Rob Paquin and Bob Plain discuss the candidates for U.S. Congress from Rhode Island (mostly by way of the issues).
Rob Paquin and Bob Plain discuss a debate between candidates for RI Secretary of State and related topics.
Justin and Bob Plain discuss the campaign for lieutenant governor and the possibility of a constitutional convention, and (in text) Justin corrects an assertion of Bob’s.
Justin and Bob Plain discuss third parties and runoffs. (And Justin adds a bit of text in “what-if” elaboration.)
Justin and Bob Plain argue over the Democrat primary for Providence mayor and its implications for the separation of church and state.
The excerpt I would pick to introduce my interview with Steve Frias, about the work the preparatory commission for a constitutional convention has done, would be this one…
Steve Frias: There will be an argument that there are reforms that people want in this state that are not happening, because the General Assembly refuses to give them serious consideration, for instance, the line-item veto. Rhode Island is one of the few states not to have it. On Ethics Commission jurisdiction, the Supreme Court made their decision in 2009, I believe, and five years later, while there have been votes on it in one chamber or another, it hasn’t been adopted yet….However, when I asked Commissioner Frias directly what the most important thing he thought people could get out of the commission’s report was, his answer was…
This is a way for the people to amend the Constitution, and get things into it, that the General Assembly has shown by its behavior in recent years that it is just not willing to do.
SF: That the 1973 Convention was really cheap.(In 1973, the convention cost about $20K, to be exact)
The entire interview, including a view on what a complete cost-benefit analysis of a constitutional convention should involve, is available below the fold.
Tim Flanigan, an infectious disease specialist from Tiverton, has headed off to Liberia to fight Ebola, and he has a few simple requests.
Justin and Bob Plain pick favorites in some primaries and argue about pensions and government labor unions.
Justin and Bob Plain discuss the morality and economics of funding art through the government.
Justin and Bob Plain discuss the notion of a municipal income tax in Providence
Justin and Bob Plain talk transportation infrastructure funding.
Justin and Bob Plain discuss the first Republican and Democrat gubernatorial debates on Channel 10, WJAR, with some emphasis on the illegal immigration crisis.
After his campaign announcement, Republican Senatorial candidate Mark Zaccaria answered questions posed by Anchor Rising on the subjects of:
Mark Zaccaria: “[Y]our taxes, your food and your housing costs are all up as a result of what the Federal Government has done, and Jack Reed has voted yes for every single one of those increases, certainly during the last couple of terms. I contend that Rhode Islanders are ready to vote no, and it’s about high time.
But they have to have a choice to be able to do that, to be able to vote for better monetary policy, or smaller government that costs less, so that it takes less money out of your pockets. You have to have that alternative on the ballot. I hope to be the face of that message to the hard-working, tax-paying men and women of Rhode Island during this campaign.
There is another way, folks. We can do that. And I will be making that point, to anyone who will listen to me, every day between now and the fourth of November…you don’t have to vote for the guy you voted for last time. In fact, it might be better if you voted for somebody new.”
Justin and Bob Plain discuss the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision and the underlying issues of freedom and health care.
In their passing, Harry Staley and Robert Hayden leave behind an explanation and an example for civic participation.
Andrew and Samuel Bell discuss the Cianci effect in the Providence mayoral campaign.
Erik Brown thought he had found help with his healthcare bill. Instead, he found himself trapped in a nightmare at the exchange.
Justin and Bob Plain discuss the General Assembly’s budget and whether all money in a society belongs to the government, so that letting people keep it is the same as giving it away.
Justin and Bob Plain discuss closing down HealthSource RI and using the federally run version.
Justin and Bob Plain discuss the appropriate role of government in branding and promoting tourism in Rhode Island.
Justin and Bob Plain take up the question of to pay or not to pay the 38 Studios bonds.
Justin and Bob Plain talk about standardized testing and whether school committees have a right to sue for more money from other communities.
Justin and Bob Plain discuss the relative weight of free-market solutions versus regulation.
Justin and Bob Plain discuss the relevance of climate change in a tiny, economically struggling state like Rhode Island.
On NBC 10 Wingmen, Bob Plain and I discussed the General Assembly’s entry into the Central Coventry Fire District controversy; in this post, I add some points that I should have inserted into the segment.
Justin and Bob Plain talk about the pay differential between men and women.
Both GOP candidates, Ken Block and Allan Fung have appeared on WPRI’s Newsmakers. Here’s both videos. Enjoy!
Friday’s discussion on Wingmen was about the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s Spotlight on Spending report.
Steven Brown of the RI Chapter of the ACLU: “The votes that voters get to choose across the country are on some of the most divisive, controversial, social, ideological issues there are; abortion, gay rights, same-sex marriage, anti-immigrant. We are deluding ourselves if we think we can hold a convention and not have those issues come to the fore….What’s troubling about that is that we are talking about individual rights that should not be subject to majoritarian control. You’ll hear about all of the safeguards that are in place; first you have to elect the delegates, and then the convention has to vote to approve an amendment, then it’s up to the voters to approve or reject it….They aren’t safeguards, when you’re talking about minority rights”.
Professor Jared Goldstein: “On a basic level, the concern that we’ll have a runaway convention, or that they’ll pass recommendations that are contrary to our fundamental rights is really a point of view that expresses simple, profound distrust of the people, that is, we can’t trust the people the enact legislation that will help us because they may take away our constitutional rights….Don’t we want the people to decide these fundamental questions about what our society is like?…If the answer is no, then who do we trust? Do we just want the judges to decide what our rights are? What are they basing them on?”