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Last Impressions Podcast Episode 17: Bird-Dogging the Nation

Depression; beating up journalists; and bird-dogging on a national scale.

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The Ripples of Better Policy Will Wash Away the Budget Problems

Mike Stenhouse tells Tara Granahan on 630AM/99.7FM that legislators shouldn’t hold Rhode Islanders prisoner to a budget number at the bottom of a spreadsheet.

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State House Report with John DePetro, No. 10: Campaigns and Campaign Finances

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WADK 1540 AM show, the topics were the campaign finance controversies of the Providence City Council and Robert Nardolillo’s U.S. Senate campaign announcement.

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Photography

Edwin Portugal: Flags Down at Brown

Students disrespecting the American flag in a Veterans Day display require signage to explain their significance.


Little Towns, Big (Government) Guns

The events in Ferguson, MO have drawn widespread public attention to the increasing militarization of local police departments. It’s a topic that has been discussed amongst civil–rights minded folks for the last decade or so and has both national and local impact.


12/03/13 – Sales Tax Commission

Justin liveblogs another commission hearing on eliminating the state sales tax, this time concerning the state’s economic modeling of the proposal and alternatives from the Center for Freedom & Prosperity.


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Video

Boom! Wine & Spirits Sales Increased 21.4% After Sales Tax Cut

Imagine the parking lots of Rhode Island retailers filled with cars with Massachusetts license plates. New research from the Center, based on government data, shows that it is very possible. In the two years following the removal of sales tax on wine and spirits, the same level of economic stimulus, as projected by the Center by cutting the state’s overall sales tax, actually occurred! Now, there can be no doubt of our findings. The new research one-pager proves that Rhode Island would experience an ECONOMIC BOOM under a 3.0% sales tax.


Testimony: DEM Must Consider Economics Before Buying Farmland

In this video, I speak out against a new scheme by the Rhode Island Dept. of Environmental Management to acquire farmland at a public comment forum held at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography on September 7, 2016.

With government increasingly influencing and controlling the means of production through myriad tax-credit, loan, and direct-subsidy schemes in a multitude of industries, the DEM farmland acquisition scheme, which will actually acquire and resell private property, is not based on any legitimate economic analysis — or any economic consideration at all.

Despite the fact that the state’s own Commerce Corporation demanded a RhodeMap RI–related mandate be inserted into the DEM plan, no economic justification was provided. The Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity warned you about the dangers of RhodeMap RI; here is one place where the planners’ vision seems to be marching forward.


Katz’s Kitchen Sink: #WeKnowBetterRI

As part of its 100-year anniversary self-promotion, the Rhode Island Foundation has been spreading around a video by Nail Communications that is slap-in-the-face offensive.  It begins by putting swear words in the mouths of children reading statements from (quote) actual Rhode Islanders; it tells Rhode Islanders to (quote) stop complaining and if they don’t have anything nice to say, well, be quiet.

Let’s be blunt, here.  Given Rhode Island’s parade of corrupt officials and its stagnant economy, we would be shirking our responsibility as citizens if we didn’t complain.  Now, if Nail Communications were to make another video about the view of Rhode Island’s insiders, it might go something like this.

[Advisory: In keeping with the original Nail Communications/RI Foundation video, the following contains bleeped swears.]


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Written

General Assembly Must Step In – Tolls Have Taken A Dangerous Turn

Below is a statement that StopTollsRI.com (for which I am spokesperson) placed on its Facebook page last night. The R.I. Trucking Association and the American Trucking Association have announced that they would wait until all 30+ toll gantries were installed before they would challenge the legality of truck tolls in court. This alarming development first came to light Thursday night in testimony before House Finance. See Mike Collins’ testimony starting at approximately minute 1:52:40.

Tolls have taken a dangerous turn for Rhode Island residents and taxpayers. It is now imperative that state legislators and General Assembly leadership step in for the good of the state and end the truck toll program.


April 2017 Employment: Pretty Much the Status Quo

The employment picture for Rhode Island remains pretty much what it has long been: some unlikely survey results in employment and a slowing growth trend in jobs based in the state.


When the Venture Fails, Can RI Give It Away for Free?

Wickford Junction still has few riders, so RIDOT wants to give tickets away for free, costing taxpayers thousands and undercutting private businesses that benefit from commuters.


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