RI Progressive Democrats Call for Mattiello’s Resignation

Monday, July 03, 2017


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Speaker Nick Mattiello

Spokeswoman Capri Catanzaro of the Rhode Island Progressive Democrats of America announced on Saturday night in a statement sent to GoLocal that her organization is calling for the resignation of Speaker of the House Nick Mattiello. 

The Progressive Democrats have been consistent critics of Mattiello’s policies, but Friday’s State House chaos seems to have triggered the Progressive’s unusual action. The announcement was first reported by RI Future.

“Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello in his latest example of conservative gamesmanship, putting the House in recess immediately after hearing that his Senate colleagues might actually put their two cents into the budget. Mattiello’s childish, thuggish action mimics Trump and is an embarrassment to Democrats and the state of Rhode Island,” said the group in a statement.

Larry Berman, spokesperson for the Speaker refused comment and direct questions to Democratic Party senior advisor Bill Lynch.

The Progressives went on to say, “This latest failure of our government to govern--a direct consequence of Mattiello’s childish ‘I want it all’ attitude--is actually a tremendous loss for everyone." It is an outrage that the Speaker is playing games when there is a state to be run. The Senate and the House budgets agree on most everything, including fuzzy math, cruel and pointless Medicaid cuts, DMV closings, and other unpopular measures.”

State House in Chaos

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RI State House

On Friday afternoon after an impasse with the State Senate, Mattiello sent the House home for the weekend leaving the State budget and hundreds of bills in limbo.

“We know Mattiello and we know that he will always put his own oversized ego ahead of the needs of the people. Unsurprisingly, he also put his own needs ahead of even those legislators who voted for and supported him the entire session. The real tragedy here is the stagnation of progressive legislation in this fiasco. At the start of this year’s session, state representatives—intimidated by the threat that Mattiello would block their legislation as punishment—voted for Mattiello for Speaker in the hopes that he would allow them to pass one or two bills each. Mattiello’s hypocrisy is laughable,” said the statement 

“We call upon the House to choose a new Speaker when they meet later this summer to finish their work, so that the budget negotiations can be handled by someone whose priority is to do that work, rather than to play power games. After decades of crookedness, unscrupulous double-dealing, and outright depravity in state government, the citizens of Rhode Island expect so little that this current failure to govern seems almost like a hiccup rather than as the easily preventable disaster that it truly is. As always, we wish for so much more for ourselves and our state, and we hope that our fellow citizens will join us in demanding that the Speaker of the House pay a price for his inability to put the interests of the people of RI ahead of his own ego,” said the statement.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The story was updated to reflect Berman refused comment and directed inquiries to Lynch.


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