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

Friday, March 02, 2012

 

Who's Hot

Anthony Gemma -> The whole waiting game regarding his run for Congress has become a tad obnoxious, but there is no better way to kick off a campaign than by pointing to the 75-100 new jobs he just helped create by merging his media company (Mediapeel) with Alex and Ani. It's hard to argue with his talents as a businessman; now the question is whether enough Democrats actually believe he is a Democrat.

Chris Blazejewski -> Kudos to Rep. Blazejewski for submitting legislation that would ban restaurant owners or managers from requiring servers to hand over all or part of their tips. Talk about a homerun bill. This proposal will prevent thousands of already-low paid servers from being screwed over by greedy ownership.

Brendan Doherty -> Rhode Islanders currently believe the best thing about Brendan Doherty is that he isn't David Cicilline, but that may very well be enough for the first-time Congressional candidate. If you're Doherty, do you even bother debating Cicilline? Barely speaking at all has given you a 15 point lead in the polls.

Governor Chafee -> For the past year, medical marijuana supporters were just another group of constituents angry with Governor Chafee. But an agreement announced this week will help open compassion centers in the Ocean State and Chafee deserves credit for coming around on the issue.

Barry Hinckley -> Despite a "this is real bad" interview on Fox News, the GOP Senate candidate's video of his son weighing in on the economy was adorable and went viral pretty quickly. Hinckley has an uphill battle, but it's unlikely Senator Whitehouse's numbers are going to improve much over the next year. The question is whether Hinckley will have enough firepower in his war chest once the Senator decides to get serious about his reelection bid.

Patrick Kennedy -> Kudos to the former Congressman for taking Senator Brown to task after Brown used an ad to suggest Ted Kennedy would have sided with the Republican in the contraception debate currently unfolding in Washington. That, of course, isn't true at all.

Bob Plain & Justin Katz -> Congrats are in order for two of the state's top minds when it comes to digital journalism. Plain, who was completely screwed over by a local radio station last year, will be tasked with rejuvenating the once-influential Rhode Island's Future blog. Katz, who should have been earning a decent income from his writing years ago, has launched the Ocean State Current, a blog that will also be worth paying attention to in the coming months.

Who's Not

David Cicilline -> Here's how bad it has gotten for Congressman Cicilline: The state's two most popular politicians have expressed their support and the immediate reaction from Rhode Islanders is to criticize Mayor Taveras and Treasurer Raimondo. Still, it's March and he doesn't have an opponent in a Democratic primary and if Anthony Gemma is the eventual challenger, the race will likely be a coin flip.

Providence Redistricting -> Just like the statewide process, redistricting in Providence has been a nightmare, complete with claims of gerrymandering, racism and discrimination. The scary thing is that it's difficult to tell who's right and who's wrong. Every Council member seems to have his/her own agenda, making the process that much more of a disaster.

Elizabeth Crowley -> While there is no one in the state who doesn't feel badly for what has happened in Central Falls, it's a shame that Senator Crowley is attempting to politicize a skit from receiver Bob Flanders at last Friday's Newspaper Guild Follies. If you don't leave the Follies offended, then the event wasn't successful. Even Congressman Cicilline was willing to laugh at himself for a night.

Central Falls Bankruptcy -> Now if you want to criticize Flanders, criticize the fact that bankruptcy has cost the tiny city $1.8 million and counting. If you're keeping score at home, that's only slightly less than a third of what the city's budget deficit was when it filed for bankruptcy last August.

Brian Kennedy -> Anyone who has ever been a server knows that when groups have gratuity automatically included on their bill, they almost never add to the tip. This of course means that while the server has to work extra to deal with a large party, they will likely only receive a 15-18 percent tip. Rep. Kennedy's new bill will require restaurants which add gratuity to a diner’s bill to calculate that gratuity based upon the total amount of the purchase, a plan that will likely lower the amount the server receives. Maybe Kennedy should consult with Rep. Blazejewski on what it means to actually support the service industry.

Michael Gardiner -> One of the GOP candidates for Congress in the 2nd District got a taste of what can happen in the world of social media recently when a hate-filled woman criticized Congressman Langevin's disability publically on the candidate's Facebook page. Rather than remove the post, Gardiner, desperate for anyone to pay attention to his campaign at all, left the post up and continued to engage in conversation. Talk about a tasteless move.

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Comments:

Unbelievable that Angel Taveras and Gina Raimondo are not leading the not list in bold print. Hiding them in the column is not enough. And your wrong on Crowley as well. It's bad enough he's a modern day robber baron, we don't need the follies or projo articles glorifying his tennis prowess at private clubs while the regular Joe's are struggling. Give me a break.

Comment #1 by tom brady on 2012 03 02

who's Michael Gardiner? a joke..Hinckley's ad was fine but his appearance on Cavuto was creepy, weird, bizarre..he peaked.

Comment #2 by louis rizzo on 2012 03 02

The Mediapeel/Alex and Ani merger is BS. PURE BS.

Comment #3 by Ned Rivers on 2012 03 02

"Providence Redistricting -> Just like the statewide process, redistricting in Providence has been a nightmare, complete with claims of gerrymandering, racism and discrimination. The scary thing is that it's difficult to tell who's right and who's wrong. Every Council member seems to have his/her own agenda, making the process that much more of a disaster."

You can also add violating the city charter by council leadership! This process was to be completed by March 1st. The council leadership is intentionally violating the city charter by not holding a vote,due to the fact there tie breaker vote is out on sick leave! You cant make this stuff up!

Comment #4 by anthony sionni on 2012 03 02

I hope Gemma gets in this race,we need a business man who creates jobs in there,not someone like cicilline who is just focused on his own job!

Comment #5 by anthony sionni on 2012 03 02

Gemma v. Cicilline a "coin flip"???

Come on, Scoop.

Don't you realize that David Cicilline will steal the coin before it hits the ground?

Comment #6 by Charles Drago on 2012 03 02

I agree with Tom Brady, ridiculous that Gina Raimondo isn't on top. And how about a few more women in politics doing well in this state?

Comment #7 by Kate Lyons on 2012 03 02

Perhaps GoLocal is smarting a little because I called out some slight of hand on or about February 14. they posted a story about Senator Whitehouse sponsoring the Senate cyber security effort. I pointed out that it fit my narrative that Congressman Langevin is not in fact important to the "cyber-security" effort. That afternoon they posted another story where Langevin claims to support the Senate bill even though he publicly opposed it in a July Op-Ed in the Washington Post. On February 15, I could no longer find the Sen. Whitehouse Cyber story on GoLocalProv. Then at Roger Williams University I called out Senator Whitehouse for insulting the integrity of the U.S. Supreme Court, Specifically Chief Justice Roberts with reckless disregard for the truth or falsity of his remarks. I am not unaware of the obvious relationships coloring the product at GoLocalProv. It's true I did not take down a tastless and offensive remark because others had commented upon it thoughtfully and their remarks would have lost their context. Anyone reading the entire stream would appreciate the value of the discussion. I lead towards decency and always have. Those who actually follow my facebook discussions know that.

Comment #8 by Michael Gardiner on 2012 03 02

1. Raimondo and Taveras are popular only because they're thought of as straight-shooters who dealt honestly with tough problems. By supporting Cicilline, a politician who is viewed as dishonest and a major reason for Providence's problems, Raimondo and Taveras undercut the very base upon which their popularity is based.

2. I'm afraid I have to agree with Rep. Crowley. Flanders showed very poor judgement at the Follies. Sure, Cicilline laughed at himself. But the jokes were about him. In Flanders' little gig, the jokes weren't necessarily about him, but about a situation affecting the people of Central Falls. At the end of the day, Flanders walks home with a six-figure payday and the people of Central Falls are still in a world of hurt. If you can't understand why Crowley and the people of Central Falls might be upset, then you need to grow a heart.

Comment #9 by Todd B on 2012 03 02

Well said Todd.

Comment #10 by tom brady on 2012 03 03

How can Patrick Kennedy (who get’s an undeserved “Who’s Hot” here) protest on this issue, when he (as well as his late dad) co-sponsored legislation in the late 90’s that advocated the very same “moral objection” with regard to health care issues and their issuers (i.e. the Church) that Scott Brown advocates . It’s not hard to see Scott Brown’s connection to that.

Patrick can’t have it both ways, and the axe he continually needs to grind with the Catholic Church seems to fog up his current perspective on this issue.

Comment #11 by Tom O'Connell on 2012 03 03

Not for nothing, but if Gemma runs again as a crazy, angry conservative Democrat, he doesn't have much chance (let alone a coin flip's chance) of beating a sitting congressman.

Comment #12 by Tom elliott on 2012 03 03




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