NEW: Bakst Takes To Facebook To Blast Cianci

Saturday, October 19, 2013


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In a throwback to a political era gone by former political columnist for the Providence Journal took to Facebook to critique both former Mayor Joe Paolino and his suggestion that Vincent "Buddy" Cianci should run for Mayor again.

Bakst, who retired in 2008 after more than 40 years as a reporter, editor and columnist, claims Paolino is irresponsible and Providence should never go back to the Cianci era.

...Joe Paolino says numerous "qualified leaders" are urging Buddy Cianci to run for mayor if Angel Taveras seeks the governorship.
I have no doubt Paolino said it. But it leaves me shaking my head in wonderment. Why in the world would ANYONE, let alone a "qualified leader," want to see Cianci return to City Hall?
I appreciate that he did some good things, and he's entertaining, but he left a disgraceful legacy, and who needs to revive that kind of administration and the stain it cast upon the city?
I say: Providence, move on!

Bakst and Cianci were never close. In Mike Stanton's book, The Prince of Providence, about Cianci, Stanton writes, "The veteran political columnist had followed Cianci's career from way back, and has been one of his most persistent critics."

Stanton quoted Bakst - Buddy Cianci is bright, energic, and funny," Bakst wrote after Cianci announced his 1990 comeback. "So why is the prospect of his return as mayor -- even his running for mayor -- so troubling? Perhaps it is because elections should be appeals to the conscience and ideals of the community, to the best within us, not the dark side of society that makes celebrities of criminals and embraces as heroes those who abuse the public's trust."

After Bakst wrote this, Cianci won the Mayor office and was repeatedly re-elected until he resigned after he was convicted of a felony in federal court.



Note: The Paolino comment was made to reporter Dan McGowan, former GoLocalProv reporter, now writing for Nesi Notes at WPRI-TV's Web site.


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