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

Friday, July 27, 2012


Who’s Hot

Brendan Doherty -> Offering to return all PAC contributions if David Cicilline does the same was the perfect way for the Republican Congressional candidate to stand up to criticism from the Congressman and the Democratic Party. It appears the Doherty campaign is beginning to hit its stride just as Rhode Islanders are beginning to pay attention to the race.

Lincoln Chafee -> Once again, Governor Chafee looks like the only winner to come out of the entire 38 Studios saga. By the time this issue is all said and done, he’ll be able to say he stopped the state from needlessly dishing out more money to the company through tax credits and if it leads to a complete revamp of the EDC, he’ll have that feather in his cap as well.

Angel Taveras -> Mayor Taveras remained undefeated when taking on the City Council this week when he claimed he would veto his own $40 million bond proposal to repair roads and sidewalks if the Council split the money up by ward. Council President Michael Solomon deserves credit for his last-minute work to flip a few Council members who wanted the money to be divided up as well.

Jim Langevin -> With all eyes on the 1st Congressional race, it’s easy to forget that Jim Langevin has a race as well. The Congressman kicked off his re-election campaign this week and while the likely Republican candidate Mike Riley might be his toughest opponent yet, it seems as though he’ll cruise to another term in the House.

David Salvatore -> The first-term Providence Councilman continues to make a name for himself as he looks to save the city from paying over $12 million in prescription drug costs. Salvatore, who is closely aligned with Mayor Taveras and Council President Solomon, is calling for an outside company to analyze the claims process and believes the city could save up to 15 percent in the long run.

Harry Winthrop -> Congrats are in order for the new Mayor of Newport. After Stephen Waluk resigned to take a job a chief clerk of the state’s District Court, Winthrop received unanimous approval from his City Council colleagues to take over.

Guillaume de Ramel -> As first reported by RIPR, yet another potential candidate has emerged in the 2014 Secretary of State’s race. de Ramel finished a close second to Ralph Mollis in 2006 and should be able to outspend the other Democrats (most notably Terry Hassett and Jamie Doyle) considering taking a shot at the seat. Still, this could be a prime opportunity for the Republicans to pick up a general office if Catherine Taylor decides to throw her hat in the ring again.

Who’s Not

Barry Hinckley -> After a strong week last week, the Republican Senate candidate got a little off track this week when WPRI reported that in 2009, he told a group of businessmen that running for office is good PR. While it is clear that Hinckley is running for more than just PR purposes (the guy is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money) this was just one of those inconvenient stories that helped Senator Sheldon Whitehouse win the week.

Gordon Fox -> There aren’t too many people who believe the Speaker won’t win re-election this fall, but his opponent got a ton of free press this week when he called for an investigation into the 2007 fundraiser co-hosted by Michael Corso that was never paid for until Tuesday. Nobody will ever know if it was simply an oversight on the Speaker’s part, but it just doesn’t look good from a public perception standpoint.

Anthony Gemma -> Speaking of public perception, if the Democratic Congressional candidate’s only earned media is going to be reporters looking into his legions of fake followers on Twitter, he’s probably in trouble. It may still be too soon to count Gemma out, but he’s done a poor job communicating his message beyond door-to-door campaigning so far.

Curt Schilling -> The brilliant Boston Magazine piece on 38 Studios this week certainly doesn’t make you feel for the former Red Sox ace. It’s clear now that Schilling knew his company was going under and completely screwed over his employees by holding out hope that he would be bailed out by the state.

Joseph Giammarco -> Local politics 101: Don’t swear at people in restaurants.


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


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Salvatore is hot alright, just the tip of his nose. He has it stuck into alot of assholes these days.

Comment #1 by Sal Reid on 2012 07 27

So let me get this correct… If you own a business you should run for office to get free PR. There may be some truth in this statement but what if you stepped down from that business in order to run for office and then sold it. What if you DON’T own a business and if when you did it was in ANOTHER STATE and not the one you are running for office in? Once again RI media leaving out the facts to make it appear they have a smoking gun when they don’t even have a water pistol. NON STORY!

So the media chooses to go after Barry Hinckley for something he once said under different conditions instead of focusing on the issues in this race? This is eerily similar to the attacks on Mitt Romney from the Obama camp about his tax returns instead of focusing on the issues of the economy, high unemployment and crushing debt. Sheldon Whitehouse clearly is part of the problem and has no record to run, so as a result all we get is a smokescreen. This is another diversion to take the voters’ attention away from the real issues.

A Rasmussen Poll done a couple of weeks shows that “Positive ratings for Congress continue to hover in the single digits, and a plurality of voters still believes most members of the national legislature are corrupt.”

In November of 2011 60 Minutes did a feature story on insider trading by members of Congress. Up until then, the vast majority of Americans had no idea that insider trading was actually legal for members of Congress. Members of Congress have been using secrets that they have learned during the course of their duties to make huge amounts of money in the stock market. Senator Whitehouse took sensitive insider information from Chairman Bernanke and then immediately used that information to adjust his financial portfolio yielding large amounts of money for himself. Sheldon Whitehouse profited on insider information in order to buy and sell stocks at the right time. His record as an Attorney General in Rhode Island is even more disturbing.

So my choice is easy in November. I can vote for a guy who actually once did own a business and create jobs and is very knowledgeable about the economy. Or I can vote for a guy who feathered his own nest while in Congress, failed as an Attorney General in Rhode Island and clearly has done nothing since he has been in the Senate to help our country or our state.

Comment #2 by guy smily on 2012 07 27

I'll do it if you do it? Wow, what a strong stand by the gloved one! "Peas in a pod"! I like that saying! Weak choice and reasons Dan! Maybe you do this once a month, although getting on Tavarass good side takes a weekly I guess...

Comment #3 by tom brady on 2012 07 27

Salvatore is to busy trying to oust Igliozzi out of the finance chair,to address the issues in my ward which he represents,perhaps he should pay more attention to this ward than trying to oust other councilman from committees. This deal with the prescriptions drugs,give me a break,they are looking for savings for free only to get a million dollar contract with the city,who is really getting paid here,I wonder??? Salvatore ,Taveras and Solomon,they all need to go!

Solomon wants to set up a new ways and means committee to over ride the current chairman of the finance committee,uhh didnt Solomon appoint igliozzi in the first place, maybe we should change the rules to get rid of the President of the council when the members don't want him anymore! Solomon your dictatorship will becoming to an end soon ,when the new council is elected in 2014.Dont forget to pay your pedp loan from 25 yrs ago,sell more pizza,you are profiting it shouldn't take forever to pay that off!

Taveras? I could write a book,he needs to go! Imagine he supports cicilline!

Comment #4 by anthony sionni on 2012 07 27

If you consider Linc Chafee Hot, you have serious issues.
Linc Chafee; Not!

Comment #5 by Harold Stassen on 2012 07 27

Anthony, Tell us more about the loan please.

Comment #6 by tom brady on 2012 07 27

Here you go tom,from jim hummell report

The Hummel Report has also found that the oldest loan on record - 24 years - was given to a business partly owned by Providence City Council President Michael Solomon, long before he became involved in politics. The Conrad on Westminster Street, received a $500,000 loan from the city in 1988 and $3.5 million in private financing to develop condos.
Hummel: ``What was the pitch in terms of an investment?''
Solomon: ``Condominium use, like any other pitch, it's a business deal. It didn't go the way we'd like it to go, but we stayed committed to it. And we're committed to seeing the project through.''
In fact, Solomon and his partners took out another $100,000 for a total of $600,000 - and still have a balance of $454,000 owed to the city. Solomon says they sold 20 units on the upper floors to pay off the $3.5 million in private financing; and last spring converted the unit they own on the ground floor into a restaurant - hoping to generate enough money to pay off the remainder of the loan over the next decade.
Solomon and his partners repeatedly went to the city asking for payment moratoriums and for the last two years have been paying interest only on the loan. This month they go back to paying down principal as well now that the restaurant is generating money.
Hummel: ``The fact is you are the council president, you have a loan with the city and this loan is going on 23 years now. And the fact is it's almost $450,000 of a $500,000 loan. So what about the person who says why isn't the city council president making good on the loan to the city?''
Solomon: ``I am making good, we're making our payments, we're making our obligation and I'm committed to seeing this thing through. We could have easily walked away from this project and we didn't we stuck with it. And I'm proud right now that we're able to keep paying on it. And we went through some tough times in the early 2000s, in the first 10 years and it's been tough. But we're committed to moving this project forward and I'm pretty happy right now that we set out to do economic development and that's what succeeded doing.''

Comment #7 by anthony sionni on 2012 07 27

Nice Anthony! What is Solomon's position on paying taxes and such on time for the "regular" Providence citizen?

Comment #8 by tom brady on 2012 07 27

What, the recent contretemps of young "Zander" doesn't put Weldon on the "Not" list?

Comment #9 by Michael Trenn on 2012 07 28

NOTE TO de RAMEL! Take your millions and enjoy life. Nobody deserves that position more than Terry Hassett. He is one of the few honest, dependable and for the people politicians that RI has left.

Comment #10 by Blais Hazelwood on 2012 07 28

No disrespect meant for Jamie Doyle. He is a good kid and all, but please stay out of the race and keep working on Pawtucket. You would make a great Mayor of Pawtucket, but not Sec. of State.

Comment #11 by Blais Hazelwood on 2012 07 28

@Sionni-No wonder you're stuck working over there on the single A minor league team. Ask your 7th grade English tutor for a refund. It's no wonder we never see or hear from that campaign at all. HA!

Comment #12 by Blais Hazelwood on 2012 07 28


Comment #13 by open your_eyes on 2012 07 31

@BLAIS- Hassett is a great guy, but i want to heat what De'Ramel has to offer, plus with no cash-Hassett can't win.

Comment #14 by open your_eyes on 2012 07 31

Its two years away. I have seen candidates raise over a million in a month. Don't be so sure my friend. If he announced the family cash and so many of his Gansett supporters would start the cash flowing. Silly people who just don't know the facts.

Comment #15 by Blais Hazelwood on 2012 07 31

Don't count out Clay Pell running for the seat also. He is bound to make his jump into the game in 2014.

Comment #16 by Blais Hazelwood on 2012 07 31


@open your eyes, I was never constantinos campaign manager lol

@blais,the voters are hearing from gemma,loud and clear,hes met more people than cicilline and doherty combined!

Comment #17 by anthony sionni on 2012 08 01

How many from district 1?? Half the events he attends aren't even in the district. If you are talking about canvassing, nobody knocked on a tenth of the doors as Segal and look out that turned out. They dont remember you the second you walk away. How many doors knocked on are target primary votetd? Oh wait your staff didnt think to look into that....free tip!

Comment #18 by Blais Hazelwood on 2012 08 01

it is pretty pathetic when the only earned media your campaign has garnished is that about buying facebook friends and twitter followers. look for me on election day I'll be the 1 saying I told you so.

Comment #19 by Blais Hazelwood on 2012 08 01

@Blais, It doesn't matter how many tips you give Anthony S. he just doesn't get it.

@Anthony-read the comment, I never said you were Costantino's campaign manager, he is smarter then that. You are just a blogger, getting paid $200 a week by Gemma's campaign to put Cicilline on blast! get a real job. Your candidate is paying people to work in his campaign, ALL HIS STAFF IS PAID! The guy can't even get Volunteers. The minute he runs out of money, he runs out of support. If you want, I cangive you the names of all his volunteers A.K.A paid staff, just like you.

Comment #20 by open your_eyes on 2012 08 01

None of them over there on Roosevelt Avenue in Pawtucket do. They all have zero campaign experience. A manager who still has not been heard from and its August 1st. A field director who couldnt even get an interview from opponent / candidate, although tried, and the rest are all yes men/women to feed mighty mouses ego. I even hear the dem party has a plant on the inside of the "war room" let them stew on that for a bit in between buying fbook friends in Istanbul.

Comment #21 by Blais Hazelwood on 2012 08 01

The only reason Chickachinni is running this new ad is to test polling effectiveness for the general. He knows its in the bag. How you ask Sionni. Simple his field director has already identified his primary voters needed for victory and is now expanding the voting universe to have a larger margin of victory. How about yours? Ummm we knocked on 500 doors today is that the same thing? ROOKIES UGH

Comment #22 by Blais Hazelwood on 2012 08 01

And tell mighty mouse to spare us with the garbage lines last week of August. "Our internal polling tells us its a dead heat." We heard it last election and its called crying wolf.

Comment #23 by Blais Hazelwood on 2012 08 01

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