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

Friday, June 15, 2012


Who's Hot

Brendan Doherty -> The Republican Congressional candidate is back on the “Young Guns” list of top GOP candidates nationally and this week he launched Democrats for Doherty and managed to bring former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn to town for a fundraiser. While there may be some concern over whether he can remain in the spotlight during what could be an ugly primary between Congressman Cicilline and Anthony Gemma, Doherty has done all the right things so far.

Angel Taveras -> Has any administration ever managed to get three consecutive budgets passed unanimously by the City Council? The Taveras administration pulled off the feat this week thanks in large part to the strong relationship that has been forged between the Mayor and Council President Michael Solomon. Unlike in years past, the executive and legislative branches of government deserve credit for working together to help solve the city’s financial woes.

Bob Watson -> The most entertaining lawmaker in the state shocked everyone with his decision to retire from the General Assembly this week. While it may have been difficult to get things done against a super majority, Watson was never shy about taking leadership to task. And he was often spot-on. See 38 Studios.

John Tassoni & Chris Blazejewski -> Kudos to this tandem for helping Rhode Island become the first state in the country to pass a homeless bill of rights. It’s nice to know that at least some of our lawmakers are thinking about Rhode Island’s neediest citizens.

David Bennett & Erin Lynch -> Another Representative/Senator duo that deserves praise. Rep. Bennett and Senator Lynch helped push the minimum wage increase through the Assembly this year, a major win for low-income Rhode Islanders.

David Salvatore -> It appears the first-term Providence Councilman is on his way to becoming chairman of the finance committee now that John Igliozzi has announced his plans to resign. Salvatore has been credited with leading the city’s pension reform efforts and is considered a rising star in local politics.

Who's Not

Lisa Baldelli-Hunt -> The Woonsocket Rep. is receiving the majority of the blame for the General Assembly not allowing the near-broke city to impose a supplemental tax hike on its residents. Baldelli-Hunt may want to run for Mayor at some point, but how can she win if she ends up the woman who forced the city into bankruptcy?

Bill Murphy -> He may no longer have the gavel, but the former Speaker proved he certainly can still pull the strings. Murphy managed to kill the payday lending reform bill this year, once again proving that connections mean more than sensible legislation. The reform efforts were supported by a coalition that included Mayor Angel Taveras, General Treasurer Gina Raimondo and a large number of lawmakers, but it went nowhere thanks to Murphy’s influence.

Dunkin' Donuts -> If servers out there want to know why Rep. Blazejewski’s tip theft bill went nowhere this session, look no further than Dunkin’ Donuts. Despite the legislation overwhelmingly passing in the House, the company’s lobbyists were able to get the bill killed in the Senate.

Peter Petrarca -> If you want an example of why Rhode Island is in the situation it is in, look no further. In the last two weeks, Rep. Petrarca, who many believe will be the next Majority Leader, spent his time pulling car washes from the sales tax and then pushing for that auto-body legislation that directly benefits his family.

Keith Stokes -> So sticking taxpayers with a $75 million tab earns you $60,000 in severance pay as long as you don’t badmouth the state. Not a bad deal.

John Taylor -> You know you’ve officially become a nanny state when officials warn that your sandcastle may be a liability. Mr. Taylor is probably a fine gentleman, but the Barrington recreation director deserves all the criticism he received this week.

Dan McGowan can be reached at [email protected].


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Salvatore has No knowledge to be chairman of Finance. That needs someone that has been on Council for some time. He is no rising star either he should be more concerned with his neighborhood rather than seeing who's Ass he can kiss on a daily basis. Also pension reform was passed by a committee not him alone. And if it was such a great reform why did the Mayor pass his own after the council did and the fag just sat back and did nothing about his reform. Salvatore get your head out of Solomon's Ass and to whats right for the people that put you in office.

Comment #1 by peter smith on 2012 06 15

"Angel Taveras -> Has any administration ever managed to get three consecutive budgets passed unanimously by the City Council? The Taveras administration pulled off the feat this week thanks in large part to the strong relationship that has been forged between the Mayor and Council President Michael Solomon. "

This is because know one on the council can say no to anything! We still have no reduction in taxes,they need to cut spending and then cut taxes!

Comment #2 by anthony sionni on 2012 06 15

I agree Peter,Salvatore hasn't done much for the residents of ward 14 which he represents and I live in!

When he first arrived in office,he voted to increase taxes on businesses and homeowners! He also voted to lower the car tax exemption,giving residents of the already struggling economy more financial misery!

Salvatore also voted to ban adults from buying chewing tobacco in Providence stores,putting more financial misery on business owners who are struggling to survive! 9 tobacco companies filed suit against the city and the case is now pending in court.

Lets not forget that earlier this year ,he voted for the redistricting ordinance,which gave parts of the Federal Hill and South side to the east side majority leader Yurdin. Remember he was one of the councilman who walked off the job,because they didnt have enough votes for the first passage,due to councilman Zurier having unexpected surgery and couldn't attend to give them the majority vote.

He recently got fired from the treasures office,he had a nice gig going,working for the city and the state at the same time. Who knows the real reason he was fired???

He has no clue about the city finances,the pension sub committee is all smoke and mirrors,people like Gary Sasse and Matt Clarkin do all the work,Salvatore just shakes his pom poms. Councilman Jackson,who served on the finance committee for 8 years should be the chairman of the finance committee, he also has been a councilman since 1995, Salvatore was just out of high school,but lets not do the right thing and put someone who knows whats going on with the finances,lets put someone who has no clue,like Salvatore as chairman,unreal!

Also lets not forget all the ordinances he voted in favor of,supporting the family tow business!

Recently their were 4 fires in our neighborhood and of course no sign of Salvatore and lets not forget about all the crime in our area,this guy spends to much time at the bakery and not enough time looking out for his constituents . We have pot holes,missing streets signs,clogged cash basins,bad side walks etc..etc... He wants to use C.D.B.G. money to replace sidewalks in front of CVS, what about the homeowners?

Salvatore,take some lessons from councilman correia,he does more for his ward than all of you council members put together!

Comment #3 by anthony sionni on 2012 06 15

Doherty has shown that he has immense crossover appeal to Democrats. His biggest stumbling block will be debating. If he can get through the debates, he'll be the next Congressman from District 1.

Watson is about the only disgraced politician who I think should go to rehab, come back and run again. The guy has addiction problems that need to be addressed, but he's not a dumb guy and the state would benefit from having him at the State House-if he is sober.

Baldelli-Hunt and Brien should be ashamed of themselves. They sold their city and constituents down the river just because of their own blind ambitions to become Mayor. How funny would it be if Chafee appointed Fontaine as receiver? Everyone knows the financial problems of Woonsocket had more to do with the schools than the city, which Fontaine ran well by most accounts.

Comment #4 by Todd B on 2012 06 15

To those who question Doherty's lack of debating skills, give him a chance. To be clear, he is NOT a politician, and that is a good thing! I'm not looking for the fastest/slickest debater (been there, seen the results) like Cicilline who clearly never saw a lie he wouldn't tell.
I'm looking for a person who has strong ethical convictions and will make decisions in RI's best interest. Whatever you think of Doherty's potential debating skills, his honesty and integrity are above reproach. I think he has run a well organized campaign so far. I look forward to the main event in Novemeber.

Comment #5 by Harold Stassen on 2012 06 15

Doherty's socially conservative credentials make him the perfect co-conspirator with the GA< esp. Theresa Paiva-Weed. As long as Doherty is another vote to maintain DOMA, I can't and won't support him. If he renounces his social conservatism and just focuses on economic issues, perhaps I can be more supportive. But since I'd like my partner & I NOT to be discriminated against governmentally, he won't get my vote, lousy economy or not.

Comment #6 by J. Ferreira on 2012 06 15

@Harold: You say that it's a good thing Doherty is not a politician. Sure, it's good that Doherty won't say anything to get elected like Cicilline. But he still needs to show that he can grasp basic policy which is in the basic job description of a Congressman.

Oh and giving Keith Stokes a severance package is a slap in the face to all Rhode Islanders.

Comment #7 by Todd B on 2012 06 15

Brendan Doherty and David Cicilline are peas in a pod.

Their differences are obvious and irrelevant. Their similarities, however, MUST be the focus of voters' attention.

Brendan Doherty and David Cicilline are clueless, antiquated, utterly ineffective proponents of the "call for" this and "urge" that mentality.

Brendan Doherty, like David Cicilline, would serve in Congress with ineffectiveness and mediocrity as his methods and goals. Change nothing. Offer Saturday morning barber shop opinions and bromides in the place of informed, enlightened, inspired, courageous commitments to change.

Posturing, pontificating fools, thy shared name is Doherty-Cicilline.

Peas in a pod.

Enough is enough.

Comment #8 by Charles Drago on 2012 06 16

ahhh yes i made a mistake *no one, not know one lol

Comment #9 by anthony sionni on 2012 06 16

and catch basin not cash basin lol

Comment #10 by anthony sionni on 2012 06 16

Charles Drago - broken record

Peas in a pod.

Comment #11 by RI Taxpayer on 2012 06 16

RI Taxpayer -- Shooter of messengers (and quite a lousy shot).

My record may skip, but the song's lyrics are true.

A fact which you choose not to challenge. And wisely so.

David Cicilline and Brendan Doherty -- peas in a pod.

Comment #12 by Charles Drago on 2012 06 16

Dan you should have put yourself on the not hot list for closing off the comment section on the Bolivian girl "forced" to return to her home country because she's here illegaly.

Comment #13 by george pratt on 2012 06 16

There is no comparison between Brendan Doherty and David Cicilline. David Cicilline is clearly a career politician, and a liar out for his own self-interests. Attempting to call them peas in a pod is ludicrous and pure political propaganda.

Comment #14 by guy smily on 2012 06 17

The differences between Brendan Doherty and David Cicilline are many.

Yet ultimately they should be of no interest whatsoever to voters.

The similarities -- the glaring, unavoidable, fatal similarities -- between Brendan Doherty and David Cicilline disqualifies BOTH from service in the United States Congress.

Brendan Doherty and David Cicilline display neither the ability nor the interest to change the way a member of Congress does the people's business.

Both are more than content to "call for" this and "urge" that, to offer Saturday morning barber shop opinions rather than solutions, and to attempt to pull the wool over voters' eyes by claiming that their failures of imagination and will somehow are worthy of support.

Brendan Doherty and David Cicilline represent the past and and promise to repeat, ad infinitum, all the fatal mistakes of the past.

Brendan Doherty and David Cicilline represent DISASTER for Rhode Island.

Brendan Doherty and David Cicilline -- peas in a pod.

Comment #15 by Charles Drago on 2012 06 17

Bill Murphy - I hope your $50,000 check from the loan sharks buys you a new conscience. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Comment #16 by Craig O'connor on 2012 06 18

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