilline ... peas in a pod.

Comment #12 by Charles Drago on 2012 08 10

So Charles - opposed to dodging the question - how will you vote in November?

Your argument could be used for anyone running for office. If we all believed that way, no one would care to vote and where would be? So since they all are the same (Gemma included by your standards) what does one do in November? Vote for the party or the person?

Comment #13 by christine spaziano on 2012 08 10

Mayor Fung is HOT?! This guy was caught attending the Allen West fundraiser this past weekend. If he thinks he's going to run for governor and support people like Allen West he's got another thing coming. Not in this state.

Comment #14 by Steve Krieger on 2012 08 10

How about Linc Chafee NOT HOT after that ridiculous video trumping all he's done for business as we put new curtains in our basement unemployment apartment.

Comment #15 by David Beagle on 2012 08 10

The Progressive movement in the US and Rhode Island is a failure. Most of us are conservative democrats, republicans or independents. The outrage on the streets against the anti business attitude and nanny state Orwellian elites controlling our lives is palpable. I want to fix this progressive mess that has invaded Washington that has already hurt Rhode Island.

Comment #16 by michael riley on 2012 08 10

Charlie, is it true that you're working as Team Gemma's speechwriter/researcher/field director/new media consultant?

Comment #17 by Oberon Sexton on 2012 08 10

I'll address you directly just as soon as you drop the pseudonym and reveal your true identity.

You call me by name and ask about aspects of my life. Yet you won't even display the courage of your convictions sufficient to identify yourself.

How ... Cicilline of you.

Comment #18 by Charles Drago on 2012 08 10

Ms. Spaziano, you clearly have no idea whatsoever of my "standards."

Comment #19 by Charles Drago on 2012 08 10

And "Oberon Sexton," you may have made an error in addressing me as Charlie.

While I'm not yet willing to bet the house on it, that form of address, coupled with your third-rate literary abilities and fifth-rate mind, are redolent of bought-and-paid-for Cicilline hack and voter fraud expert Matt Jerzyk.

And if I'm right, Providence City employee "Circle" Jerzyk is posting on the public's dime.

Hmmm ... I'll look into this further.

Comment #20 by Charles Drago on 2012 08 10

Once upon a time people cared about their own taxpayer millions disappearing to a highly connected group of officials...I repeat my call that the FBI should be handed this public corruption case that involves several different states and is centered right here in Rhode Island.....Mr Doyle and friends should send Mr Shilling a bouquet.................................

Comment #21 by michael riley on 2012 08 10

Non-Rhode Islander Kimzey picks up Taveras's endorsement over Lombardi, who challenged Taveras in the last mayoral election. Is that surprising or even news-worthy? Great, she got an endorsement from the mayor who couldn't get the budget balanced and left Providence with an $18 million deficit last fiscal year and already another $10 mil in underfunding the pensions planned for this year.

What's Angel's solution to fix this? Looks like it will be to kick the can down the road to make the Dems look good through election day, then let all hell break loose. I sense bankruptcy on the horizon for Providence, conveniently timed after election day.

Comment #22 by Russ Hryzan on 2012 08 10

People can watch the Second Congresional GOP primary debate on stateofthestateri.com. State of the State and Operation Clean Government will hereafter have separate Vimeo channels and websites.

Comment #23 by Michael Gardiner on 2012 08 11

"Oberon 'Circle Jerzyk' Sexton," we're waiting for "your" response.

Who are "you," baby?

My best guess is that if Matt "Circle" Jerzyk does in fact post from the safety of the "Oberon Sexton" camouflage, he could be just one of many Cicilline hacks aping their master's cowardice.

Go Local Prov, do your job. Can you trace "Oberon Sexton's" computer to determine if posts are being made from a Providence municipal office during business hours?

Comment #24 by Charles Drago on 2012 08 11

Libby Kimzey is a far-left radical. She comes from the anarachy wing of the Democrats. DIsastrous choice. Never done a damn thing in her entire life except muckrack... of course, if you can chalk up helping a fellow socialist get into the General Assembly, Terrie Buchbaum Tanzi... well, that might count for something.

What a nightmare for those living in Olneyville and Federal Hill. Please Tarro, Do something...

Comment #25 by Rachel Rossetti on 2012 08 14

Libby Kimzey is a hardworking community leader and she will represent Broadway well on Smith Hill. We need her leadership, passion and fortitude.

Comment #26 by Brian Greggs on 2012 08 16

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