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

Friday, May 11, 2012


Who’s Hot?

President Obama & Senator Reed -> Nice to see the President and Rhode Island’s most senior member of Congress step up and join the 21st century by supporting same-sex marriage. The only question is, what took them so long? We’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, but Reed in particular has been pressed on this for months by local reporters and only broke his silence following the President’s endorsement.

Barry Hinckley -> The Republican Senate candidate has avoided social issues, but it’s worth noting that he’s pro-choice and supports same-sex marriage. It’s unclear how much that will help his campaign, but it shouldn’t hurt all that much. Moderates who don’t want to put a far-right winger into office might be willing to take another look Hinckley.

Teresa Tanzi -> The freshman rep is spot-on for calling for a more thorough review of the $1.6 billion in tax breaks given out each year by the state. Tax breaks are fine as long as we know they are helping to create jobs. It’s time for Rhode Islanders to know exactly what they’re getting out of these deals.

Gene Dyszlewski -> The Reverend is the latest candidate to throw his hat into the ring for the Senate seat being vacated by Bea Lanzi. He’ll take on Frank Lombardi in what should be one of the best local races to watch this year.

Susan Lusi -> Congratulations to Dr. Lusi, who was named permanent Superintendent of Providence schools this week. Lusi has earned plenty of respect from teachers and administrators and it was nice to see the School Board offer her the position. Here’s hoping she can begin to turn around the city’s struggling schools.

Steve Smith -> Speaking of Providence schools, Steve Smith will remain head of the teachers union. Despite a challenge from a group unhappy with him for signing on to the Race to the Top reform efforts, Smith was able to maintain hold of the presidency. Smith has long complained that there has been too much turnover with Superintendents in the city. He certainly must be thankful that Lusi is staying on board.

GOP Strike Force -> The Republican group unveiled the first group of candidates they plan to support in various General Assembly races earlier this week. Now the key will be to actually help raise them some money and mount serious challenges at their opponents.

Pat Crowley -> He’s not the only union talking head that has been predicting the state would bring in significantly more tax revenue than it was projecting, but he has certainly been the loudest. Now it’s time to use some of that extra money to restore the cuts made to the developmentally disabled in last year’s budget.

Who’s Not

Bishop Tobin -> Bishop Tobin does a lot of wonderful things for a lot of people in Rhode Island, but he sounds like a blowhard when he takes to the airwaves to blast the President and Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation for supporting same-sex marriage.It's one thing to be stuck on the wrong side of history. It's another to drag everyone else down with you.

John Cicilline -> He’s gone to prison, stiffed Providence for thousands of dollars and now he picked up a DUI. Something tells me Congressman Cicilline wishes his brother would just take a nice long vacation and not return until December.

Susan Sosnowski -> It’s noble that this State Rep. doesn’t want to see parents smoking in front of their children, but our cops have more important things to do. The first time an officer misses a John Cicilline or Senator Ruggerio driving drunk to chastise some mother for smoking and driving, there would be total outrage from the entire the state. Let’s keep our eye on the ball.

West Warwick -> We’ve been saying it for awhile, but it looks like West Warwick may be the next municipality to go broke or raise taxes through the roof. It seems like the smaller communities are in even worse shape than Providence, which at least has a few assets it (in theory) could sell off before filing for bankruptcy.

Big East Conference -> The sad sports news of the week was that John Marinatto resigned as head if te Big East. Now there is a lot of concern that the league, which looks nothing like the one that was founded over 30 years ago, may end up moving its headquarters out of Rhode Island. More jobs lost. Surprise. Surprise.


Dan McGowan can be reached at [email protected]


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Pat Crowley gets a 'who's hot' because he's LOUD?!?! You should give him accolades every week for that. But the best part is where you think all that 'extra' money should go. BWAAHAAHAA!!! Extra money, good one.
Before we spend all that 'extra' money, let's see it first.

Susan Sosnowski, queen of knee jerk legislation.

Comment #1 by RI Taxpayer on 2012 05 11

never mess w/the bishop!!
nobody beats LOMBARDI..he didnt cast that last vote by accident

Comment #2 by louis rizzo on 2012 05 11

Reed has routinely been a gutless worm.He has never once led on a contentious issue.
Much as I despise Whitehouse,he was upfront about licenses for illegal aleins and supporting Hillary-Reed waffled like a breakfast at IHOP.Reed DID,however take money from bankers while he dsat on the Banking Committee-hmmm?

Comment #3 by Joseph Bernstein on 2012 05 11

No one that caves into a special interest group for such blatantly obvious political reasons should be considered "HOT."

Comment #4 by David Beagle on 2012 05 11

If I'm not mistaken, the majority of people are against gay marriage, particularly in one of the most Catholic regions in the country. so how does supporting something the majority opposes make you "HOT"?

Comment #5 by Bernie McCrink on 2012 05 11

Mr. McCrink isn't just wrong, he is deliberately so. In other words, yes, you are severely mistaken.

Comment #6 by Malachi Constant on 2012 05 11

I've never read anywhere that the majority of RI'ers support such marriages.

Comment #7 by Bernie McCrink on 2012 05 11

You have to take Hot/Not re: gay marriage with a grain of salt. You could go all over the internet and find many who are applauding and many who are decrying the president's announced support of redefining marriage.

What he has done is thrust it into the national spotlight as another state's residents decide they do not wish to redefine marriage. One thing gay marriage supporters don't do well is talk about their plans to convince the 30 states that have supported the traditional concept of marriage. I mean are they all closeted bigots or is there something else at work? I believe it's the latter, obviously.

Pat Crowley on the Hot List, Dan? Are you channeling your inner Jerzyk?

Comment #8 by Donn Roach on 2012 05 11

Ask and you shall receive:


Comment #9 by Malachi Constant on 2012 05 11

Thanks for the recognition. More Republican candidates on the way as we restore some balance to the Rhode Island General Assembly.

Comment #10 by Rhode Island Republican Strike Force on 2012 05 11

That hardly qualifies as an objective source....a website partial to one side of the debate that provides no specifics about the poll and was clearly biased in their writing to begin with. The issue has been voted down in every state that has voted on it and Chafee "stepped in it" when that nut issued his executive order a year or so ago.

Comment #11 by Bernie McCrink on 2012 05 11

And the reason I say "stepped in it" is because of the way the general public of the state responded to the issue.

Comment #12 by Bernie McCrink on 2012 05 11

I saw the most delightful video a few months back from Mr. Hinckley with his adorable 5-year-old son. Why won't he please, please make another? My friends and I loved the heartwarming video so very much. I would like to see many more such videos? I was born long before the age of television and long before the Internet, but I must say that charming video was the best thing I had seen in a long time. Please, Mr. Hinckley, make some more? Perhaps you could make a whole series of them, you son is so precious!

Comment #13 by Annette Fields on 2012 05 12

Hinckley will lose votes over his pro-choice position. Single issue voters that vote based on the abortion issue tend to be pro-life, not pro-choice. The left-wing voters that consider abortion a choice aren't going to move from Whitehouse. The pro-life voters who believe they are protecting a human life may just skip the Senate race altogether.

Also, I don't think a candidate's position on abortion no longer bears any indication on whether or not someone is a "right winger". Calling Congressman Jim Langevin or Senate President a "right-winger" because they are pro-life is laughable. At the national level, Democrats recruited Bob Casey in order to win the PA Senate race and former President Jimmy Carter is currently calling for the Democratic Party to be open to the pro-life position. Neither is exactly a right-winger.

Hinckley's problem on the abortion front is that he DOESN'T provide an alternative to Whitehouse and the pro-life single issue voter may opt not to support Hinckley.

Comment #14 by Todd B on 2012 05 14

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