Speaker’s “Independent” Political Opponent Know Buttons But Not Policy


Fascinating interview in yesterday’s Providence Journal by ace political reporter Kathy Gregg. She sits down with the “independent” candidate who has entered the race for House District 15, currently held by one Nicholas Mattiello, Speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives.

During the interview, Patrick Vallier indicates, apparently without hesitation, that he opposes tolls and the legalization of marijuana and is a supporter of the Second Amendment. But the gentleman didn’t have an answer for a very basic question:

Asked the top three things he would like to do for his home city, Vallier laughed and then said, “Ooh. That’s a tough one.” After a pause, he said: “Probably taxes. Do something with taxes. … The car tax. A lot of people complain about that.” Next? “The minimum wage maybe go up again. I’ll try something with that.” Third top issue? “I guess that’s it right now. That’s all I can say.”

How interesting and strange! It’s almost like someone whispered the hot button issues to the gentleman while assuming, mistakenly as it turns out, that he was familiar with substantive policy matters.

But the interview reaches the peak of strangeness with this.

Asked if there is anything Mattiello has done that he would have done differently, Vallier said: “Not really. …

Wow, really? Then, respectfully, sir, why are you running if the guy currently holding the office is doing a fine job from your perspective? Especially when that incumbent has a ton of resources, financial and other, to fight off your challenge.

I am not in the least implying that this may be what is going on with this gentleman’s candidacy. But here’s a sincere tip for a person who has entered a race as a straw candidate: if any professional Rhode Island journalist approaches you looking for an interview, you should run for the hills. If that reporter is Kathy Gregg, you should don a jet pack to expedite your escape.

  • Phil Hirons Jr

    Politics 101 If you fear an anti-incumbent vote, split it.

    • ShannonEntropy

      Exactly why we need The Bern·ing Man to mount a third party challenge to #NeverHillary

  • Max

    Maybe Mattiello is smarter than we think. #conspiracytheory