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

Friday, October 19, 2012


Who’s Hot

David Cicilline -> The first-term Congressman got another boost this week when the Cook Political Report upgraded his race from a tossup to “lean Democratic” and suggested Republican strategists are “pessimistic” about the race. Cicilline is by no means a lock, but his WPRI debate performance did nothing to harm him and he benefits from having a team around him who has experience when it comes to the final weeks of a close election.

Brendan Doherty -> The Republican may be down slightly in the polls, but he did score points during the WPRI debate with an aggressive approach that prevented the best debater in the state from walking all over him all night. Doherty was strong with his message on Medicare and Social Security and showed a better grasp for policy issues than he has in the past.

Gina Raimondo -> Kudos to the General Treasurer for launching her financial literacy initiative that will offer private financial counseling to all Rhode Islanders. It’s a great way to keep her name in the news politically, but it also gives people the opportunity to get their financial house order at no cost.

Don Grebien -> The Pawtucket Mayor has had a rough year thanks to run-ins with the fire union, but there’s no question he’s doing his best to prevent his city from going down the path of Central Falls or Woonsocket. And while cutting the amount of city-funded cell phones by more than half may not be the difference between bankruptcy and a surplus, it sends the message that the Mayor is committed to protecting the taxpayer.

James Diossa -> The Central Falls Mayoral candidate still has to overcome several opponents with more name recognition, but he is lapping the field when it comes to fundraising. Diossa has double the amount of money in his campaign account (just under $22,000) than all four of his opponents combined.

Brian Newberry -> The House Minority Leader is never shy about telling it like it is and he deserves credit this week for calling for more House Oversight committee meetings in the 2013 session. Speaker Gordon Fox has also committed to taking the committee (which rarely meets) more seriously and with 38 Studios still fresh on lawmakers’ minds, here’s hoping we see more action taken.

Who’s Not

Barry Hinckley -> The Republican Senate candidate has been pretty quiet lately, but his campaign got it wrong this week when it issued a press release claiming Senator Whitehouse had still not paid back the city of Providence for Vice President Joe Biden’s visit. The State Democratic Party actually cut a check to the Providence Police Department to cover the overtime costs associated with the Biden event.

Cranston School Committee -> It’s never a good sign when you claim to have a surplus and then end up showing a deficit, especially during election season. With Republican State Senate candidate Sean Gately monitoring every move the committee makes (his opponent, Frank Lombardi, is a member of the school committee), they better address the problem in a hurry.

John Ward -> The Woonsocket Council President undoubtedly means well with his proposal to ban pitbulls, but the idea is half-baked. The truth is owners are the ones who deserve to be punished when their dogs aren’t trained properly.

Providence Police Department -> In a Department that is always trying to watch its spending, a $7 million lawsuit from the man who was beaten with a flashlight by an officer must be troubling. And considering the officer was convicted of assault (it was overturned on a technicality), one would have to imagine the Luis Medonca has a shot at winning the suit.

Central Coventry Fire District -> With the District out of money and firefighters working for two weeks without pay, Providence-based attorney Richard Land was appointed as a Special Master. Here’s hoping a deal can be reached in the coming weeks to both save the District and ensure those workers are paid.

Dan McGowan can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @danmcgowan.


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I am completely baffled that the Rhode Island media continues to refer to Cicilline as the "State's best debater" or a "master debater". If evading questions, reading from a notebook, answering questions with "Ridiculous" and lying about an opponents positions makes one a great debater, then we may be on to something. Its the classic case of not expecting much from our elected officials.

Comment #1 by David Allen on 2012 10 19

"Speaker Gordon Fox has also committed to taking the committee (which rarely meets) more seriously and with 38 Studios still fresh on lawmakers’ minds, here’s hoping we see more action taken."

Comical that the heat is on and only now Fox is going to go to work for the people of the State of Rhode Island? Fox's one-party General Assembly has ruined the State. Self dealing, side deals and quashing debate as made this mess exclusively Fox's doing and the GA's doing.


Comment #2 by David Allen on 2012 10 19

Its amazing that cicilline is on the hot list after leaving Providence with a $110,000,000 deficit. This guy lied to the people, mismanaged the finances of the city,including giving out all sorts of questionable loans while he was chairman of the PEDP,which the tax payers are on the hook for. Under cicilline the PEDP also spent thousands of tax payer money on limos and lunches that HUD criticized the agency for .

According to the Internal Auditor’s April, 2011 report, the Cicilline Administration overstated projected revenues by millions of dollars and relied on reserve funds and borrowing to create the false appearance of balanced budgets. It was also reported that the Administration withheld accurate financial information from the City Council, the City’s internal auditor, an independent auditor and the State of Rhode Island Division of Municipal Finance, even forcing the internal auditor to make an “Open Access to Records Act” request to obtain financial reports. This report also determined that Cicilline’s Administration failed to inform the City Council of projected budget deficits in 2009 and in 2010, as required by the City Charter. Finally, the Auditor’s report states that the Cicilline Administration drained $17.5 million from the City’s Rainy-Day Fund in 2009 and 2010 without approval of the City Council as required by the City Charter.

Cicilline was forced to pay the city back nearly $30,000 for being overpaid as mayor,that he claimed he was unaware of. He wanted to rig this election in his favor with the redistricting of the district,which he managed to do.I could go on and on.

How could anyone support this guy ,the democratic leaders do, I guess its just another reason for me to consider leaving the democratic party.Cicilline has been in political office for nearly 18 years,its time for him to go!

Comment #3 by anthony sionni on 2012 10 19

I guess it wouldn't be Friday without putting Cicilline at the top of the "who's hot " list.

Comment #4 by Rob Currie on 2012 10 19

It is mind boggling to contemplate that RI will be returning a person to Congress who is the subject of serious accusations ,which I just happen to believe,concerning his behavior with children in the Dom.Rep.-a country he has been visiting for the past 30 yrs.

Comment #5 by marylou sexton on 2012 10 20

Wow, Marylou care to elaborate?

Comment #6 by David Conroy on 2012 10 20

So I found this link on the internet, http://www.frequency.com/video/drfadul-us-congressman-international/59845521/-/5-209213 The video is private but the search listing reads "The illegal act of cicilline and other's who prey on the children of the Dominican Republic must be stopped. Conversation between Dr. Ernesto Fadul and the two boy's" I have never heard of this before. Here is GoLocal's chance to do some real journalism, beacause even if cicilline is reelected this could force him to resign in disgrace. So get in front of the story, I dare you.

Comment #7 by David Conroy on 2012 10 20

David go to youtube ,in the search bar type dr fadul congressman cicilline.

2 video interviews will come up ,one in Spanish and one w/an English translation.

Cicilline has been traveling to the Dom Rep for the past 30 yrs and I'm surprised that no one has thought to investigate his activities during his repeated visits.

Comment #8 by marylou sexton on 2012 10 23

Golocalprov,the Journal and Doherty know of the allegations.

BTW In such situations,the perp can be prosecuted in the country of his citizenship.

Comment #9 by marylou sexton on 2012 10 23

Thank you for the info, here is the youtube link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wsweOni_tQ&feature=relmfu
According to the video Cicilline likes young boys with dark hair and a little fat. He pays them a few dollars for sex, way to represent the state David, You belong in jail.

Comment #10 by David Conroy on 2012 10 23

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