State Representative Donald Lally, a Democrat who represents District 33 in the House, has decided to resign his seat after serving 26 years.. Approximately 2 hours later, Susan Cicilline-Buonanno, the sister of Congressman David Cicilline, announced she will run for the seat.
Lally’s decision makes no sense to me. He cited the desire to spend more time with family, yet he has decided to resign less than three months after the beginning of his current term. Why bother running if your heart isn’t in it? At any rate, we’re looking at a special election, along with the costs involved in the process.
My hope is that the Republican Party finds a strong candidate to run against Cicilline-Buonanno, but I am concerned. Lally ran unopposed in 2014, and defeated Republican Robert A. Trager 57.9% to 42% in 2012. Also, in her race for Narragansett Town Council in 2014, Cicilline-Buonanno finished second out of nine candidates (the top five are elected).
After watching the budget address, then letting some of the proposals sink in, I have some concerns. Here are a few:
Spending vs. Investment
In the past couple of years, I have noticed an annoying trend. Many politicians have begun substituting the word “investing” for spending. These politicians don’t want to spend your money, they want to invest it. Doesn’t that make you feel better?
Subsidies for the I-195 Land
If the land opened up for development after the relocation of I-195 is so valuable and sought after, then why do we need to offer subsidies? Developers should be tripping over themselves for the right to build their next multimillion dollar project, which will jumpstart the Rhode Island economy. Of course, they’re not.
A few days ago, I wrote about North Providence High School’s attempts to bribe students to take the PARCC test. I also pointed out the inordinate amount of time spent testing, teaching to the test, and pushing the test. Today, the pattern continued.
My step-daughter told me NPHS had a nearly hour-long “rally” this afternoon extolling the virtues of the test, and mentioning the bribes that will be paid to those who comply. There was also talk about how important it was to do well, in order to preserve NPHS’s reputation.
I wonder if administrators are worried more about their school’s reputation, or their own.
Once again, a bill which would ban cell phone use while driving has been introduced. If this passes, I wonder if they will also attempt to ban drinking coffee, eating hamburgers, fumbling for CD’s, and applying makeup. Cell phones can certainly be a distraction, but it is just one of many.
What will the General Assembly ban next?
In the past week, various errands have required me to drive around the area where land was freed up after the relocation of I-195. Now, as a life-long Rhode Islander, I’ve been there numerous times, yet I can’t help but look at it differently.
The first thing that strikes me is the amount of land available. Not just the I-195 land, but also the parcels located within a few hundred yards. Another is the presence of low-density buildings. When I see an area with lots of empty parcels and one or two story buildings, my impression is that the demand for land isn’t strong. Think about this: If you owned a parcel of land across from New York’s Central Park, would you erect a two story building? 50 would be more like it.
I’m not sure why so many people feel that the I-195 land has the potential to be an engine that can drive the local economy. It reminds me of the movie “Field of Dreams,” where Kevin Costner’s character kept hearing the words, “if you build it, they will come.” It makes me wonder if some of our politicians are also hearing voices, because their vision for the location seems crazy.
Over the past year or two, you’ve probably heard liberal politicians discuss raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. The argument usually involves some of the following points: No one who works 40 hours per week should live in poverty, and you can’t raise a family on minimum wage (which is currently $9 per hour). I would agree with those assertions, but still disagree on the wisdom of raising the minimum wage.
Liberals tend to see the minimum wage as an economic death sentence. I tend to see it as a starting point for people who need to prove themselves. My first job after high school paid just $4.45, which at the time, was minimum wage. I had a diploma and a good work ethic, but not many skills and no track record. Now, after two degrees, gaining many skills, and building a work history, I can command a wage higher than $9. Let’s face it, some people just don’t deserve a raise. To ignore this fact is to reward mediocrity and incompetence.
The argument about not being able to support a family on minimum wage is the one I find most laughable. I’m one of those weirdos who believe children should come after marriage and a certain level of financial stability. If one is making minimum wage, maybe having a child…or two…or three, isn’t the best idea. Should employers be punished for their employee’s poor planning and lack of common sense? To liberals, the answer is yes.
Since the Pawtucket Red Sox were sold, there has been a lot of talk about the team’s impending move. Some have criticized the team’s idea to move to Providence, but it isn’t a bad idea. Moving to the heart of the second largest city in New England, close to major highways, and playing in a new park are all great ideas. Of course, the devil is in the details.
The ownership group is reportedly interested in two parcels freed up by the relocation of I-195. One of the parcels was set aside for open space, yet they want it to build a 10,000 seat park. Strike one. They also reportedly want the land for free. Strike two. To make matters worse, it looks as though they may pursue tax breaks from the city and state. Strikes three and four.
It would be nice to keep the Pawsox in Rhode Island, and for them to move to Providence, but not at the expense of taxpayers. If you were to open a store, bakery, or other business, would you have the audacity to ask the government for land, tax breaks, and preferential treatment? Probably not. That level of audacity seems to be most prevalent in those with deep pockets and connections, not you and I. Continue reading
I’m not a fan of Common Core, PARCC, or high-stakes testing. With Common Core, we have a top down attempt to usurp state rights and local control over education by bribing municipalities with grants and aid. With tests like PARCC, we have bureaucrats making themselves look like they are doing something to improve education, when the opposite is true, and corporate pockets being lined at the expense of children.
When I was younger, I remember taking standardized tests. They took a few days, and besides some basic instructions such as being told to bring a number two pencil and color in the circle completely, not much else was said. Now, things are much different.
Students are constantly reminded of the PARCC test, given practice problems, and unnecessarily stressed over a test, which in the long run, is an irrelevant part of each child’s education. Bureaucrats, teachers, and administrators are teaching to the test, and doing so at the expense of productive learning. This has been my feeling all along, but it wasn’t until recently that I heard about the punishment and bribery being meted out by the North Providence School Department.
During a recent protest to bring attention to the events in Ferguon, Missouri, an on-duty firefighter raised his fist in support of the crowd below. . He wanted to show support for those who think it’s okay for a 6’4″, 300 pound “child” to rob a store, assault the owner, assault a police officer, try to take his gun, then charge at him full speed.
I bet Providence cops think highly of their fellow first responder.
Besides that, these protesters he supported, also burned an American Flag, before blocking traffic on I-95. Fortunately, no emergency vehicles were stuck in the resulting traffic jam.
This firefighter doesn’t need to be reprimanded, he needs to be fired. Immediately.
Posted in Activism, Current Events
Tagged Ferguson, Fire Fighter, i-95, Missouri, Police, Protest, Protesters, Protests, Providence, Robbery
Hundreds of protestors took to the streets of Providence to complain about an innocent police officer not being indicted for defending himself against a violent criminal. So far, they’ve burned an American Flag, closed I-95 and I-195, and have tied up traffic, delaying access to local hospitals. Here is how the coverage is playing out on Twitter:
The picture above is a screen capture of a page promoting a Providence rally to protest the decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown. The burning flag just speaks volumes about their respect for the United States and our legal system, doesn’t it?
At any rate, I feel the need to offer my opinion on the events surrounding the case:
* I agree with the verdict. Assaulting a police officer, trying to take his gun, refusing to stop when he tells you to, then charging at him, are all enough reasons for an officer to think their life is in danger.
* Before we canonize Michael Brown, can we also take a moment to think about another fact: He was was caught on camera moments before the shooting robbing a convenience store, and assaulting an employee from the store. Nice guy, eh?
Posted in Crime, Current Events, Guns, Race
Tagged Barack Obama, Darren Wilson, Ferguson, Looting, Michael Brown, Missouri, Protest, Race, Racism, Rally, Shooting
In today’s Providence Journal, House Minority Leader Brian Newberry made some excellent points in regards to voter fraud. He argues that the General Assembly should turn its focus to mail ballots. I couldn’t agree more.
During the 2014 election, instances of potential voter fraud came to light in the days leading up to the election. There are many changes that could improve the system, but one stands out the most: Ballots should only be transported by the United States Postal Service.
Ballots should be mailed to eligible voters, and when completed, those ballots should be mailed back in a postage-paid envelope, signed across the seal. No one should be collecting ballots or offering help completing the ballots.
This would be one common sense solution to a potential problem. Now let’s see how many of our elected officials have common sense.
The Providence Journal has a completely unscientific poll of the Providence Mayoral race.. Still, with nearly 5,000 votes cast, I thought it would be interesting to share the results.
The poll asked: “If the Providence election were held today, who would get your vote for mayor?” Of the 4,704 votes cast, 63% chose Buddy Cianci, 31% chose Jorge Elorza, and 6% chose Dan Harrop. Again, this poll isn’t scientific at all, but it does show how popular Buddy Cianci is, even post-prison.
Providence mayoral candidate Dan Harrop seems to be unsure about whether or not he is going to stay in the race against Buddy Cianci and Jorge Elorza. Various individuals seem to be pressuring him to leave in an effort to have a one-on-one contest between Cianci and Elorza. If he does leave, he should also consider leaving the Republican Party.
Harrop was supposed to run for mayor in 2010, but pulled out of the race at the last minute, leaving no Republican on the ballot. Instead, he ran for State Representative, and was soundly defeated. He then decided to donate to the campaign of Democrat Angel Taveras. That’s bad, but what could be coming is much worse.
In a recent article, Harrop alluded to his potential plans:
But Harrop acknowledged he has been approached by several concerned parties asking him to end his single-issue crusade in order to make it more difficult for Cianci to win back his old job. He said he plans to speak with a group of residents about his status in the race at a private meeting Monday night, but indicated he won’t make a final decision until October. He said he isn’t ruling out endorsing another candidate.
In an interview with WPRI’s Ted Nesi,
Moderate Republican Ken Block states he is not in “the frame of mind” to talk about endorsements, and he needs time to “heal”:
“The primary election is less than a week old at this point,” Block told WPRI.com. “I’m not in a frame of mind where I can talk about any form of endorsements on any possible levels. I’m still healing from the race, as I assume everybody can understand. It was a vicious and ugly race, and I’m not in a frame of mind where I can do anything from an endorsement standpoint at this point.”
Fung and Block both said during a WPRI 12/Journal debate on Sept. 2 that they would endorse the eventual winner of the Republican primary. Fung is now facing Democratic nominee Gina Raimondo, Moderate Party candidate Healey and independents Kate Fletcher and Leon Kayarian in the Nov. 4 general election.
On Wednesday, the Board of Elections will hold a hearing at the request of the Rhode Island Republican Party. At issue is whether the Moderate Party’s decision to replace gubernatorial candidate James Spooner with former Cool Moose Party founder Robert Healey is legal.
RIGOP Chairman Mark Smiley pointed out that Healey didn’t declare himself a member of the Moderates until September 11th, and the decision to replace Spooner may violate the letter and spirit of the law. I would agree that the situation is questionable, and I would also agree that the RIGOP has done worse.
Since Vincent “Buddy” Cianci announced his candidacy for mayor, I’ve heard a lot of criticism about his decision. I don’t agree with those who feel he shouldn’t be running. After all, he served his time, and he is quite possibly the most well-vetted candidate running for public office in the United States. If voters decide to support him, they know exactly what they will be getting.
What I find entertaining is how progressives, and those who pretend to be progressives, are among the biggest critics of Cianci because of his felony conviction. Aren’t these the same people who are constantly trying to make expungment laws more lenient? Aren’t these the same people who lobbied for laws “banning the box” on employment applications, so employers couldn’t ask about an applicant’s criminal history until the interview? The progressives argue that those who have done their time should be given an opportunity to prove themselves. What happened to this line of reasoning? Does it only apply when one of their own is not competing against the convict for a job?
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.