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Rhody Reporter: Cares Money in the Wind

Mark Zaccaria scoffs at the RI Administration’s boast that it managed to distribute less than One Percent of the Federal Funds allocated for small business relief in the Ocean State last year. He points out that the tiny fraction was largely necessitated by the fact that almost One Billion Dollars worth of that federal stimulus money was diverted, instead, to the state’s operating budget. Zaccaria also notes that despite that usurpation of federal intent, Rhode Islanders will also be asked to authorize Four Hundred Million Dollars worth of Additional Deficit Spending – All so that the bureaucracy that brought businesses to their knees can be assured of every one of their paychecks. Huh?

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Politics This Week with John DePetro: Moving Past the East Side Style

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for January 25, included talk about:

  • Raimondo’s East Side of Providence style versus McKee’s Blackstone Valley style
  • Central Falls as leading example of RI’s patronage system
  • Black Lives Matter flag in Barrington
  • Legislation against vaccine line-cutters

I’ll be on again Monday, February 1, at 12:00 p.m. on WNRI 1380 AM and I-95.1 FM.

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Rhody Reporter: Mail Ballots in Nursing Homes

Rhody Reporter Diana Lozowski examines some of the exploitation that occurred last November as political operatives descended on Nursing Homes and other Congregant Care facilities around the Ocean State. Their aim was to enter mail ballot applications for as many Seniors as they could, whether or not the voter really understood what was going on. Diana lays out the problem and then offers practical solutions to insure fairness in upcoming elections.

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California Numbers and Newsweek: Lockdowns Don’t Work

California’s response to COVID-19 has been to lock down and lock down hard. The harshness of its lockdown is confirmed by its decimated economy and heavy out-migration.

Ten months later, California currently has the second highest average daily cases per 100,000 in the last seven days per the CDC. A couple of weeks ago, it was at the top of the list. Rhode Island, also a state which misguidedly chose to lockdown, is currently fifth highest.

Lockdowns, even if they worked exactly as hoped, were never a good solution because of the enormous public health consequences they inflict. Now California’s experience confirms indisputably that lockdowns do not work to stop or slow COVID-19.

And a study just released via Newsweek confirms this.

A study evaluating COVID-19 responses around the world found that mandatory lockdown orders early in the pandemic may not provide significantly more benefits to slowing the spread of the disease than other voluntary measures, such as social distancing or travel reduction.

As she edges out the door, Governor Gina Raimondo has admonished us to “stay the course”. Meaning stay locked down. She is bewilderingly putting on auto pilot a completely failed, highly damaging public policy.

When asked whether he will continue the state’s lockdown, incoming governor Dan McKee has stated (I believe on WPRO radio), “The infection rate is going to drive that”. In light of the complete disconnect between lockdowns and the infection rate, I would respectfully urge him in the strongest terms to re-examine that course and not repeat the mistake of his predecessor of disregarding the data and evidence. He has no obligation to continue any of her policies – but particularly one that has so obviously failed.

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If “Misinformation” is the New Standard, Rhode Island’s General Treasurer Must Step Down Immediately

This morning on the WPRO Morning News with Gene Valicenti – link to audio – General Treasurer Seth Magaziner elaborated on his call for Rhode Island Representative Justin Price to resign from the House of Representatives for spreading misinformation, saying

When elected officials use their platforms to spread (mis)information, to spread lies, they have to be called out for it.”

And

…as elected officials, we should be held to a higher standard …

Interesting. Alright, check out this analysis from August, 2018 by Mike Riley.

In assessing the effort to keep the PawSox in Rhode Island, it is important to review the role of General Treasurer Seth Magaziner. The state treasurer was asked to analyze the costs and opine on affordability, as would be expected with a large borrowing like this. Mr. Magaziner opined in October 2017 and in June 2018 as numbers changed along with the terms of the deal and then opined again recently, finally giving a nod to the deal.

But what everyone needs to know is that $350 million dollars in debt for Pawtucket’s other post-employment benefits (OPEB) for former employees was not used in his analysis. This is more than twice the city’s pension debt! In fact, it was purposely left out by Magaziner. Including OPEB debt would obviously have made the City of Pawtucket’s borrowing look dangerous and ill-conceived. … This $350 million is so significant and overwhelming, it would be irresponsible for any treasurer to think Pawtucket absorbing new debt was a good idea.

Well, that’s an eye-opener. Nice work by Mike Riley catching that serious piece of misinformation by General Treasurer Magaziner. Ultimately, the PawSox left Rhode Island and these ill-conceived, unaffordable bonds were never issued. But that was very much despite this substantive misinformation that Treasurer Magaziner issued about Pawtucket’s financial condition.

Now, it is absurd to call on an elected official to step down due to a statement of misinformation; in part, because it falls into a broader category of free speech and, in part, because about three quarters of all elected officials in the country would instantly have to step down. (I heard that; stop cheering!).

But that is the position of General Treasurer Seth Magaziner.

I do agree with him when he says, as he did this morning, that “As Americans, we all have a duty to speak up when we see people in positions of authority spreading misinformation” and that elected officials “should use our platforms responsibly”. Via this post, accordingly, I am fulfilling that duty. Specifically, I am calling out Mr. Magaziner for a piece of misinformation that is especially egregious because he communicated it in his capacity as the state’s General Treasurer in an analysis about a major financial decision facing a municipality and the state.

Clearly, Mr. Magaziner did not use his platform as General Treasurer responsibly by including misinformation in this important analysis. Now, I myself am not calling on him to resign as the state’s General Treasurer for this. But by his own standard, he must do so immediately. Referring once again to Mr. Magaziner’s own words on WPRO this morning, elected officials have a duty to tell people the truth, to be honest. He failed notably to do so.

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Politics This Week with John DePetro: Departing Queen and Incoming Squad

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for January 4, included talk about:

  • Raimondo’s prospects in a Biden administration
  • Channel 10’s groveling before progressives
  • The General Assembly’s likely atmosphere

I’ll be on again Monday, January 11, at 12:00 p.m. on WNRI 1380 AM and I-95.1 FM.

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Politics This Week with John DePetro: Closing Out the Year

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for December 28, included talk about:

  • The Guv’s house as the new protest spot
  • A whittled down RI Congressional delegation
  • 2020 winners and losers
  • Things to watch for in 2021

I’ll be on again Monday, January 4, at 12:00 p.m. on WNRI 1380 AM and I-95.1 FM.

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TCI: The Next Step in Government by Fiat

The governor gave herself unprecedented power to make us do and not do things for our own good (from her perspective) with COVID-19, and there was never any reason to believe she would restrict that philosophy to the pandemic if she could get away with pushing the envelope. Well… she’s pushing the envelope.

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Politics This Week with John DePetro: The Breaking Cloud of Fear

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for December 21, included talk about:

  • The end of the Pause
  • COVID transparency
  • The Guv as a national story
  • Testing at the mall
  • Judges entering the Supreme Court under an ethical cloud

I’ll be on again Monday, December 28, at 12:00 p.m. on WNRI 1380 AM and I-95.1 FM.

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