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Side of the Rhode: Who’s hot and who’s not in RI politics?

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Read Who's Hot and Who's Not every week at http://www.GoLocalProv.com.


Lincoln Chafee -> There have been 3 polls in October and Chafee has led in all of them. WPRI has him up 7. WJAR has him up 7. Rasmussen has him up 7.  At this point, the odds are that Chafee will win this race - even if it is with less than 40% of the vote.  And, with a strong ground game of progressive organizations, it is hard to see a let down of turn out on Election Day.  

The Undecideds -> There are 12% of Rhode Islanders who are "undecided" in the Governor's race. To whom will these late voters swing? Will they go indy with Chafee or moderate with Block or right-wing with Robitaille? Or will a whole block of undecideds vote "straight Democrat" and pull the lever for Caprio?

The Ground Game -> In 2006, Charlie Fogarty almost overcame a 7 point deficit in the polls with a stellar Democratic ground game. Will we see a similar effort in 2010 that will also help Democratic candidates down ticket in the House, the Senate and in local races? Not an easy question nor an easy answer. Surprisingly, Caprio has not mimicked Sheldon Whitehouse's successful 2006 campaign and hired a massive field staff. Instead, he has invested heavily in TV. Questionable.  And, the remaining "grassroots heavyweights" - from SEIU to the NEA to Clean Water Action to the Latino PAC to other labor unions - are with Chafee, not Caprio.

Michael Bloomberg, Bill Clinton, Mitt Romney  ->  These national names are coming to the Ocean state to stump for gubernatorial candidates Chafee, Caprio and Robitaille respectively.  Who will be the "godfather" that delivers for their candidate?

John Robitaille  ->  This Republican gubernatorial candidate has jumped from the low 20s to the high 20s in recent polling - to the detriment of conservative Democrat Caprio - and he's making a serious run for the State House with a serious ad buy from the RGA.  While his stock is rising, there is simply not enough time, nor enough Rhode Islanders, who will push Robitaille over the 35% marker to win the race.

Women's Fund of RI  ->  A Steering Committee of local women leaders, under the guidance of the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island, not only came together to form the Rhode Island Government Appointments Project (RI-GAP), an effort to increase the number of women appointed by the governor to cabinet level positions, boards, and commissions in the public sector, but also recently got gubernatorial candidates Caprio, Chafee, Block and Robitalle to sign onto their pledge.  Get involved here.

Gordon Fox  ->  Recent stories have detailed a repeat attempt by a dissident coalition now led by Rep. Thomas Winfield to take on the House leadership led by Speaker Gordon Fox.  This was supposed to be the big "Fox test" similar to the one that Bill Murphy faced.  However, all signs point to Fox maintaining a strong leadership coalition with his majority leader Nick Mattiello and his majority whip Patrick O'Neill.

Scott Avedisian, Allan Fung, Angel Taveras, Donald Grebien  ->  These likely incoming Mayors of Warwick, Cranston, Providence and Pawtucket respectively will certainly provide a fresh face for the leadership of Rhode Island's largest cities.  You can call the first two Republicans and the last two Democrats, but the one thing you can't accuse this quartet of being is status quo Rhode Island politicians.  

Peter Kilmartin  ->  This Democratic Attorney General candidate has swept the endorsements of the the Providence Journal and the Providence Phoenix as well has been the recipient of a sizeable ad buy by the Democratic Attorney General Association.

David Segal  ->  This State Rep. and CD-1 candidate came out and endorsed David Cicilline for Congress this week.  You should read his endorsement for a clear analysis of what is at stake in CD-1.

John DePetro  ->  With Caprio's "Shove it" interview that went national, DePetro demonstrated why he is in a league above afternoon host Buddy Cianci.  DePetro made WPRO a big player in the election and not just background noise.


Frank Caprio -> This Democratic gubernatorial candidate committed a catastrophic political blunder with his disrespectful 'shove it' comment to the President of the United States. After alienating labor, immigrants, progressives, environmentalists, and (most recently), the LGBT community, Caprio's remark took a bite out of Caprio's remaining base: African-Americans and diehard Democrats.

John Loughlin  ->  As DM points out, PolitiFact takes down John Loughlin, just as it did here, here, here and here.  Talk about a campaign of misinformation!  

Bob Healey  ->  What happened to that MoJo?  Will he even crack 40%?

Will Grapentine  ->  This Republican candidate running for State Representative in Bristol and Warren against Ray Gallison sent out a mailing with an election date as "November 4th" as opposed to the actual date of November 2nd.  Woops!

Ken Block  ->  This Moderate Party candidate had a plan to spend a good chunk of his own personal money and to emerge as the 3rd party alternative to a slug-fest as has emerged between Caprio and Chafee.  And yet, he's still not breaking 5% in most polls. 

Send your tips to mjerzyk at gmail dot com.


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Congratulations and a "Hot Back Atcha" are in order.

Mr. Jerzyk, it was learned this week, is the putative favorite to become the Director of Policy in an Angel Taveras campaign. The position might be morphed into a less traditional (in title only) office, but policy, it is anticipated, will be his brief.

It just goes to show you that every Jerzyk-delivered Taveras “hot” hit the Taveras spot.

Look for Myrth York to assume a very high-level post (if she is hired by Taveras, look for Mr. Jerzyk to continue to claim that she is not a City employee). Victor Capellan could be headed for the School Department (as superintendent, if Tom Brady can be nudged out of his contract). Steve Pare is said to have the inside tract for Public Safety Commissioner.

Andrew Annaldo, it seems, has been asked to service the anticipated new administration. Perhaps Taveras will create a new City department for him to head: the Offis of Intelekshual Afairs. So too Gonzalo Cuervo in a capacity commensurate with his extraordinary gifts and expertise (something in rodent control, a veteran wag recently opined).

Here’s an interesting bit of quid pro quo to ponder: Steven “I Never Had a Chance and I Knew It” Costantino is expected to become Director of Finance. Such a posting would make the cynics among us wonder if a Taveras/Costantino accommodation had been reached early on in the Primary campaign. Alas, we cannot ask the latter; since his “loss,” Uneven Steven has been declared an MIA. In any event, we are thrilled by the prospect of Costantino leading Providence out of its onrushing, David Cicilline-originating bankruptcy; Stephen Hawking be damned, there is too a God! And He is just!

No one with an ounce of political savvy will be surprised to see a large number of Cicilline staffers held over so that they can secure the pension-assuring minimum of ten years of City service. One is left to wonder just how many recipients of Cicilline-originating vacation time largess were components of a pre-election Cicilline-Taveras deal.

Anyway ... None of this is carved in stone. We’ll all be watching closely to see just where Mr. Jerzyk ends up. He would not be the first “journalist” to be rewarded for what I like to term “friendly objectivity” during a campaign. And he sure-as-shootin’ would not be the last.

Sleep warm, good people of Providence.

Comment #1 by R. Parsons on 2010 10 29

Thank you Mr. Parsons.

This "over-taxed" RI&PP; resident appreciates the insider politics of the media. It doesn't just happen in the Whitehouse, it starts at a much lower level. Almost like an ACORN style apprenticeship program.

If only I could convince you to become a Conservative and leave the "Dark Side"


Comment #2 by ed curtis on 2010 10 29

Strange what a few hundred thousand dollars of negative ads can do to your MoJo.

Don't worry, I won't let Dr. Evil get "one million dollars".

Comment #3 by Robert Healey on 2010 10 29


Dear R. Parsons AKA Charlie Drago -

I learned long ago - some time after your blog stalking started - that your creation and circulation of unfounded rumors has a not-so-pure motive.

Take for example, your circulation of the rumor on RIFuture that David Cicilline would be indicted and convicted years ago and Council President Mancini would become Mayor.

As a former City Hall employee, you should focus your time on policies that will improve Providence as opposed to politics that will distract it.


Comment #4 by Matthew Jerzyk on 2010 10 29


Dear Mr. Curtis,

You, like Mr. Cicilline-Jerzyk, have no idea whose side I'm on -- let alone who I am. It so happens that it is a fully and beautifully illuminated side.

The darkness that stalks ProgressiveLand accompanies the likes of Matt "David Cicilline" Jerzyk -- who, by the by, has learned well the lessons of evasion, pseudo-outing, and petulance-as-governance from his Dark Master David.


R. Parsons

Comment #5 by R. Parsons on 2010 10 29


As for Mr. Cicilline-Jerzyk:

Look who's stalking.

Comment #6 by R. Parsons on 2010 10 29

Pull a $20 bill out of your pocket and look Mr. Jefferson square in the eye. Ask HIM who you should vote for on November 2. Clearly the “party’s” over – based upon the actions of Mr. Obama; it’s everyman for himself. Can YOU afford to sacrifice 65 gallons of milk, 150 dozen eggs, or 41 boxes of cereal a year for Chafee’s vague 1-% plan to tax your NET income?

Comment #7 by zan nordlund on 2010 10 29


You listed Loughlin as "not hot" because of a Politifact article, yet you seem to be ignoring the fact that he has overcome a 3-1 fund-raising gap to be tied in the race for Congress with his opponent who started with better name recognition, a larger organization, and more money. Whether you like it or not, it seems to me that Mr. Loughlin is hot right now.



Comment #8 by Parker Lacoste on 2010 10 29


Parker's point is well taken. Perhaps I can explain, with elegant simplicity, what at first blush presents as Mr. Jerzyk's lunacy.


As opposed to David Cicilline, Mr. Loughlin never has been, and never will be, Mr. Jerzyk's patron (in the Medici sense).

Hope this helps.

Comment #9 by R. Parsons on 2010 10 29

"And, the remaining "grassroots heavyweights" - from SEIU to the NEA to Clean Water Action to the Latino PAC to other labor unions - are with Chafee, not Caprio."

With all the bickering, no one has even mentioned this quote.

Since when are "organized" gangs considered "grass root". What next, ACORN International? La Raza?

Grass roots? Laughable.

The fact that these people support him are just more reasons to keep Chafee out of power.

Comment #10 by ed curtis on 2010 10 29

Matt, if Robitaille didn't make your hot list I'd really have to seriously question your pulse on politics in RI. I know you're biased, but not putting Robitaille as hot and Caprio as not would certainly tell RI'ers your hot and not list is just a cover for whatever candidate you support. Glad you called it here.

I concur with the comments about Loughlin as well. He's gaining steam and as much as the RIF folks want Cicilline to win, he's got a very difficult few days ahead because of how, pun-intended, "hot" Loughlin is. Definitely not on the "not" side of things by any stretch. But, of course making your hot list is Segal so the bias comes through clear as day.

But, at least more than one Republican made your hot list so I guess that has to count for something.

Comment #11 by Donn Roach on 2010 10 29


What it counts for is what operatives far more sophisticated than Mr. Jerzyk refer to as "plausible deniability." He "hots" a Robitaille in order to support the false claim of objectivity.

Mr. Jerzyk is typically ham-handed when he does so. He's fooling no one but the fools.

As an editorialist, Mr. Jerzyk has every right to be biased -- as long as he clearly and repeatedly acknowledges those biases.

Alas, Mr. Jerzyk refuses to abide by journalistic ethics He continues to attempt to masquerade as a keen-eyed and removed observer of all things political, when in fact he is just another in a long line of bought-and-paid-for political media hacks.

Roger Ailes must be beaming with pride.

Only in the dumbed-down America represented by Fox "News" could the likes of Mr. Jerzyk get away with this B.S.

Comment #12 by R. Parsons on 2010 10 29

"Only in the dumbed-down America represented by Fox “News” could the likes of Mr. Jerzyk get away with this B.S."

Your credibility on any issue just went to zero after that comment.

As much as Matt's irrefutable political bias is shown on this forum, you condescending ignorance to anyone who disagrees with you also shines through. Mr. Parsons or Drago or whatever surname you chose to hide behind, you sir, are a true bigot. What next? Are you going to use a racial or ethnic slur against me? Your hero Keith Olberman would be proud of you.

Comment #13 by ed curtis on 2010 10 29


Adjust your meds, Mr. Curtis, and don't call me in the morning.

Comment #14 by R. Parsons on 2010 10 29

Adjust your white hood and don't forget to read your Mein Kampf tonight.

Comment #15 by ed curtis on 2010 10 29

Friday night news from Nick-a-nee's -- one of Mr. Jerzyk's many favored watering holes -- is that he's telling all who will listen that he's not accepting a post with any Taveras Administration.

Feint? Cover for a non-invitation?

Only time will tell. From this vantage point it is inconceivable that the Cicilline/Taveras operation that Mr. Jerzyk has served so breathlessly will leave him unrewarded.

Unless, of course, Cicilline breaks his solemn word ...

Hmmm ... What are the chances?

Comment #16 by Roy Parson on 2010 10 31

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