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slides: Side of the Rhode: Who’s Hot & Who’s Not? - November 11, 2016

Friday, November 11, 2016

 

Russ Moore

Every Friday, GoLocalProv's Russ Moore breaks down who is rising and who is falling in RI politics, business, and sports. Moore has worked on both sides of the desk in Rhode Island media, both for newspapers and on political campaigns.

 

Related Slideshow: Who’s Hot & Who’s Not? - November 11, 2016

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HOT

President-Elect Donald Trump

Why did I ever doubt this man? Trump, buoyed by his larger-than-life charisma, defied the odds and made fools out of political pundit class for the better part of the last two years. So it was only fitting that he finished the job on Tuesday night, capturing the Presidency despite being considered a heavy underdog to do so.

Face it America: Trump has been a step ahead of everyone every single step of the way. He perfectly cultivating his outsider status and endearing himself to voters by promising to fix a federal government that benefits insiders at the expense of everyone else. Yes, dissent is patriotic--always has been. But at the same time, Trump won fair and square, so let’s give this man a chance to “make America great again”. He’s earned it!

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HOT

Allan Fung

You thought his political career was over after the “ticket-gate” state police report? Think again. The Mayor of Cranston absolutely dominated his Democratic rival, Michael Sepe, beating him by a margin of nearly 70-30 percent of the vote on Tuesday. Make no mistake about it: Fung, right now, is already thinking about how to best position himself to capture the state’s top job two years from now. Don’t be surprised if he does.

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HOT

John DePetro

The sometimes controversial talk radio host, who can be heard on 630 WPRO, looks like a soothsayer this week. DePetro never gave up faith, or arguing, that Trump would prevail in the election this year--despite the fact that almost the rest of the political pundit class had him losing big. Love it or hate it, DePetro was correct. Trump is known as a fiercely loyal man, so don’t be surprised if DePetro receives some big job offers from the President-elect. 

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HOT

Nicholas Mattiello

When a team wins the super bowl, it doesn’t matter if they win by a single point, or 20. That’s how Mattiello’s victory in state representative district-15 feels. Despite the fact that he needed to rely on mail ballots that were staunchly in his favor to pull off the victory, he still remains the most powerful person in state government. A win's a win. That means Mattiello will continue to call the shots here in Rhode Island--much to the dismay of the state’s so-called “progressives”. (I still remain perplexed at what’s progressive about high taxes, crippling regulations, both of which lead to a stagnant economic climate). 

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HOT

Professor Anthony Esolen

The distinguished Literature and Western Civilization Professor at Providence College handled a minor protest by some students with the class, dignity, and civility of a gentleman. The thin-skinned students were apparently upset with two articles he had written which questioned the need for forced diversity on campus and whether it’s really just a push for intellectual homogeneity. Esolen answered the protests by offering to have a cordial discussion or debate with the students, which is the essence of a college in the first place.

(Full disclosure: I had Dr. Esolen as a teacher when I studied at Providence College.)

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HOT

Ethics

The voters have spoken, loud and clear. They passed the constitutional amendment that once again empowers the Rhode Island Ethics Commission to police the state legislature. That’s awesome, and it brings closure to a fight that good government reformers have been waging for about 6 years. However, the fight for an ethical government is far from over. It’s time to start seriously debating the merits of legislative term limits, so that nobody gets too comfortable or popular in their position. Let’s drain the swamp on the state level! 

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HOT

Unsuccessful Candidates

It’s not easy putting your name on the ballot and facing the voters. It’s a long and almost always lonely process. Slogging door to door and getting so many of them slammed in your face by ignorant folks, when all you’re trying to do is help your community. If the votes were counted and you came up short, don’t lose heart if you ran for the right reasons. You’re still a leader and we’re all better off for it. Without challengers, there’s no democratic process. Thank you.  

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NOT

Stephen Neuman

How’s that whole, “I’m going to hire the best and brightest” thing working out, Governor Raimondo? Neuman, the Governor’s first Chief of Staff, whom she hired after winning the 2014 election, oversaw a very rocky first year-and-a-half of Raimondo’s tenure, which included the horrifically botched tourism rollout, letting TeeSpring go without even contacting the company, and hiring former state representative Donald Lally and violating the revolving door statute in the process. Neuman left the job in June of this year to oversee Hillary Clinton’s campaign in Michigan where she was a heavy favorite--the state wasn’t even considered a “swing state”.

The rest is history--Clinton lost the state of Michigan, which was a major aspect of her losing the election this week. Governor, forgive me, but I’m starting to become very suspicious of your hiring decisions. 

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NOT

Brett Smiley

So, the Governor’s new Chief of Staff, Brett Smiley, just a few weeks ago, tweeted that then-candidate Trump is like “that blowhard asshole you get seated next to at a dinner party who just spouts off uninformed opinions”. How wonderful. That’s going to bode really well for Rhode Island as we move forward and undoubtedly need the help of the federal government in the future. What is it with these people that the Governor hires with our money?

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NOT

Nellie Gorbea

So much for the new voting machines that cost a collective $9.3 million dollars to purchase, and had earned Gorbea praise by Governing Magazine. Tuesday’s voting was plagued by long lines, problems with the machines, and an all-around hassle in many locations. The state needs to do better next time around. Voting should not be that inconvenient. 

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NOT

Jorge Elorza

The Mayor of Providence stuck his foot into his mouth on Tuesday night at the Biltmore in Providence, where many expected to be celebrating a Hillary Clinton victory. Elorza called the race for Clinton around 8:30, long before the race had been called--for Trump. “I’m so proud that our folks, both here locally and throughout the United States are saying that we’re going to reject this politics of hate, and instead we’re going to stand for these important principles. And what is happening tonight, when Hillary is named President tonight, the Democratic Party will once again show the world what we’re made of.”

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NOT

Polls, Pundits, Consultants

Donald Trump was emphatic on a few major points during the election. He argued that so many of the polls that were being released were “phony”. He said the political pundit class was inherently biased against him, and therefore sought to undermine his campaign chances. And he believed most consultants did very little, but charged huge sums of money--so he spent very little on them.

As usual, Trump was spot on. The polls were awful, leading all of us to think he was going to lose, when in fact, he was about to score a decisive victory. The pundits completely misgauged the pulse of the electorate. According to a Reuters analysis, Trump spent half per vote that Clinton did. To paraphrase a quote from Star Wars for all my fellow nerds out there: we must unlearn what we have learned about politics. 

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NOT

Write-in Campaigns

If you find yourself on the losing end of a primary, do yourself a favor and save your time and money by taking a vacation from politics. Don’t wage a write-in campaign. As usual, the write-in campaigns this election season went absolutely nowhere in this week’s election, with both Majority Leader John DeSimone and longtime Warren state representative Jan Malik both losing by margins as wide as the Mississippi. 

 
 

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