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Surreal at the State House: Growth Bad for Business & Advantage Bad for RI Hospitality Members

In a State House system designed to keep people apathetic, legislators voice strange economic ideas while business advocates advocate against the interests of their members.

Defending a Property Tax Decrease

Video and reports from Tiverton’s financial town hearing show that one side wants to increase taxes when it doesn’t need to and the other side believes the people need a break.

The Point on Bundy v. BLM

Arguments that point to the government’s paper trail for its actions miss the point of what’s required for the American way of life and government to persist.

North Providence Economic Development as Another Government Boondoggle

A North Providence gym that was invited in and then shut down by local government illustrates the wisdom of avoiding economic activity where government’s role is overly strong.

Catholic School Parents Demand Banning of Disliked Worldview: Catholicism

The secular and radical movement of separatists and censors has spread even to the point of demanding banishment of Catholic priests from Catholic schools, if they fail to conform to the demands of popular culture.

38 Studios Bonds and Default

The 38 Studios bond buyers got an extremely high interest rate on the bonds because of the risk they took, and the state purchased insurance against the chance of default. But should we still repay the full amount of the bonds?

Dorr Was Cool, Until He Wasn’t

Steve Ahlquist has published a portion of the testimony he will be giving in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Senate Bill 2641, which is an attempt to revoke Rhode Island’s current Voter ID law. Calling upon the memory of “Governor” Thomas Dorr, Ahlquist writes: Arguably, next to Roger Williams, no Rhode Islander has [...]

Senator Harold Metts on Master Lever

Two things struck me today about the master lever bill and Senator Harold Metts’ words and actions. I wish I had an exact transcript but he made two comments about it that I will do my best to paraphrase and others are more than welcome to correct me if they have the exact words. He [...]

Spotlight on Spending Illuminates Priorities

A new report from the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity should convince Rhode Islanders that government officials’ priorities are what they fund, and there’s plenty of room to adjust those priorities.

Leaving the Door Open for the Exhilarating Right Choice

Rhode Islanders who want their state to turn around from the back of the national pack and forge a more hopeful future should give the new Speaker of the House space to prove their expectations wrong.

The Mattiello Speakership; Past, Present and Future


Past: It was difficult to look at the (unsuccessful) Marcello coalition and believe they were offering reform, as much as they were offering a refashioned oligarchy to replace the old one.

Present: Here are three specific proposals for rules reform, consistent with Speaker Mattiello’s call for a House of Representatives that is truly run by its members:

  • A prohibition on members being removed from a committee, without their consent, after they’ve received their initial committee assignment from the Speaker (this is so non-radical a proposal, the Rhode Island Senate already does it).
  • Creation of a clear procedure — that everybody understands exists — for rank-and-file members to use to recall bills “held for further study” and place them on committee agendas for up-or-down votes.
  • Tidying-up the discharge petition procedure for freeing bills from committee, removing the current rule preventing their use until 50 days into the session, and removing any ambiguity about the “only one petition to be presented for a public bill or resolution during the course of a session” clause in the rules meaning one petition per bill, as opposed to one petition per year.

Future: Trying to downplay the serious differences and avoid explaining the errors of progressivism and the excesses of unionism in order to ease the process of political coalition building isn’t likely to stop the progressives from immediately coming after Speaker Mattiello, or the unions from shifting their support elsewhere, if they don’t get their top agenda items. With the help of some standard-issue Rhode Island political inertia, the new Speaker may be able to maintain the coalition he has assembled for a time, but to prevent it from being whittled away, he will need to resolutely work at convincing a broad swath of Rhode Islanders about why his version of “jobs and the economy” is superior to competing versions which have strong constituencies amongst activists in the Democratic party.

UPDATED: That’s Not What I Said, and That’s (Probably) Not What’s Going On

A statement on NBC 10 Wingmen about Providence hotels was not what it’s been stated to be, and a look at the other side of the labor dispute suggests that the controversy may not be what it’s been stated to be, either.

The Difference Between Feigning and Being Superior

Voters of the United States should learn a lesson about leadership and leverage from President Obama’s utter impotence in the face of Vladamir Putin.

Rhode Island Senators Legislating a Path to Spiritual Purification

The legal regime making its way into Rhode Island and American law is indicative of a new secular religion being established under the government.

Watching the President from the Other Side

Many among the conservative commentariate have quickly gotten past their brief flirtation with “I told you so” and are moving toward a tone of slow, aching disconcertment.

Mike Puyana: Politicians Look to Lay Blame; Should Look to Freedom

The Rhode Island Tea Party says freedom is the cure for the illness that the Ocean State’s leaders have brought upon the state.

Koch, Democrats, and the Reality Looking Glass

As progressives in the Democrat Party and the media vilify the Koch Brothers, it’s difficult not to question which side really corrupts the political system.

Akash Chougule: CBO in February, Confounding Liberals and Vindicating Conservatives

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) spent February releasing research findings that showed the flaws of progressive policies.