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

Friday, June 08, 2012

 

Who’s Hot

Sheldon Whitehouse -> Congress might still be deadlocked, but Senator Whitehouse continues to see his star shine among national Democrats. First there were rumors that he might be tapped to lead the Senate Democrats and now he’s one of the stars at this week’s Netroots Nation held in Providence. He may be viewed as too liberal for some in the Senate, but the fact that he is virtually a lock to win reelection has certainly earned him some national attention.

Abel Collins -> The liberal environmental activist won’t defeat Congressman Langevin this fall, but if he can move the Congressman further to the left, supporters say he’ll have succeeded. Collins has a compelling anti-Wall Street platform that could generate some buzz, but it’s certainly an uphill battle.

Michael Riley -> Speaking of the CD-2 race (because no one really is), the likely Republican nominee has an interesting idea to help cover the cost of entitlements. He’s hoping to use the funds generated from contracts related to fossil fuels found on federal land to pay for Social Security and Medicare. It’s a complicated scheme, but Riley is making a smart political decision by moving away from the more conservative crowd and standing up for entitlement programs.

Chris Blazejewski -> Kudos to Rep. Blazejewski for getting his campaign finance disclosure bill passed through the House this week. The last thing Rhode Island needs is more secrecy in its politics. Unfortunately the bill was watered down to cater to the right to life crowd, which makes no sense whatsoever.

Thomas Palangio -> It sounds as though a candidate has finally emerged for State Rep. John McCauley’s open seat. Palangio, a State House lobbyist and former Rep., is expected to announce his candidacy in the coming weeks.

John Flynn & Charles Levesque -> The two State House insiders have been appointed court magistrates by House and Senate leadership. Flynn has long been a close confidant to House Speaker Gordon Fox and Levesque, a former State Senator who was considering running for office again, received the nod from the Senate.

Angelo Padula -> Kudos to the West Warwick Town Council President for taking the General Assembly to task this week for not including the key components of the Governor’s municipal relief package in the budget. Padula, who isn’t always right about the issues he yells about, is spot-on when he says politics got in the way of what was a strong package from Chafee.

Who’s Not

House of Representatives -> The House deserves credit for passing what is actually a fairly solid budget, but shame on this group for removing car washes from the sales tax proposal at the last minute. While dog groomers and taxi companies get screwed, the car wash owners were helped because they hired Andrew Annaldo as their $10,000 lobbyist.

38 Studios -> While everyone feels for the employees of Curt Schilling’s video game company, just looking at the expense reports in the 38 Studios bankruptcy makes it difficult to support the former Red Sox star in this whole ordeal. The more you look at this situation, the more it looks like excessive spending is part of the reason the company failed.

Al Verrecchia -> Speaking of the 38 Studios saga, does anyone believe the former Hasbro chief when he says he had no idea of his company’s connection to Schilling? According to those who sat in on those EDC meetings, Verrecchia was one of the top supporters of this disaster of a deal.

M. Teresa Paiva Weed -> The Senate President continues to catch heat for allowing politics to interfere with her relationship with Governor Chafee. Paiva Weed is basically stalling on a number of the Governor’s appointees simply to make a point, which has already led one person (Alison Vareika) to withdraw from her nomination to the EDC.

Tax the Rich Supporters -> It was a strong effort, but Rep. Maria Cimini and her fellow progressives couldn’t quite convince their colleagues to support raising taxes on the wealthiest Rhode Islanders in an election year. However, the idea did pick up some steam and will likely be revisited next year.

National Popular Vote -> The folks at National Popular Vote seem to have an endless amount of money, but for some reason they just can’t convince the General Assembly to support their cause. Maybe they’re hanging out at the wrong restaurants afterhours.

Department of Labor & Training -> Another terrible blow to the state this week with the announcement that DLT will lay off 60-70 employees. At this rate, it could be years before the state’s unemployment rate falls below 10 percent.

Dan McGowan can be reached at [email protected].

 

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Comments:

Whitehouse 'virtually a lock' to win re-election? HECK NO! It doesn't have to be this way. Barry Hinckley is offering us real Hope - not the 'hope' of a failed President, or the 'hope' of more of the same here in RI.....but HOPE that our biggest export will not have to be our own children, who have to go out of state to make a living. Please visit hinckleyforsenate.com

Comment #1 by Scott Rotondo on 2012 06 08

Sheldon Trashhouse "virtually a lock?!?!? Are you kidding me? The guy is more useless than used toilet paper and has done practically nothing to deserve to be even considered for re-election. Unless you count his "rabid babboon" rant about how birthers and arayan support groups are the only ones who don't support his messiah King Obama. This arrogant self-righteous career-politician trust-fund-baby should go try to go get a real job for once in his life and quit screwing up the country.

Comment #2 by Russ Hryzan on 2012 06 08

Could you please rotate the picture that you use for this feature? It's one ting to be in the tank for Weldon, but I find your use of subliminal advertising problematic.

Comment #3 by Michael Trenn on 2012 06 08

Thing, sorry

Comment #4 by Michael Trenn on 2012 06 08

The reaction to Mr Riley's plan was tepid. It's right of the seat of the bar stool at Pancho O'Malley's, a fine place for a beer, by the way. It's a half baked concept that seems oblivious to the real opposition that awaits it. Not only that I am not the subject of an oil rich nation that wants my country doling out wealth so that politicians fel safe or electable. You don't want federal lands policy twisted by the political pressures cf bailing put social security. The SSDI will only get more out of control without discipline.

Comment #5 by Michael Gardiner on 2012 06 09

You really should have saved ink and given Langevin a "not.". Whitehouse stole the spotlight in cybersecurity, and now he has the erosion from the environmental direction and occupy direction in the general. Matson took some votes as an independent 2010, but would not be a factor in the General in 2012 assuming he loses the Democratic primary. Now, Langevin had a primary and erosion. If anything, Riley's idea to subject federal lands to the demands of a social security bail out and long term pressures to grow could motivate the environmental vote to protect Federal lands from pillage.

Comment #6 by Michael Gardiner on 2012 06 09

It is time for GoLocal to show Dan McGowan the door. He is a liberal wingnut that is way to biased to even have a column. How he can heap complements on Weldon Shinehouse is beyond me. He is a bafoon. Hopefully he will go up in flames with his liberal friend Obama in November. And take this McGowan character with him.

Comment #7 by Lance Chappell on 2012 06 09

time to remove Weldon Shitehouse, Langevin, Cicilline and Nobama in this years election. Enough is enough. Their failed policies need to be replaced. Hinckley, Riley, Doherty and Romney will do a much better job.

Comment #8 by Winston Smith on 2012 06 09

Rhode island isn't going to vote for a Wall Street insider who endorses the Ryan plan. You can take that to the bank Winston. Moreover you should be a little depressed with the fact that you voiced no message for the people of your district. Sometimes that gets lost in the tiny world of the modern Rhode Island political party. Beware sycophancy. Avoid name calling. It degrades your credibility.

Comment #9 by Michael Gardiner on 2012 06 10

It is tough to put Abel Collins in the "hot" category when Langevin's campaign strategy will be to say nice things about him while treating his candidacy as a non-entity. He won't "move" to the left or anywhere else, for that matter.

Paiva-Weed doesn't belong in the "Not Hot" category. Gordon Fox is on the defense after saying he'd push the 38 Studios deal again. Chafee remains unpopular despite being right on 38 Studios. Paiva-Weed is now more secure in her job than either Fox or Chafee. Whatever the reason Paiva-Weed is giving for stalling the EDC appointments is overshadowed by a political reality: Paiva-Weed feels comfortable enough in her position to be able to do it.

Comment #10 by Todd B on 2012 06 10

Good observation about Langevin Todd B. Langevin's response will be just as you say. But there will be erosion. I stand by my original remarks. With Whitehouse showing up Langevin's diminishment in cyber security a primary opponent who is or demorizung a certain segment of support and now an "Independent" giving him a similar effect in the general, following his loss of the South side of Providence, you have to give Langevin a "not."

Comment #11 by Michael Gardiner on 2012 06 10

With a state as cold, sluggish and down right pathetic as Rhode Island its beyond me how ANY politician can be considered hot

Comment #12 by David Beagle on 2012 06 11




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