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

Friday, December 28, 2012


Who’s Hot

Jim Langevin -> Kudos to Congressman Langevin (all of Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation for that matter) for calling on House Republicans to bring the House of Representatives out of recess to discuss fiscal cliff solutions. Now it sounds like the House will reconvene this weekend in a last-ditch attempt to reach an agreement.

David Cicilline -> To his credit, Congressman Cicilline was also an outspoken critic of the House going into recess without a deal, but he makes the list this week because of the announcement that he’ll serve on the Budget Committee beginning next year. The announcement caps an incredible turnaround for the Congressman in 2012.

Dan McKee -> Rhode Island Public Radio reported this week that the Cumberland Mayor is considering a run for the open Lt. Governor’s seat in 2014. McKee would be a solid choice for the job and should be able to raise enough money to compete in a Democratic primary, but he’ll likely face opposition from the teachers unions, who disagree with his positions on education reform.

ACLU -> The organization’s actions aren’t always popular in Rhode Island, but the ACLU deserves credit for standing by the Cranston mother who wasn’t allowed to volunteer in her child’s school because of drug arrests that occurred before the child was born. Everyone agrees that background checks are necessary, but the woman shouldn’t be punished for life simply because she was addicted to drugs for a couple of years when she was younger.

Providence Police Department -> It’s great to hear that the city will be hiring 18 new officers thanks to federal funds that had previously gone untouched for several years. While overall crime in the city went down in 2012, the department is clearly stretched too thin and the new hires should provide a boost.

Who’s Not

Lincoln Chafee -> Not all of the criticism directed toward Governor Chafee has been fair in 2012, but there is no question it has hurt his chances of winning re-election in 2014. Political observers say George Caruolo’s decision to withdraw his name from consideration for chairman of the newly merged state education board was the latest sign that Chafee supporters are jumping ship.

National Grid -> As if the Rhode Islanders need another thing to be concerned about, both electric and gas rates are going to increase by February. On the electric side, rates could increase 3.5 percent and gas may go up by close to 5 percent.

Block Island Ferry -> Speaking of rate increases, Interstate Navigation—the owner of the Block Island Ferry— wants to increase ridership costs by 8 percent next year to cover increasing fuel costs. Rhode Islanders are already concerned about new tolls, but if they’re priced out of the ferry as well, the hospitality industry may be in for a difficult 2013.

RI Department of Education -> Commissioner Gist is under fire again as the unions protest the state’s new teacher evaluation system and it appears very few political leaders are willing to go to bat for RIDE. Gist says she opposed to delaying the process again, but it will be interesting to see whether anyone steps up and defends her over the next few months.

Bryant University -> Retiring State Senator John Tassoni may be on to something with his calls for Bryant to make payments in lieu of taxes to the town of Smithfield. The town might not have the same financial problems as Providence, but that doesn’t mean more financial support from the University wouldn’t be beneficial.


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cicilline on the budget committee LMAO, dan I think you just write this stuff for jokes!

The guy that left Providence with over a hundred million dollar deficit, is going to be on the budget committee, I cant stop laughing!

Comment #1 by anthony sionni on 2012 12 28

Whoa! Big move for Mayor Magoo of Cumberland! I thought we were getting rid of that position? Looks like he wants to retire on the states dole.

Comment #2 by tom brady on 2012 12 28

Hey Dan, I'm still waiting for my pay... I broke the story that Gist has already allowed Providence school dept to back out of the SLO portion of the evaluation process. It's already been delayed and you still are not reporting it! Less lists and more reporting please.

Comment #3 by tom brady on 2012 12 28

at least "magoo" is pro-life...a brave politician
Dan..when you start taking your directions from Brady, its time to quit
and Sionni is right..it is a comical appointment

Comment #4 by frank bentley on 2012 12 28

Most Catholics are Frank...

Comment #5 by tom brady on 2012 12 28

Agreed, great comedy. That David "Bankrupt Providence" Cicilline is on the BUDGET COMMITTEE is hilarious. Of course, it was Nancy "We Have To Pass The Bill So That You Can Find Out What Is In It" Pelosi who made the appointment.

Comment #6 by Art West on 2012 12 28

How do you define "solid choice", for the position of LG. The only question you ask when voting on this position is" Would they make a good Gov". Because that is the only reason the office needs to exist, if at all, is to replace a Gov who becomes incapacitated or dies in office, otherwise the position is useless and a waste of resources.

Comment #7 by Ken Richardson on 2012 12 28

jim langevin hasnt been hot for one second since he was elected 12 years ago...

Comment #8 by jon paycheck on 2012 12 28

they may be Catholics on Sunday but when they are voting pro-life disappears

Comment #9 by frank bentley on 2012 12 28

What has Mayor Magoo voted or against that proves your point?

Comment #10 by tom brady on 2012 12 28

Bryant Uniersity has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade; all on the backs of the citizens of Smithfield. The police, fire and rescue have done an outstanding job babysitting over the years. It would be interesting to see the actual resources the town puts out for the school. Ron Machtley has made Bryant a top rated business school and they are about to erect some chineese pagoda of some sort. Considering the towns new fiscal crisis regarding unfunded pension liabilities, it will be interesting to see if Ron M. can ward off paying the town. Tassoni did a great job in his efforts, but there are two new sherrifs in town this year. I met both Archambault and Constantino and can only tell Ron to find his checkbook. I would keep an eye on Smithfield's Republican town council members and see if they remember that Machtley once held office.

Comment #11 by Petr Petrovich on 2012 12 29

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