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

Friday, September 07, 2012


Who’s Hot

Lincoln Chafee -> Governor Chafee knows he isn’t Winston Churchill, but it was nice to see him deliver a strong speech in prime-time at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night. It’s too soon to tell whether the Governor will be viable in 2014, but there is no question that year 2 has been a significant improvement over an all-over-the-place first year in office.

Anthony Gemma -> It was probably a mistake to admit that he has stopped talking about voter fraud because of internal polling, but Anthony Gemma does deserves credit for posting solid debate performances on the radio and on television this week. One has to wonder what would have happened had he run a more conventional race from the beginning.

Michael Correia -> There was mixed reaction this week to the Providence Councilman’s proposal to fine property owners who don’t take care of their property, but he certainly has the best intentions. This isn’t about the guy who forgets to cut his lawn a few weeks in a row. This is about the homeowners in the city that do nothing to take care of their property and are driving down property values in every neighborhood.

Michael Riley -> The Republican Congressional candidate in the 2nd District picked up endorsements from the two most popular Republicans in the district (Cranston Mayor Allan Fung and Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian) and he continues to put together an organization that must have Congressman Jim Langevin at least a little concerned. If Riley does go on to spend $1 million on this race, it’s going to be much closer than people think.

Paulette Hamilton -> We rarely hear about cities or towns having a budget surplus, so kudos to the North Smithfield town administrator who reports her city finished the fiscal year nearly $630,000 in the black. Whatever Ms. Hamilton and her team are doing seems to be working.

Michelle Obama -> The President delivered a memorable speech Thursday, but his wife stole the show at the Democratic National Convention this week.

Who’s Not

Providence City Council -> It’s a shame that the dispute between Council leadership and finance committee chairman John Igliozzi has led the committee to hold no serious meetings since June. With the city still facing an approximately $19 million deficit, it would be nice to see the group get past their differences and actually get to work.

Keith Stokes -> It’s nice to hear Mr. Stokes will land on his feet, but with 38 Studios still very much on people’s minds, it is concerning that he’ll now be lobbying the General Assembly. It would be nice if both and he and Governor Carcieri would talk to the public about the debacle first.

Chris Young -> He was relatively calm during Thursday’s debate, but Chris Young still managed to call for Senator Jack Reed to be indicted, promote his wedding and ask (with a straight face) whether voter fraud cost him his chance to be Mayor of Providence. Yes he provides some entertainment value, but this act is getting old.

Brian Cunha -> Rough week for the well-known lawyer, who picked up a DUI last weekend. On the positive side, with police nabbing all these public figures this year, at least we know the state is getting serious about drinking and driving.

John Arcaro -> The Pawtucket State Rep. candidate is rightfully being taken to task by incumbent Patrick O’Neill for calling same-sex marriage “sodomite marriage.” O’Neill sent out a nifty attack mailer to constituents that included the statement as well as one where he compared sending children to public schools with leaving them in an X-rated movie theatre for six hours.

Cranston Police -> It is disgusting that the majority of evidence against the man accused of killing six-year-old Marco Nieves has been thrown out thanks to reckless errors by the Cranston police. It’s going to be a real shame if he is allowed back on the streets.

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


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