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

Friday, August 17, 2012

 

Who’s Hot

Anthony Gemma -> He’s run one of the most unorthodox campaigns in recent memory, but with less than a month before the Democratic primary, everyone is talking about David Cicilline’s opponent. While Gemma’s hyperbole can’t be understated, his claim that he’ll unveil rampant voter fraud next week certainly has people wondering (and in some cases, worrying) about what he has.

Brendan Doherty -> With the Democratic primary becoming a circus, the Republican candidate can sit back and relax and sell himself as the issues-based candidate in the race for the next several weeks. The one problem for Doherty is that if Gemma somehow manages to sneak away with a win over Cicilline, the “uncommon integrity” strategy will go out the window and he’ll be at square one. That possibility has to be at least some cause for concern for the state GOP.

David Cicilline -> While his primary opponent gears up for what appears to be a massive opposition research drop, the Congressman actually picked up a big win this week when the Brookings Institution praised his Make It In America Block Grant. It’s another feather in the cap for a guy desperate to make this Congressional race about Washington and not Providence.

Lincoln Chafee -> Well he’s not a Democrat yet, but he might as well be. The Governor’s office has confirmed that the former Republican Senator will be attending the Democratic National Convention early next month. This, of course, will set off a new round of speculation that he’ll wind up in a three-way primary with Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Mayor Angel Taveras in 2014, but here’s a different thought: If Obama wins re-election, maybe Chafee will opt against running for re-election and take an appointment from the President instead.

Frank Pallotta -> Congratulations to the head of Burrillville schools on being named the Superintendent of the Year in Rhode Island. All too often the focus on teachers and educators is negative, but it’s nice to see people honored for the hard work they do every single day.

Paul Ryan -> The polls suggest the Wisconsin Congressman may not move the needle when it comes to the Presidential race, but Mitt Romney’s Vice Presidential selection is certainly a more exciting choice than Tim Pawlenty or Rob Portman. Ryan has to overcome being labeled as the guy who led the effort to privatize Social Security, but he also carries with him those conservative credentials that may fire up Romney’s base.

Who’s Not

Leo Medina -> The embattled State Rep. is claiming his latest arrest is simply a political ploy, but he doesn’t exactly have a track record for being the most honest guy in state. Medina was dealt another blow this week when, after being arrested for impersonating a lawyer, Mayor Angel Taveras endorsed his Democratic opponent Joe Almeida. Ironically, in 2010, it was probably the increased turnout for Taveras on the South Side that got Medina elected to office, even though the two have never seen eye to eye.

Peter Petrarca & Greg Costantino -> You know who the biggest winner of last week’s District 44 debate on WPRI’s Newsmakers was? Republican James Archer. After watching the two Democrats mumble and stumble their way through that debate, this race should have automatically shot to the top of the state GOP’s priority list.
Lisa Baldelli-Hunt -> It appears Rep. Baldelli-Hunt, who led the effort against a supplemental tax hike in Woonsocket, is looking awfully vulnerable in her primary race against Michael Morin. If organized labor wants to make a major splash this election season, helping a firefighter unseat a well-known incumbent like Baldelli-Hunt would go a long way. That Democratic primary also includes a third candidate, Stuart Gitlow.

Providence Housing Authority -> It appears the end is near for the seven-month long saga that led to the resignation of the agency’s longtime executive director Stephen O’Rourke. But it’s worth pointing out that the board’s leadership has done a poor job with its handling of the situation and it’s a shame that they refuse to release a report funded by taxpayers on exactly what O’Rourke did or didn’t do to lose his job.

George Mason -> It’s pretty disgusting to learn that this candidate for the state retirement board was campaigning outside his wife’s (Chief District Court Judge Jeanne LaFazia) office. While it may not have been improper, certainly one must question Mr. Mason’s decision-making ability.

Joe Biden -> Paul Ryan may have an elderly-person problem, but the Vice President’s foot-in-mouth disease only appears to be getting worse. While it’s doubtful that he’ll be replaced on the ticket, Biden continues to cause headaches for President Obama at the most inopportune times.


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

 

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Comments:

I hope what Gemma has is real and nails all these crooks who have caused such stress to the WORKING people of this state. If not, and this is a publicity stunt, he's done.

Comment #1 by tom brady on 2012 08 17

Petrarca and Constantino birds of a feather. Some of the comments made in the WPRI Newsmakers will go down in RI History. "We don't need no ethics commission, we can police ourselves." Are you kidding me!

Comment #2 by guy smily on 2012 08 17

How does this work. You call Gemma hot, and then you call the democratic primary a circus under Doherty' s hot.

Comment #3 by Jay Mmmm on 2012 08 17

1. “The political culture of fear and intimidation that for too long has held certain communities in a stranglehold is coming to an end. Courageous, even heroic men and women are stepping forward to speak truth to oppressive power. What they accomplish between now and Primary Day will be remembered with pride for generations as the triumphs of true American heroes” _Anthony Gemma

What a slap in the face to our men and women in uniform, Mr. Gemma seems to think that private investigators are True American Heroes.

Comment #4 by open your_eyes on 2012 08 17

1. “The political culture of fear and intimidation that for too long has held certain communities in a stranglehold is coming to an end. Courageous, even heroic men and women are stepping forward to speak truth to oppressive power. What they accomplish between now and Primary Day will be remembered with pride for generations as the triumphs of true American heroes” _Anthony Gemma

What a slap in the face to our men and women in uniform, Mr. Gemma seems to think that private investigators are True American Heroes.

Comment #5 by open your_eyes on 2012 08 17

George mason, seems like the perfect person to manage a $6 billion pension fund

Comment #6 by jon paycheck on 2012 08 17

remember when cicilline made his make it in America commercials in 2010 and he hired all people from Washington DC to film them? I guess he wasn't concerned about giving those jobs to Rhode Islanders

Comment #7 by anthony sionni on 2012 08 17

Team Gemma needs to get this right...if not, the fat lady has visited GEM

Comment #8 by robert phellps on 2012 08 17

Next week you will need to add a new category: "Who is DONE in RI politics?" for Mr. Gemma and his insane clown posse.

Comment #9 by Edward Smith on 2012 08 18

After a week long of excellent earned media by team Gemma, he is going to get on stage and say, "Unfortunately, I was informed today by my legal council that this may or may not be an ongoing Federal or state investigation and therefore am unable to comment about the case and our investigators findings." He has already stated that he will have his legal council present at the press conference. Gemma will be run out of town if he lays a goose egg like that.

Comment #10 by Blais Hazelwood on 2012 08 18

One more note. Excellent job with getting the earned media. It does entitle team Gemma a position at the top of the Who's Hot.

Comment #11 by Blais Hazelwood on 2012 08 18

Short of murdering an old lady IN an old folks home, AND stealing her purse containing her social security check, Cicilline will be tough to beat the way Gemma is plodding along.

Comment #12 by David Beagle on 2012 08 18

It is comical that Gemma once again announces a big announcement that will once again be announced at another time. For someone who holds himself out as a media guru, he continues to fall short in the area of media management once again. Perhaps his 1,000,000 Twitter followers and international Facebook friends buy into this shlock.

Comment #13 by David Allen on 2012 08 18




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