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When the Insider Sounds… Reasonable

If you haven’t listened to Providence Journal commentary page editor Ed Achorn’s inaugural podcast, interviewing Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello (D, Cranston), do so.  Because the Projo has decided, for some reason, not to give the podcast a prominent place on its Web site, here it is:

I recommend the episode for a reason that I almost hesitate to admit.  I’ve always found Mattiello’s speaking style to be, let’s say, slow and roundabout, like listening to waves come in… if each one were made to go through some long spiral before crashing.  But listening to him offer a slow-down explanation for his coolness to the PawSox deal and then expressing his (he says) long-standing sense that the state government lacked the internal expertise not only to implement UHIP, but even to consolidate offices into an Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) in the first place, I have to say it was a relief to hear somebody in state government talk  in that way.

Yes, yes, he’s a politician, and staking out ground that is skeptical of government isn’t exactly a risk in his district.  And of course, we should be skeptical, ourselves, when his solution isn’t to suggest unraveling the messes completely, but to figure out a way to make them work.  Moreover, even if his talk were music to a conservative’s ears, we should still advocate for the other 74 legislators to stop handing the speaker so much power.

All that said, however, and even though he clearly has a sense of government’s role with which I differ to a nearly revolutionary degree, in comparison with the likes of Governor Gina Raimondo, let alone the reckless and ideological blindness of the state’s progressives, Mattiello sounds like an insider who will at least say, “no,” to the insiders’ worst tendencies when outsiders object.

That may not be much, but in Rhode Island, it’s something.

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Political Monday with John DePetro, No. 31: Sick Outs and What It Means to Be a Democrat

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WADK 1540 AM show, last week, the topics were the Warwick sick outs, my ethics complaint, Josh Miller’s view of the Democrats, Raimondo’s remorse for hurting journalists’ feelings.

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State House Report with John DePetro, No. 26: Resurrected Legislation and the Ghost of Failures Past

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WADK 1540 AM show, last week, the topics were the likelihood of an evergreen veto override, whether the DCYF would haunt Gina, PawSox, DACA, and Rhode Works transparency.

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State House Report with John DePetro, No. 24 and 25: Voter Fraud, Pawsox, Dreamers, and DACA

I neglected to post my August 30th appearance on John DePetro’s WADK 1540 AM show, so this week, you get twice the audio.

On August 30, the topics were Elorza’s Dreamers, Pawsox, and District 13 follow up. On September 6, the topics were official silence on Ken Block’s voter fraud report, the start of the Senate’s PawSox road show, and local response to the DACA.

Open post for full audio of both episodes.

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