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slides: Side of the Rhode: Who’s Hot & Who’s Not? - October 28, 2016

Friday, October 28, 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: Side of the Rhode: Who’s Hot & Who’s Not? - October 28,2016

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HOT

Patricia Serpa

The Chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee was an absolute champion for representing the frustration of the people of Rhode Island at the hearings last week to try and get answers as to why the Governor’s administration proceeded with a new computer system, despite the fact that they were warned by the federal government that doing so would cause all sorts of problems.

“Once again, impatience on behalf of state agencies’ leaders and inadequate preparation resulted in a half-baked program being thrust upon Rhode Islanders,” said Chairwoman Serpa. 

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HOT

K. Joseph Shekarchi

The Chairman of the House Labor Committee and close ally to Governor Gina Raimondo is sitting on roughly $534,000 in campaign cash, unopposed in his reelection bid, and is currently the favorite to become the next House Majority Leader.

Should House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello fall in his reelection bid against Republican National Committee Chairman Steve Frias, he would automatically become the likely favorite to become House Speaker. 

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HOT

City Treasurer James J Lombardi III

The City has begun a new e-payables program from Citizens Bank that allows the City to streamline its payment process and collect a small percentage of shared revenuethat will generate roughly $250,000 in new revenue the current fiscal year, and significantly more in future years. When vendors move over to the electronic system, which most will want to do since it is a lot faster than being paid by paper checks, everyone saves money, which makes it a beneficial program for all involved. The treasurer deserves credit for implementing the new program. 

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HOT

Washington Trust

The parent company of the Washington Trust Company reported net income of $12.3 million for the third quarter of 2016--an increase from net income of $11.1 million reported for the second quarter. The company total assets surpassed $4 billion for the first time in the company’s history, which spans over two centuries. It’s a good time for Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc. 

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HOT

Seth Magaziner

As the old saying goes, better late than never. State Treasurer Seth Magaziner announced this week that the state will be divesting the Rhode Island, including Och-Ziff, who recently pleaded guilty to federal bribery charge and agreed to a $400 million settlement. I call that a good start. Hopefully, Magaziner will continue the current trend and continue pulling pension money away from the hedge fund managers, which I have in past dubbed, "The New Alchemists". 

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HOT

Peter F. Neronha

The sanctity of American democracy is contingent on the integrity of voting in our elections. That’s why it was encouraging to see Neronha announce on Monday that Assistant United States Attorney Terrence P. Donnelly will lead the efforts of his office, in conjunction with the Justice Department, to prosecute any instances of voter fraud. That should, in all likelihood, serve as a deterrent to folks who wish to undermine our democratic process. 

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HOT

Operation Stand Down RI

The non-profit organization devoted to helping veterans will be hosting a Veteran Resource Fair at the Warwick Mall on Veterans Day (Friday, November 11th) from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. The resource fair will include veteran service providers including Operation Stand Down’s housing and employment services among other non-profit and state agencies. Spread the word to veterans. 

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NOT

Jorge Elorza

So let’s get the situation straight on this $40 million bond issue from the Mayor’s perspective. When the city council, a separate and coequal branch of government, let’s keep in mind, seeks to control how a portion of the money is spent, it’s a “slush fund”. But when the administration controls the money in its entirety, it’s good government. Sorry, but that doesn’t make sense. The council is correct: the Mayor should apologize for that statement. 

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NOT

Barack Obama

The President of the United States' signature domestic policy was named “The Affordable Care Act”. But seven years since it was passed by Congress, perhaps it’s time it should be renamed to “The Unaffordable Care Act”, since the news broke this week that plans will be seeing double digit rate hikes this year. The time has come to declare this monstrosity a failure, scrap it, and enact new, more effective reforms. 

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NOT

Elizabeth Roberts

The former Lieutenant Governor was quite underwhelming at the House Oversight Committee that sought to discern why the state moved ahead with a new computer benefits system despite the fact that the federal government warned the Rhode Island Department of Human Services that the program would like cause problems, which it did in spades. One would have expected Roberts to show more poise and have better answers at the hearing. 

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NOT

Claudia Haugen

The Chairperson of the Providence Board of Canvassers deserves criticism for the board’s about-face reversal of its decision to not allow a hearing before the board concerning the roughly 360 signatures to hold a recall for embattled Providence City Councilman Kevin Jackson (who has been charged with embezzlement).

The board, correctly, decided to allow Jackson to have a hearing before the board, but it’s unclear how the board arrived at its decision, since it didn’t hold a hearing or have a meeting to arrive at that decision. The process to potentially recall Jackson needs to be open and transparent, and thus far it’s been anything but.

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NOT

Capital City Buccaneers

The youth football team of 12 and 13 year olds dressed an 18-year-old man and put him into the game last Sunday. Fortunately, observers quickly realized the absurdity of the situation, and it was rectified quickly. However, the incident shows us yet again, that some coaches are far too concerned with winning and not as worried about good sportsmanship. 

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NOT

Racism

Wednesday was another sad and stark reminder that racism is, unfortunately, alive and well here in Rhode Island. After a Facebook user posted a video of a 62-year-old white man being assaulted by two young black women in New York, Michael Melikian, a Johnston resident, went on a hate-filled, irrational, disgusting, racist tirade. I’d like to hope that this kind of talk and attitude is rare in today’s day and age, but I’m afraid that it isn’t. 

 
 

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