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

Friday, November 23, 2012

 

Who’s Hot

Lincoln Chafee -> With his approval rating in the tank, it would be easy for Governor Chafee to stay away from controversial issues like driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants or same-sex marriage. But Chafee has stuck to his guns and deserves credit for not playing politics like so many other elected officials in Rhode Island.

Deborah Gist -> It’s great to see the Education Commissioner getting back to work after having surgery to remove a brain tumor. With the merger of the two education boards moving forward, it looks like 2013 will be a key year for Rhode Island’s schools and it will be nice to have Gist leading the way.

Peter Kilmartin -> Kudos to the Attorney General for signing on to the effort to extend tax breaks for distressed homeowners that would expire if the Congress allows the country to go over the fiscal cliff. It’s another no-brainer move for Congress to support the extension, but it will be a shame if politics gets in the way.

Nanci Martin -> Congratulations to the former DiPrete aide who has been named the interim vice president for advancement and college relations at Rhode Island College. Martin is well-respected throughout the state and will undoubtedly be a huge asset for the school.

Common Cause Rhode Island -> Between the campaign finance law and the new requirement for public officials to file disclosures when they spend of $250 on out-of-state travel, 2012 has been a pretty good year for Common Cause and its executive director John Marion. With General Assembly members calling for more transparency in the post-38 Studios era, it will be interesting to see what issues Common Cause attempts to tackle in 2013.

Who’s Not

Joseph Caramadre -> The Cranston lawyer is on his way to prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy after making millions from an insurance scheme that involved stealing the identities of terminally ill people.

Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation -> The excellent report from WPRI this week shows that the EDC isn’t just guilty of making a poor business decision with 38 Studios, but it also cut corners to make the deal happen. This is just another reason the state should take up RIPEC’s advice and revamp the quasi-public agency.

Charles Moreau -> The former Central Falls Mayor was back in court this week to plead guilty to a federal corruption charge and will now serve up to ten years in prison. With a new Mayor set to be elected next month, here’s hoping the state’s tiniest city is beginning to move forward.

Martha McSally -> The Warwick-native has officially lost her second bid for Congress in less than a year in Arizona. McSally was a strong candidate, but like so many Republicans around the country, she couldn’t get away from the Tea Party label this year.

Dan Doyle -> The Hartford Courant reports that federal and state grand juries have been established to look into the embattled Institute for International Sport, which was run by Dan Doyle. While it’s still unclear whether Doyle actually committed a crime, this story isn’t going away.
 

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

 

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Comments:

Given McSally was running in a conservative-leaning district with strong military presence, I wonder if older or retired military voters turned their backs on her because she sued Rumsfeld over having to wear a burqa in Iraq and smacked down Santorum over his desire to keep women out of combat, things that might win center-left votes for someone from a military background.

Comment #1 by David Pepin on 2012 11 23

Chafee is a horrible governor!

Comment #2 by anthony sionni on 2012 11 23

As long as smaller government and fiscal responsibility with a regular diet of disdain for this group or that group of people fill the vacuum that fills the void of a vision for a better Rhode Island and America for everyone, the party will keep reliving "Groundhog Day" every two years. Reacting to this or that is not a substitute for a vision. The winners get to balance the checkbook and adjust the spending priorities. Republicans don't often a winning agenda and are sort of disabled from doing so by the coalition of reactionary elements that is dominating the party. We need a town meeting to hash it out and find a way to empower conservative values rather than just pulling government away from being part of the solutions we need.

Comment #3 by Michael Gardiner on 2012 11 23




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