State Report: Voter Fraud, Schilling’s Meltdown & Casino Gaming

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Though not intentional, this week’s Roundup focuses primarily on Gov. Lincoln Chafee. Not only did Chafee make news for his appeal to the Supreme Court in regard to the trial of David Pleau, he also had an important meeting with Narragansett Indian Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas, and was called a “dunce” by Curt Schilling. Not to mention, Chafee’s son Caleb was sentenced to community service for violating the state’s social host law.

Although Chafee may have dominated the headlines numerically speaking, Anthony Gemma may have won out in terms of news coverage. Keep reading to see if Gemma lived up to his promise of having knowledge of a “stunning political revelation.”

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Gemma accuses Cicilline of voter fraud

As he promised last week, Democratic congressional candidate Anthony Gemma held a press conference on Wednesday to officially accuse Rep. David Cicilline of voter fraud. Although Gemma hyped the press conference by telling voters to prepare themselves for “breaking new that will have an immediate, stunning, game-changing impact,” critics have said he failed to live up to expectations.

Overall, Gemma rattled off a number of accusations against Cicilline, but he refused to reveal names of sources. Specifically, Gemma contends that Cicilline and his campaign workers have engaged in voter fraud since 2002. Gemma claims that Cicilline basically paid individuals to cast multiple ballots and hired other people to impersonate deceased voters.

Gemma also stated that TRP Associates, a private investigation company, conducted the investigation. That said, TRP Associates has yet to comment on their findings, nor did any of its members attend the press conference.

In response to the allegations, Cicilline told The Associated Press: “Mr. Gemma did not produce one shred of evidence that I did anything wrong. The whole thing was very bizarre and really outrageous.”
Gemma and Cicilline will square off on Sept. 11, with the winner going on to face Republican Brendan Doherty on Nov. 6.

Narragansett chief meets with Chafee over casinos

On Tuesday, Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas of the Narragansett Indian tribe met with Gov. Lincoln Chafee to discuss Rhode Island casino gambling. According to the Providence Journal, Chief Thomas is seeking a greater share of casino gambling on behalf of the Narragansett Indian tribe.

The twenty minute meeting, primarily involved Chief Thomas’ concerns about the legal obstacles his tribe faces in their quest to participate in the state’s casino gambling. Chief Thomas suggested that the Narragansett Indian tribe partner with Rhode Island, but no specifics were proposed. Chafee was mum after the meeting, but did state that protecting the tribe’s revenue is important.

Chief Thomas has been unsuccessful in his attempts to block the upcoming casino gambling vote from appearing on the November ballot. The tribe filed a lawsuit last year looking to stop the ballot question on constitutional grounds. Chief Thomas claims that allowing casino gambling at Twin River and Newport Grand would hinder his tribe’s chances of building a casino in the future.

In 2006, Rhode Islanders rejected a ballot question that would have let the Narragansett tribe partner with Harrah’s Entertainment to build a casino in West Warwick.

Schilling calls Chafee a ‘dunce of epic proportions’

Former pitching ace and 38 Studios founder Curt Schilling has called Gov. Lincoln Chafee a “dunce of epic proportions.” Schilling made the remarks via his Twitter account on Saturday.

Schilling seemed to deflect any personal responsibly in respect to his involvement with the collapse of 38 Studios, which received a $75 million loan guarantee from the state in 2010. Schilling tweeted, “if the state loses money it’s because the Governor is a dunce of epic proportions, nothing I can do about that.”
Schilling insults did not stop there. The three-time World Series champ continued on Monday calling Chafee a “buffoon” and said the possibility of his re-election is “terrifying.”

Despite his strong statements, the ex-Red Sox pitcher expressed a different tone during a June appearance on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan morning sports show. “I am absolutely to blame for this. I bear a lot of the responsibility for the company failing,” said Schilling.

Schilling laid off all of his 38 Studios employees back in May. The failed video game company went on to file for bankruptcy in June.

Chafee’s son sentenced to community service

On Wednesday, Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s son Caleb pleaded no contest to violating the state’s social host law. Caleb, 18, was sentenced to community service and fined $500 for hosting an underage drinking party at his family’s Exeter home on May 28.

Aside from earning 30 hours of community service, Chafee was also entered into the Reducing Youthful Dangerous Driving Program by Judge Stephen Isherwood. The driving program consists of 20 hours over three weeks. The judge also specified that Chafee’s $500 be given to Rhode Island’s victim compensation fund.

The governor issued the following statement in regard to his son’s arraignment: ‘‘Caleb will accept responsibility for his actions and, in addition to any legal consequences that result, we will continue to deal with this matter as a family.’’

Chafee also pleaded no contest in May to charges that he attempted to purchase beer at a Jamestown liquor store. The case was later expunged from Chafee’s record after he paid a $100 fine. The state’s social host law prohibits people from letting anyone under 21 to consume alcohol on their property.

Chafee asks Supreme Court to review Pleau case

Lastly, the ongoing Jason Pleau death penalty saga took yet another turn this week thanks to Gov. Lincoln Chafee. On Tuesday, Chafee asked the Supreme Court to review the case of Pleau, a murder suspect currently caught in the middle of a legal battle between state and federal prosecutors.

Chafee is looking to obtain an appeal to a U.S. Court of Appeals verdict that Pleau may stand trial in federal court. Chafee is seeking the appeal because federal prosecutors have indicated that they will seek the death penalty, a punishment that is illegal in Rhode Island.

In his appeals petition, Chafee argues that the federal government is in violation of a legal agreement, which authorizes the state to deny prisoner transfer requests. “This is a significant states’ rights matter, said Chafee on Tuesday.

Pleau is accused to fatally shooting David Main, 49, as he approached a Woonsocket bank to make a deposit on Sept. 20, 2010. Pleau allegedly shot Main multiple times and made off with deposit bag carrying over $12,000, according to prosecutors.

The Supreme Court has yet to announce whether it will hear the appeal.


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