It was an amazing spectacle yesterday evening at the rostrum and on the floor of the Rhode Island House. (Is this what is called, in parliamentary terms, making a point of personal privilege?) From a front page article in today’s Providence Journal.
But, in a highly unusual move, Mattiello on Tuesday also joined a chorus of lawmakers slamming The Providence Journal for what they described as “unfair’’ coverage of the House Finance Committee’s hearings on a controversial $11.6-million grant program that, year after year, has entangled the General Assembly in controversy. …
When Mattiello finished speaking Tuesday, he received a standing ovation from his House colleagues.
I’m still holding out hope that the review of grants promised by Speaker Mattiello – and the subject of the ProJo’s criticism – doesn’t end with these committee hearings, which were woefully inadequate. If that doesn’t materialize, the ProJo editorial of today will be proved right and it will be clear that these hearings
… were never intended to scrutinize these grants. Rather, they were cynically designed to cultivate support for them by bringing in needy recipients who might tug at the public’s heartstrings.