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

Friday, June 01, 2012

 

Who’s Hot

Angel Taveras -> While he still says “there’s a few more innings to play,” the landmark agreement with employees and retirees announced this week appears to be a huge victory for a Mayor who was talking bankruptcy only a few months ago. Thanks to this pension reform deal and the agreements with JWU, Lifespan and Brown University, it truly looks as though Providence has weathered its fiscal storm.

John Igliozzi & Terry Hassett -> The two Councilmen deservedly took a beating when they flip-flopped on their support for pension reform only days after voting in support of the ordinance, but it looks as though they were right that a deal was in the works with the city. They may be winners in the long run because they can now say they were part of the Council that helped save Providence and they also fought for the unions, which will go a long way if either of them run for higher office (Hassett is likely going to run for Secretary of State).

Helio Melo –> The budget is never perfect, but the House Finance chairman and his team appear to have done an excellent job limiting the amount of increased taxes they plan to push on residents to only a handful of items. Nice to see restorations to the cuts to the developmentally disabled and the decision to fully fund the school funding formula as well.

Michelle Place Gleason -> Kudos to Ms. Gleason for not allowing Democratic Party leaders to stop her from working for Congressional candidate Anthony Gemma. Now she needs to get Gemma on message and convince him to start sounnding like a guy who is running for Congress and not Governor.

David Cicilline -> He still has to change a lot of voters’ minds, but Congressman Cicilline continues to pick up support from city and town committees, a strategy that will make him awfully difficult to defeat in the September primary. The Congressman also benefits from the fact that the “B” word will likely no longer be used when describing the capital city.

Susan Sosnowski & Teresa Tanzi -> Great job by Sen. Sosnowski and Rep. Tanzi in continuing their efforts to reform the state’s good time laws. There is no reason for people like Michael Woodmansee to receive the benefit of the doubt after committing disgusting crimes. Here’s hoping Governor Chafee signs the bill into law.

Who’s Not

Lincoln Chafee -> It looks as though another city or town is going to have to file for bankruptcy before the General Assembly gets it act together and actually gets serious about helping municipalities. Unfortunately the Governor ends up the biggest loser in the proposed House budget because the legislature is more concerned with their reelection bids than they are with saving struggling cities and towns.

West Warwick School Board -> Times are tough and West Warwick may very well be the next community to find itself in receivership, but there is no excuse for cutting all sports and afterschool activities. This is a shortsighted decision that will be disastrous for the town’s youth.

Curt Schilling -> Until he can pay his former employees back for the time they worked without receiving a check, Curt Schilling has no right to blame the state for his failures. 38 Studios may have had the most talented developers in the world, but we now know the company has always struggled to find investors and was never able to develop a marketing plan that was going to lead to profitability.

Woonsocket -> The city was already at junk bond status, but its rating was dropped again the week after the state announced that a budget commission was stepping into to help address its finances. Here’s hoping voters in that community and across the state remember that while the General Assembly is no responsible for Woonsocket’s mess, it should be blamed for putting politics ahead of helping save the city.

Edward M. Krawetz -> Remember the ninja cop that was caught on tape kicking a handcuffed woman in the head? He plans to fight to keep his job. You know, because that’s exactly the type of guy we want protecting and serving our residents.

 

Dan McGowan can be reached at [email protected].

 

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