The Scoop: Cianci Offers Strategy to RI GOP

Friday, November 15, 2013


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Former Mayor Cianci Offers Strategy to RI GOP

Former Republican and Independent Mayor of Providence Buddy Cianci was invited to speak at Wednesday night’s Rhode Island Republican Party Meeting to offer strategy and guidance to the state GOP.

Cianci, who hosts a weekday talk show on 630 WPRO-AM, told GoLocal that his speech mainly consisted of advising the GOP on how to rebrand themselves and how to win elections.

According to Cianci, he told attendees that the GOP should focus on bigger issues like the 38 Studios debacle and the state’s high unemployment rate in order to connect with voters.

The former mayor also urged the GOP to stay away from sensitive issues especially those involving guns. Speaking in reference to last month’s GOP gun raffle, which raffled off an AR-15-style assault rifle, Cianci told GoLocal “It’s not the way to go. Main Street doesn’t support that.”

Cianci told GoLocal that his speech, which lasted roughly 40 minutes, was well received by the crowd.

Cianci, who identifies himself as an Independent, told GoLocal that he would also speak to the Rhode Island Democratic Party if invited.

Aside from discussing Wednesday night’s speech, GoLocal also spoke to Cianci about the prospect of him running for mayor in 2014. Cianci, who is the longest-serving mayor in Providence history, told GoLocal “never say never,” but would not comment any further.

Cianci served as mayor of Providence from 1975 to 1984 and again from 1991 to 2002.

The current field of 2014 Democratic mayoral candidates includes City Council President Michael Solomon, former Housing Court Judge Jorge Elorza, former Water Supply Board Chairman Brett Smiley, and Lorne Adrain, managing director at Ballentine Partners. State Representative and former Acting Mayor of Providence John Lombardi also told GoLocal that he is seriously considering running.

The winner of the Democratic Primary will face Republican Dr. Daniel Harrop, who is running for mayor for the third time.

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Related Slideshow: More “Scoops” for Friday, Nov. 15

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Capellan Endorses Elorza

Former Providence mayoral candidate Capellan endorses Elorza for mayor.

Victor Capellan, a former Providence mayoral candidate has endorsed former Providence Housing Court judge Jorge Elorza for mayor.

Capellan, the deputy superintendent of schools in Central Falls, told GoLocal the following:

“I have made the decision to support Jorge Elorza in the Providence Mayoral race because I believe that he is the ideal candidate to lead our city. After meeting with him several times and learning more about his work and his plans, I am confident in his skills, knowledge, vision and passion for our city. I have known Jorge since his days as a student in the Talent Development program at URI and I know and trust that he will be able to move forward the important issues we both believe in and care about.”

Capellan pulled out the Providence Mayoral race in September.

He served as the deputy manager of Angel Taveras' successful mayoral campaign in 2010.

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Prison Reform Bill

Sen. Whitehouse introduces bipartisan prison reform bill.

U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Rob Portman (R-OH) have introduced legislation that would help lower costs and reduce recidivism. Known as the  Recidivism Reduction & Public Safety Act of 2013 (S. 1675), the bill would allow inmates to earn sentence-reduction credit for completing programming aimed at helping them re-enter society – potentially saving hundreds of millions of dollars in federal spending, according to the Senators.

 “As a former state and federal prosecutor, I recognize that there are no easy solutions to overflowing prison populations and skyrocketing corrections spending,” said Whitehouse, a former U.S. Attorney and Attorney General for Rhode Island.  “But states like Rhode Island have shown that it is possible to cut prison costs while making the public safer.  Inmates better prepared to re-enter communities reduce the risk that they will commit more offenses when they are released.  This bipartisan bill would help us achieve those goals at the federal level, potentially saving hundreds of millions of dollars and reducing the prison population.”

The Recidivism Reduction & Public Safety Act would:

  • Require the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to offer evidence-based recidivism reduction programming based on each inmate’s assessed needs.  Under the bill, an inmate who successfully participates in a recidivism-reduction program could receive a credit toward his or her sentence of no more than 60 days per year of program participation, which could be awarded at the sole discretion of BOP.
  • Require BOP, for the first time, to develop a methodology to assess the recidivism risk and programmatic needs of each inmate who will be released back into the community.
  • Promote substance abuse treatment and recovery by requiring the collection of additional information about drug and alcohol abuse among federal inmates and ensuring that inmates who participate in BOP’s Residential Drug Abuse Program receive full credit for their participation.
  • Require more detailed reporting on rates of recidivism among former federal inmates.
  • Require a study on the impact of reentry on communities with a high number of ex-offenders.
  • Authorize a pilot program, modeled after the successful HOPE Program in Hawaii and similar programs in Kentucky and elsewhere, which requires intensive supervision for ex-offenders with a heightened risk of recidivism.


The Judiciary Committee is expected to take up the bill in December.

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Fed Fishery Relief

In a bipartisan letter to House and Senate leadership, 38 members of Congress — including all four members of Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation — haved called for funding for fisheries disaster relief in the final funding package for Fiscal Year 2014.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Commerce declared a federal fishery failure for the Northeast multispecies fishery for the 2013 season. Led by Senators Jack Reed and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), the Senate Appropriations Committee approved legislation to include $150 million to provide a variety of assistance to help fishermen cope with the effects of the disaster in the FY 2014 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) appropriations bill. 

Last year, the Senate included this funding as part of the disaster assistance supplemental appropriations bill but it was stripped out by the House. As a result, many fishermen who have been impacted by the disasters have been waiting for assistance for more than a year.

“Fishing is vital to local economies and provides a critical part of our domestic food supply. Providing this assistance is a matter of fairness for those fishermen and fishing communities that have been hit hard by disasters,” said Reed, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee who led the effort to include this assistance in the Senate CJS Appropriations bill.

“Rhode Island's fishing industry has been hit hard in recent years by depleted fish stocks, tighter regulations, and a tough economy,“ said Whitehouse. ”This funding could provide badly needed assistance to our fishermen.”

“Fishing and marine trades industries are a major part of the Rhode Island economy,” said Langevin.  “In 2011 alone, Rhode Island fishermen brought in more than $76 million in revenue. We need to support their livelihood and protect a critical piece of our economy at the same time.  These funds will help counteract the negative impacts of the 2013 fishery failure and will allow for reinvestment in preserving and promoting the fishing industry.”

“Rhode Island’s local fishing industry provides good-paying jobs for hardworking men and women across our state, and this critical federal assistance will help rebuild fisheries that have been impacted by disasters,” said Cicilline.  “I am proud to work with my colleagues in the delegation in helping to bring these funds back to Rhode Island.”

A 2011 study funded by a federal NOAA Fisheries grant to the Rhode Island-based Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation, estimated that commercial fishing and related industries account for over 6,500 jobs in Rhode Island. Across New England the industry remains an important part of the coastal economy and culture.

Click here to read the bipartisan letter in its entirety.

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Quonset Tour

GA members to tour Quonset Business Park.

Members of the Rhode Island Senate will tour the Quonset Business Park on Tuesday, November 19.

The tour and briefing by the Quonset Development Corporation has been scheduled to give legislators a chance to see first-hand the growth and development at the business park and to hear from QDC officials about the park’s progress and future plans.

The Senate tour and briefing will be held from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., beginning at the QDC offices, 95 Cripe Street, North Kingstown.

A similar tour has been scheduled December 3 for members of the House of Representatives.

Quonset currently employs more than 9,500 people and houses over 175 companies. The Port of Davisville, Rhode Island’s only public port, is consistently one of North America’s Top Ten auto importers. A dredging project at the port, a policy initiative of a legislative study commission, was recently completed. In addition, the new Gateway Offices opened in August, and within six weeks, the 14,000 square feet of office space for small businesses and start-up companies was sold out.

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National Adoption Month

Rep. Langevin recognizes National Adoption Month.

Congressman Jim Langevin has partnered with the “Adoptive Family Portrait Project” to raise awareness about the needs of children living without permanent families and the importance of foster care adoption. There are an estimated 400,000 children in foster care in the United States, and more than 100,000 of those are waiting to be adopted.

Yesterday, Langevin presented Adoption RI with the Drenda Lakin Memorial Award for Continuing Services to Adoptive Families at a reception for the “Adoptive Family Portrait Project.”

“I was fortunate to grow up in a family with many foster brothers and sisters over the years. My parents taught me the importance of helping others in need, and their dedication to children living in the foster care system has stayed with me and continues to shape my work in Congress,” Langevin said. “I have long advocated for better support systems for foster youth and the families who care for them, and I hope that individuals and communities across the country will honor National Adoption Month this November by helping to raise awareness of foster care adoption.”

In addition to his work with the Adoptive Family Portrait Project, Langevin signed on as an original cosponsor of a House resolution to support the goals and ideals of National Adoption Day and National Adoption Month. Earlier this month, he also introduced H.R. 3423, the Protecting Adopted Children Act, which provides pre- and post-adoptive counseling and support services to ease the transition for children and families.

“Each year, nearly 26,000 children age out of child welfare. We need more caring and generous people like Lisa to reach out and help these children find their forever families,” Langevin continued. “I am so proud to have Lisa, Tiffany, Patricia, Justin and Russell in my district. They are a reminder of what family is all about: unconditional love and support.”

To learn more about Voice for Adoption, visit and National Adoption Day. To find out more about adoption in Rhode Island call Adoption Rhode Island at 401-865-6000 or visit


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