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

Friday, February 08, 2013


Who’s Hot

Central Falls Mayor James Diossa's push for a new Ethics Code has landed him a spot on this week's 'Who's Hot" list.

Angel Taveras and Allan Fung -> Can you imagine Cicilline and Laffey working together? Kudos to Democratic Mayor Angel Taveras and Republican Mayor Allan Fung for putting politics aside and sponsoring joint job fairs for Providence and Cranston residents. Mayor Fung remarked, "We have that high need of people that are underemployed or unemployed, and we're going to do whatever we can together to get them back to work." Interested folks can sign up for the first job fair here.

James Diossa -> The 27-year-old Mayor was spot on when he called for a new Ethics Code. Central Falls was knocked down by bungling leaders, poor vision, and corruption. Here's hoping Diossa takes the square mile city in a new direction.

Angus Davis -> Seen as a hero, or scourge, for his education reform advocacy in the state, Davis was ranked by Forbes Magazine as one of the most promising CEOs under 35 for the success of his start-up tech company, Swipely (Side Note: Apparently, Forbes doesn't consider any female CEOs "most promising"). According to the magazine, "Swipely processes credit card payments for local merchants, then uses payment data to help businesses market and develop customer loyalty programs." This growing tech business is a bright spot in the Providence economy.

Carolyn Rafaelian -> Speaking of business success, Alex and Ani's founder had a good week. The Superbowl ad capped off a year of phenomenal growth in the company. Who would've known bangles could be so popular?

Historic Tax Credits -> It appeared as though the idea was gone, but lately rumblings have been made about bringing back the credits. While there must be accurate monitoring and clear oversight, these credits could help rehab a number of old mill buildings across the state and bring much needed jobs.

Spencer Dickinson -> This South County state rep has proposed a bill (H5074) prohibiting House and Senate members from accepting campaign contributions until the General Assembly passes a budget. Dickinson might not be very popular with House leadership, but this is a great idea.

Who’s Not

Former Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri makes this week's "Who's Not" list for owing a reported $15,000 in back taxes on a property in East Greenwich.

House Speaker Gordon Fox -> The Speaker spent a lot of money to be re-elected. Let's hope we start seeing some dramatic action, soon, to bring back the economy for regular people. Twin River and the Unemployment office are hiring - and that's not enough.

Officer Khatch Kazandjian -> This veteran Providence officer disgraced himself and abused his power when he had sex on the job with a young woman involved in a domestic abuse situation. The young woman involved reported the incident as a sexual assault, though a grand jury did not prosecute. He's been fired and the city has shown good oversight.

Joyce Tager -> This Central Falls Collection Clerk has been accused of embezzling over $13,620 in checks from the bankrupt city. I imagine preventing this kind of situation is what Mayor Diossa has in mind.

Donald Carcieri -> According to the East Greenwich Patch, the former Governor owes $15,000 in back taxes on the Olney House, a historic property in EG. The Carcieris had talked about turning Olney House into a science center. A great idea. However, until non-profit status is cleared up, I suspect the former CEO and Head of State, unlike many Rhode Islanders, can afford to pay his bill.

Ralph Mollis -> The House Oversight Committee is looking into the long lines, misplaced ballots, shortened hours and disorganization that took place on General Election day this past fall. This won't be good for the Secretary of State.

Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed -> It is long past time for Rhode Island to pass marriage equality. Stop delay tactics and let the people know where the State Senate stands on Civil Rights.

Winter Storm Nemo -> This approaching blizzard bring back memories of 1978. Let's hope the memories are happy, not harrowing.


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