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Side of the Rhode: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not? - July 13, 2018

Friday, July 13, 2018

 

Every Friday, GoLocalProv breaks down who is rising and who is falling in Rhode Island politics, business, and sports.

Now, we are expanding the list, the political perspectives, and we are going to a GoLocal team approach while encouraging readers to suggest nominees for who is "HOT" and who is "NOT." 

Email GoLocal by midday on Thursday anyone you think should be tapped as "HOT" or "NOT."  Email us HERE.

 

Related Slideshow: Side of the Rhode: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not? - July 13, 2018

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HOT

Red Sox, but Not Baseball

A Boston Globe column by Dan Shaughnessy, titled, "The Red Sox may be red-hot, but baseball is striking out in every way," says Shaughnessy, "And as much as I love the game, I can no longer defend all the things that are hurting the sport."

"There are too many bad teams (the once-proud Orioles are 41 games under .500). There are too many non-competitive games. There are too many strikeouts. There are not enough balls in play. Baseball stars are increasingly anonymous."

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HOT

Ted Siedle

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced this week an award of approximately $30 million to "a whistleblower who voluntarily provided key original information that led to a successful enforcement action." GoLocal has learned that former SEC lawyer and Forbes columnist Ted Siedle is the recipient of the award.

The award is the largest award made by the CFTC’s Whistleblower Program to date and is the fifth award made by the program.

This award is in addition to the record award Siedle is receiving from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Siedle has been a constant critic of Governor Gina Raimondo’s strategy -- during her tenure as General Treasurer -- of diverting more than $1 billion from the retirement fund to high fee hedge funds. On Wednesday, the SEC tied Raimondo to a pay-to-play investigation with the private equity fund Oaktree.

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HOT

Senior Discount

The Providence area band Senior Discount was recently signed to Paper and Plastick records and is celebrating their album release at a waterfront, block-party style show on July 13 alongside the band Badfish. The event, held at the Whiskey Republic, will be the first of its kind for the venue, where a large stage is being built outside for the event.

Senior Discount is billed as a pop-punk band, which he describes as along the lines of Green Day and Blink-182. The band has won numerous awards in the New England area, with both the Providence Phoenix and Motif Magazine naming them the Best Punk/Best Pop-Punk Band two times each, and has been part of the WBRU Rock Hunt.

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HOT

France, Not England

Oh, the World Cup. It breaks so many hearts. The finals on Sunday are a match-up of France and Croatia, but not England or the rest of the world. And, certainly not the United States.

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NOT

Rhode Island

Not sure which is worse being ranked #45 in the country by the leading business cable network CNBC, or the explanation by elected leaders that we are on the right track. 

It was the second consecutive year RI was ranked #45, and remember when you are in a ranking and your peers are Mississippi and West Virginia, it is not good.

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NOT

Pay-to-Play

Oaktree Capital has been hit by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission for violating federal regulations including being involved with a pay-to-play scheme in Rhode Island with then-Rhode Island General Treasurer Gina Raimondo as she was a candidate for Governor in 2014.

Raimondo invested in Oaktree as General Treasurer — the fund earned hundreds of thousands in fees from the state’s retirement fund. And, Oaktree charged one of the highest fees - 1.75 according to a GoLocal review in 2015.

Oaktree has admitted no guilt to the charges as a part of the agreement with the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission, which has fined Oaktree - who paid a civil penalty.

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NOT

Governor Gina Raimondo

What is the standard?

Now-Governor and then-General Treasurer Gina Raimondo has been tied to an illegal pay-to-play scheme involving Oaktree Capital.  She returned the illegal donation, but never reported it.

According to a settlement between the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and the Oaktree — a $100 billion California-based fund that Raimondo invested $20 million — the private equity firm gave Raimondo an illegal donation while she was running for Governor in 2014.

Oaktree is barred under federal law from making such donations and Raimondo ultimately returned the donation five weeks later. Raimondo who has been proficient at fundraising from Wall Street interests was not required by law to disclose the illegal contribution, but some say that she had an ethical obligation to disclose the donation.

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Big Rocks

Joe Trillo was the innocent victim of the actions of one of those big, vicious rocks in Narragansett Bay. He, his guests and his yacht were the victims of a rock-throwing itself in front of their path. 

 
 

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