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

Friday, October 18, 2013


Anna Cano Morales leads with another great study from the Roger Williams University's Latino Policy Institute this week. And that's hot.

Every Friday, Dan Lawlor breaks down who's rising and who's falling in the world of Rhode Island politics. Check out who made the lists this week.


Allan Fung: The Cranston Mayor (and potential gubernatorial candidate) was recently profiled in DC-based Asian Fortune magazine. He detailed his vision for the state and our challenges. Ever the booster, he noted, “Cranston may not be as big as D.C., but it is a wonderful place with wonderful people."

Anna Cano Morales/Latino Policy Institute: Another great study from Roger William University's Latino Policy Institute examines the role of Latinos in the state's workforce. The infographic breaks down the successes and challenges of the 138,550 strong RI Latino community. The median Latino age in Rhode Island is 26 - are we giving the rising generation tools to succeed?

Lincoln Chafee: The Governor's investments in TF Green have paid off. Travel+Leisure Magazine recently ranked TF Green Airport the #4 best in the country, writing, "some travelers actually heading to Boston, an hour away, will choose easy-breezy T. F. Green over congested Logan Airport." If only Bay Staters would be flocking to us for jobs - and stay for the schools! 

Roosevelt Society: The Roosevelt Society has been actively trying to engage new communities with the state's Republican Party. Paulo Sibaja, of the Leadership Institute, a Virginia-based conservative activist group, will be leading a workshop on "effectively and respectively engaging the Hispanic population in your community" November 2nd. Engaging with new communities to solve problems is a much better idea than raffling off an assault rifle

Judith Davis/New Urban Theater: Davis, an actor and resident artist with AS220, is head of the award-winning New Urban Theater Lab in Boston. The group's latest show "Gift of an Orange" will soon be premiering in New Orleans. Now we just need to get her to move her company down to Providence! 

Ghost Tours: Boo! From the Ghost Tours of Newport to Mentalist Rory Raven in Providence, now is the time to hear tales of long-ago pirates, vandals, ghouls, and specters. These small businesses showcase local history, and, when presented well, make you look twice.  


Gina Raimondo: Even though the State Treasurer gets props for calling for the repeal of the Licht Law (which allows one's time as an elected official to be counted toward a judicial pension), she took a much bigger hit for being a shady Wall Street assist. The recent report by Siedel is a harsh indictment of secretive financial practices, and raises questions about who benefits from pension reform.  

Susan Lusi, Providence School Department: Award-winning Central High School Principal Michael Lazzerschi was apparently let go for not following fire drill protocols. Student safety is an absolute priority, but considering the city itself failed to inspect schools for years (how many central office people lost jobs?), one wonders if other factors led to Lazzerschi's freeze. With his replacement, Central now has had four principals in two years.

Job Stats: Rhode Island has lost 95,000 manufacturing jobs since 1990, the largest share gone in the country. According to the RI Latino Policy Institute, this has lead to a rise in involuntary, part-time work as full time jobs have disappeared. 

We're #...35: Solar Power Rocks highlights state policies that promote solar energy. Massachusetts ranks #1 in the nation. As the report reads, "With all of its Northeastern and New England brethren lining the top half of our rankings, what is Rhode Island doing all the way down here at 35?" 

Restaurant Closings: Cuban Revolution on Valley, L'Elizabeth on South Main, and Roots Cafe on Westminster all shuttered doors recently, alongside other businesses that owe back money through the PEDP loan program. The memories remain, but the jobs are gone. As the window said on Roots, "Thank You PVD!" 

Arlene Hicks and the Exeter Town Council: Up to four Exeter Town Councilors, including Council President Hicks, face recall elections over their decision to have the State Attorney General, not the town clerk, issue gun permits. The Town Council argues the switch was a simple matter of logistics related to background checks, but opponents says the issue is connected to responsive, local government.
Dee DeQuatro at ABC 6 has written, "the people behind the petition have sent a subtle reminder to Rhode Island politicians that they work for the people, and the people are paying attention."

David Igliozzi: The Housing Court Nominee sailed through the City Council's Judicial Nomination Hearing. He's cleared to head before the full council. Is he the best person for the job, or the best connected


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anthony sionni

Maybe councilman Igliozzi should take some notes from R.F.K. when he said, "It is the essence of responsibility to put the public good ahead of personal gain" .

I wonder if councilman Igliozzi took the FOR SALE sign off his back yet????

Killary Klinton

Why are the "Job Stats" in the Not Hot section?

Shouldn't the root cause of it be?

Those Progressive Democrat anti-business, pro-union policies!


Never forget Benghazi 2012 where Clinton and Obama left four Americans to die.

James Berling

Do we have a gubernatorial candidate that will take the unions on? Will he/she get the message out—that unions and the one-party (Democrat) super majority has just about killed RI?

If not we are doomed.

Will Fung say a discouraging word about the unions? Or is he in their pocket too?

Make RI a Voter Initiative State so voters can put propositions on the ballot and break the stranglehold the General Assembly has on democracy in this state.

James Berling

The low information voter knows nothing about policy. They have been raised on the emotional messages the Democrats deliver.

If policy was described to them they could make an informed decision. If there was a proposition on the ballot it would have policy in it and they would make a common-sense decision. That is they would vote against Democrat policy—without even knowing it.

For instance a proposition question: No social welfare benefits for illegal aliens. It costs RI taxpayers too much. Even a low information voter would agree with that.

Make RI a Voter Initiative State so voters can put propositions on the ballot and break the stranglehold the General Assembly has on democracy in this state.

Prof Steve

We're #...35: Solar Power Rocks highlights state policies that promote solar energy. Massachusetts ranks #1 in the nation. As the report reads, "With all of its Northeastern and New England brethren lining the top half of our rankings, what is Rhode Island doing all the way down here at 35?"

Let's realize though that to pump up solar (or wind) comes at a cost to the ratepayer..maybe that makes sense in isolated cases at closed landfills near the power grid (assuming the power grid can accept the power when the power is being generated) but being near the bottom of something that economically does not make sense (currently) is not necessarily a bad thing...

From PROJO on Oct 5 2013

That’s true of the Forbes Street landfill project. CME Energy was awarded a contract that will pay 23.9 cents per kilowatt hour from its solar panels, a price that is significantly higher than the price for power generated from fossil fuels but lower than the price Deepwater negotiated for its Block Island wind farm.

Would the solar project have happened without a distributed generation contract?

“No,” Martin says. “There would have been no economic basis for it.”


Latino Policy Institute?

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