Providence recently benefited from a $13 million federal TIGER grant to be used toward a street car system for the city. I first remember the idea being mentioned by former mayor David Cicilline. The idea seems to be gaining steam, now that some of the initial funding toward the $117.8 million has been identified. Hopefully, Providence will not be able to secure the rest.
In theory, a streetcar system sounds great, but when you look at the details, it’s a potential financial debacle. First, the system would be just 2.5 miles long, which means it would cost $47.12 million per mile. Second, annual operating expenses are estimated to be $3.13 million. Since the cost of the project has risen more than $3 million since the last estimate, I wouldn’t be surprised to find that the operating expenses have also risen…and will continue to rise annually. Third, will it really add anything substantive to public transportation? After all, couldn’t RIPTA just buy a special bus that looks like a trolley, then have it travel a continuous loop? Oh, that’s right! They did that, and the program ended!
Robert Healey has confirmed that he is considering a run for governor as a Moderate, since the current candidate, James Spooner, may not be able to run due to health reasons. According to state law, a candidate can be replaced due to a disability, which would open the door for a run by Healey.
This is potentially very big news which was overshadowed by yesterday’s election coverage. In past elections, Healey received nearly 10% of the vote as a gubernatorial candidate, and he received 39% when he ran for Lt. Governor in 2010. He would certainly be a long-shot to win, but it is easy to imagine him getting at least 5% to 10% of the vote.
State Representative Maria Cimini has been defeated by fellow Democrat Daniel McKiernan in Providence’s District 7. This is a race I’ve been watching closely. Some of you may recall that Rep. Cimini sponsored legislation on behalf of failed Providence mayoral Brett Smiley, which would have imposed a tax on ammunition and firearms. The money would have been distributed to community groups which teach peace and nonviolence. Fortunately, the bill never made it to the floor for a vote.
Representative Cimini is an enemy of the Second Amendment. Thankfully, she will be replaced by someone with a better understanding of the Constitution.
Cranston mayor Allan Fung has defeated businessman Ken Block in the Republican gubernatorial primary. Fung will face Gina Raimondo and three other candidates in the General Election on November 4th. As for Block, I’m looking forward to seeing how he handles losing the race.
Ken Block received a lot of criticism when he switched over to the Republican party. I’ve often called him opportunistic, and believe he took the path of least resistance. Now that the election is over, I look forward to seeing whether he supports Allan Fung and the other Republican candidates running across the state. Who knows, maybe he’ll give the Moderate Party another shot.
9:18pm – With 80% of precincts reporting, the closest race is for Secretary of State between Democrats Guillaume De Ramel (48%) and Nellie Gorbea (52%). As for the rest of the statewide races, there isn’t much suspense.
8:19pm – Frank Caprio concedes the General Treasurer’s race to Seth Magaziner. I’m not surprised Magaziner won, but I am surprised Caprio conceded so early. I imagine the margin of victory is quite large.
7:50pm – For those of you looking for RI primary results, you can visit the Secretary of State’s web site. The Polls close at 8pm, and results should start trickling in soon after. We should know wo most of the winners are this evening, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a few races are too close to call.
I just received an e-mail from Ken Block’s campaign. It had the headline “From the Desk of John Robitaille,” followed by this appeal to Rhode Island Republicans:
Election day is here! I voted for Ken this morning and I hope you will join me in supporting him by voting today! Please take your lunch break and go vote for him now.
Ken is the only outsider in this race that can defeat the Democrats in November – period! That’s why I support Ken and that’s why House Minority Leader Brian Newberry and so many other Rhode Islanders are supporting Ken. Republicans and Independents must come together around Ken and make sure everyone we know gets to the polls today!
The political elite wants to see Allan Fung in the general, but we cannot let that happen!
This race for Governor is about finding a leader who will not be compromised. Ken is an outsider — he isn’t beholden to anyone. Rhode Island needs a Governor who will make decisions that serve the best interests of all Rhode Islanders, and not just the connected few.
Years ago, when I voted in my first Republican primary, something disturbing happened. I was unafilliated, but instead of the poll worker asking me which primary I wanted to vote in, she just handed me a Democrat ballot. I told her I wanted a Republican ballot, and she tried to convince me to keep the Democrat ballot because there were more contested races. In the years since, I’ve had a poll worker hand me the wrong ballot, even though I’m a registered Republican, and observed them hand Democratic ballots to independents who wanted a Republican ballot.
This morning, my wife and I went to the polls early to vote. She is unafilliated and decided to vote in the Republican primary. I told her about some of the funny business at the polls, and told her to be on the lookout. Not surprisingly, she was automatically handed a Democrat ballot. She had to correct them and ask for a Republican ballot.
Providence mayoral candidate Jorge Elorza is “very much in support of a municipal income tax.” In a video, Elorza sings the praises of a municipal income tax, and says he favors it because it is “more progressive.”
Since the video, Elorza has attempted to walk back support for a municipal income tax. Of course, the very fact that he thinks it is such a great idea should concern any Providence resident.
Lincoln Chafee has endorsed Clay Pell for Governor. Why Clay Pell? Chafee says, “Clay Pell embodies the traditional Rhode Island Democratic progressive ideals and that is what this state needs for the next four years.”
Yes, progressive ideals are just what Rhode Island needs. More tax breaks, regulations, and a further reduction in liberty are just the things to stimulate the economy and encourage entrepreneurship.
During the 2014 campaign season, we’ve heard politicians tout the great potential of the 19 acres of land that are available for development, now that I-195 has been relocated. Besides empty land, we also have a commission and staff, working to get the land developed, thereby improving the financial condition of both Providence and Rhode Island. That’s right, 19 acres of land is being heralded as the savior of our metropolitan area. As you might be able to tell from my tone, saying I’m skeptical is an understatement.
The land, which is situated near downtown, is just a stone’s throw from many underdeveloped and underutilized properties. If these other properties have been dormant for so long, what makes one think this land will be such a hot commodity? The land is also located in the
Knowledge District Jewelry District, which some have attempted to portray as a manufacturing and business juggernaut. I just don’t see it.
Please don’t take my skepticism as a criticism of the area, or the high hopes of those who care about the city. Being located near downtown, the hospital complex, new nursing school, and I-95 and I-195 is great. It’s just not what all the proponents of the I-195 land make it out to be.
Posted in Current Events, Economic Development
Tagged Economic Development, I-195, I-195 Commission, Infrastructure, Planning, Proposals, Providence, Redevelopment, Relocation, Rhode Island
The National Rifle Association has given Cranston Mayor Allan Fung an “A” rating, and has endorsed him in tomorrow’s gubernatorial primary. His opponent, Ken Block, received a rating of “C-” from the group. Fung was the only statewide candidate to receive an endorsement, though Kara Young, a candidate for Lt. Governor, received an “AQ” rating.
I’m actually a bit surprised by Block’s NRA rating. I figured the Republican in Name Only would have received a “D” or worse.
Here’s some Rhode Island political trivia for you: Name the two awkward, Ivy League-educated politicians who ran for governor, drive a Prius, got by on their family name, used personal wealth to finance their campaigns, and switched from being a Republican to Democrat. If you guessed Lincoln Chafee, you’re half right. The other one is none other than Clay Pell. That’s right, Clay Pell, Mr. Progressive himself, was a registered Republican for 10 years in Arizona. I wonder if Barry Goldwater is one of his heroes?
Pell claims he switched affiliations because he felt the Republican Party didn’t reflect his views. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that his family has strong ties to Democrats, and he planned on running in a state with a high percentage of Democrats. Nah, I’m sure those things had nothing to do with his change of heart.
The 11th Commandment states the following:
Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.
We often hear this phrase spoken amongst Republicans, especially during primary season. I can see the value and purpose in the phrase, but more often than not, it can be just as destructive as two Republicans fighting with each other. I find this especially true for a blue state, such as Rhode Island.
Many feel that Rhode Islanders will not vote for conservative candidates. As a result, we have candidates who are either more liberal than typical Republicans, or pretend to be more liberal than they are in actuality. These types of candidates aren’t presenting themselves as conservatives or members of an opposition party, they’re running as “Democrat-light.” When this is allowed to happen, the voters aren’t being asked to select a good candidate, they’re being asked to choose between bad, and almost as bad. That’s what happens when you define yourself while using a liberal as a reference point. In such cases, the moderate, big-government Republican deserves the criticism.
For those of you interested in the September 9th Republican primary, I’ve decided to write about my choices. Some might call these endorsements, and if that’s how you seem them, so be it.
Governor: Allan Fung
I wish we had an actual conservative running for governor, but we don’t. Instead, we have a moderate Republican with questionable conservative credentials, who is running against a man who joined the party because it was politically expedient to do so, and in my opinion, will say anything to get elected. Fung is far from the perfect candidate, but he has done a solid job as mayor of Cranston, and he is by far more likely to support conservative positions than Ken Block.
Lt. Governor: Kara Young
That’s right, I’m voting for Kara Young over Catherine Taylor. If you’re shocked, you shouldn’t be.
Both Catherine Taylor and Kara Russo have plans for all they want to accomplish if elected Lt. Governor. This is preposterous. The Lt. Governor is nothing more than a stepping stone for those who aspire to public office. There isn’t much in the way of power or responsibilities, except waiting around should the Governor die or become incapacitated. I can’t, in good conscious, support someone who actually pretends they are going to accomplish something in the position. That’s why I plan on voting for Libertarian Tony Jones in November.
Posted in Elections, RI Republican Party
Tagged Allan Fung, Catherine Taylor, Congress, Cormick Lynch, David Cicilline, Governor, Kara Russo, Ken Bliock, Lincoln Chafee, Lt. Governor, Stan Tran
During a recent debate between Ken Block and Alan Fung, both were asked to name a Republican they admired. Fung answered, but Block said he couldn’t think of anyone. This shouldn’t be surprising.
As I’ve written in the past, Ken Block is running as a Republican because it is the path of least resistance. There is only one other candidate in the GOP primary, and he has far less campaign cash than the top three Democrats, who have all raised seven-figurs. Running against Fung was the easy path.
The residents of Chad Brown, in Providence, recently held a peace rally in order to bring attention to a shooting in which five people were shot. Thankfully, all five victims have survived, and from previous reports, Providence Police seem to have leads.
As anyone who follows the news knows, violence is rather common in Providence. This is particularly true of certain pockets in the city. The latest incident in Chad Brown has left many grasping for answers, and looking for a solution. This is understandable, but from what I’ve read the true drivers of the problem aren’t being addressed.
Many community groups and local leaders have called for more neighborhood programs, more grant money, and more involvement from local officials. I agree that “more” is needed, but more of the things just mentioned won’t solve the problem. What is needed is more respect for a traditional two-parent family, more respect for others, and more of a work ethic to pull oneself out of high-crime areas. The answer doesn’t lie in a politician’s hollow promises, it exists in the mind of the individual, and is put into action by making the proper choices.
Clay Pell has submitted his campaign finance reports for the first quarter, and it includes some rather eye-popping numbers. Pell has loaned his campaign another $1,050,000, and has more than $2,000,000 in his account. The report, which is more than 170 pages, lists his contributors, which seem to be mainly from out of state.
Despite all the money in his account, only a small percentage was actually donated. Pell raised a bit under $$170,000, and as stated earlier, the majority appears to be from out-of-state contributors. That’s not surprising, considering how little time Pell has spent in Rhode Island.
I would like to thank Providence Mayor Angel Taveras for providing me with some much needed laughter today. The mayor, who is running for governor, has unveiled a plan to rebuild and maintain the state’s schools, roads, and bridges.
Maintaining the state’s infrastructure is one of the most pressing problems facing Rhode Island. With that said, isn’t Angel Taveras the last person you would want to take advice from on this topic? After nearly 3 1/2 years, the city’s schools are falling apart, and potholes seem to be everywhere. For a while, I actually thought Clay Pell’s Prius might have been lost in one of Providence’s larger craters.
I’ll start taking Angel Taveras seriously on infrastructure once he gets Providence’s act together.
On Saturday morning, the Rhode Island State Police pulled over a car for speeding and charged a 24 year-old New London man with carrying a pistol without a license. The man had a Bersa 9 Ultra Compact. My guess is that it would carry 8 rounds or fewer, and would not have been banned by recent gun laws proposed by Rhode Island liberals.
Do you see a pattern here? The police are confiscating guns, but the guns they are confiscating are not the ones law makers have identified as a problem. Another inconvenient fact is that the guns are often possessed, but no used. Therefore, if you can’t jump through all the hoops the government puts before you, you either can’t carry a gun, or you are charged with a felony.
Here’s a great idea: Give citizens the benefit of the doubt. Let’s be a complete “shall issue” state, and give citizens the opportunity to defend themselves.
Are you in the market for a lovely 5 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath home on Providence’s East Side? If you are, former House Speaker Gordon Fox has the home for you!. The home at 11 Gorton Street is currently on the market for just $615,000.
It has been an eventful month for Fox. After the FBI removed items from both his home and State House office, he resigned the speakership within days. He has also been absent at the State House, leaving his district without representation. I’m sure his decision to sell the house so soon after the search and resignation is purely coincidental.
If you haven’t read Bob Kerr’s latest piece of liberal drivel, it is quite stomach-churning. It details the plight of an
undocumented immigrant illegal alien and her family. The point of the article is to show us how wonderful immigrants are, how much they contribute, and why we should welcome them with open arms. There’s just one problem: Not all immigrants are the same.
There is one type of immigrant who waits their turn, fulfills the many requirements of U.S. Immigration law, and becomes a citizen. These are the people who recognize U.S. laws and respect our sovereignty. The other type of immigrant knows there are laws, but ignores them. They are a drain on the system, almost always taking more than they pay in taxes, then asking for more. The politically correct among us have chosen to call them “undocumented workers.” It makes them seem like honest people who are just looking for a job. I believe the better term is illegal alien, since it better describes their nature as individuals who broke the law.
State police arrested two men yesterday, charging both with possessing a pistol without a license. The handguns were a .380 Cobra and a .32 Smith & Wesson. The cobra very likely has a capacity of 7 rounds or less, while the .32 is almost definitely below 10 rounds.
Two more guns confiscated by alleged criminals, two more guns which would not have been banned under the laws proposed by liberal gun-grabbers. Those are the people who are trying to make Rhode Islanders think we have gang members on every street corner with AR-15′s, AK-47′s, and similar rifles. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
The Providence Police arrested an alleged gang member last night. He was charged with possessing a pistol without a license. The weapon? A .45 caliber Smith and Wesson handgun.
As far as I know, no .45 caliber Smith and Wesson handguns hold more than 10 rounds. I did some research, and wan’t able to find any. So, what’s the point of this article?
Once again, Rhode Island has the highest unemployment rate in the United States at 8.7%. The rate for the nation is 6.7%.
Here’s a look at how Rhode Island compares to its New England neighbors:
Good going Rhode Island! Keep voting for those Democrats!
Earlier this week, the East Greenwich police arrested a woman for allegedly engaging in prostitution. The alleged prostitute worked in a nondescript building billed as a “relaxation center.” From the outside, most individuals probably wouldn’t know what was allegedly happening on the inside, until the police looked into the establishment. Now, the woman, who is in her mid thirties, has been arrested. My question for you: Do you feel safer?
Since the arrest, the woman’s name and picture have been plastered all over newspapers, websites, and television news. I will not follow their lead. I will not be using her name, posting her picture, or including links to any news story that includes this information. I will not contribute to her embarrassment, nor will I pat the government on the back for telling someone what to do with their own body.
You might recall that at one time, Rhode Island was the only state that legalized prostitution throughout the entire state (Nevada only legalized it in 2 counties). The law, as originally written, allowed indoor prostitution, but outlawed any activity occurring outdoors. Why would someone commit a crime outdoors when they can do the same thing indoors without repercussions? The law addressed prostitution perfectly. It took the activity off the streets and put it behind closed doors. Prostitution is often referred to as “the world’s oldest profession.” It’s always been around, and it won’t stop any time soon.