If these fiascos happened in some other states would the incumbent be too embtassed to seek re election. Government job one to is help most vulnerable. https://t.co/EuPuwnGKXX
— gary sasse (@gssasse) March 8, 2018
RI governor is remarkably generous handing out raises at the expense of SOMEONE ELSE (taxpayers), most of whom will get nothing like this kind of raise themselves. https://t.co/v66bYO2wW7
— Monique C (@MoniqAR) March 9, 2018
As people (mostly gun rights advocates) line up to testify on gun control legislation as if they’re low-income people caught up in the UHIP debacle or Providence drivers nabbed by speed cameras, I thought I’d highlight this interesting detail from Ted Nesi’s latest weekend roundup column (emphasis added):
Governor Raimondo, meanwhile, has been devoting a lot of her public appearances to promoting gun control. In an interview with Kim Kalunian on Thursday, she said she supports her daughter’s plans to join an upcoming school walkout – and has never shot a gun herself.
We would err if we cultivated the standard that only people who know about a thing can ever comment on its use, but the fact that the governor has never, ever shot a gun seems unusually relevant in this case.
After all, she’s pushing legislation to forbid people from buying particular guns and accessories and to expand the ability of government to take guns away even though she has no personal experience with how they might handle differently. She has no basis to say, “You don’t need that gun instead of this gun,” because she doesn’t know what practical difference there might be.
Moreover, she’ll probably never have to consider firing guns for anything other than sport, because she’s followed around by people with taxpayer-funded guns, and she’s wealthy enough to afford various forms of security even after she leaves public office.
So, the fact that the governor of Rhode Island has never pulled a gun’s trigger doesn’t remove her right to opine on gun ownership. However, it should encourage some humility in somebody seeking to limit access to a constitutionally protected tool when she hasn’t ever used the tool herself and can expect always to be able to rely on hired help to use it when she needs it.
On multiple issues, the Rhode Island news media seems either to inhabit a different universe or to be deliberately skewing Rhode Islanders’ perspective of reality.
— Monique C (@MoniqAR) March 2, 2018
When the Code of Ethics is processed through the deep philosophies of appointed commissioners, that which is obviously suspect can appear clean, at least when it’s all within government.
For the sake of accountability the Ethics Commission should enhance and clarify its explanation for summarily dismissing the complaint. Otherwise the perception of political decision-making may linger. https://t.co/69gbcYk4Ow
— gary sasse (@gssasse) March 1, 2018
— John DePetro Show (@JohnDePetroshow) March 1, 2018
For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, the topics were Senator Kettle’s travails, Raimondo’s anti-gun performance, and the race for governor.
Yea, – all about "..she stopped me in my tracks.." after @GovRaimondo's daughter asked her what she's doing about protecting against shooters. Amen, @TaraGranahan what about kids suffering due to UHIP failure? Gina, so short-sighted. https://t.co/AMK78EDO1b
— OSTPA (@OSTPA1) February 26, 2018
I suspect the Governor will suggest a heavy-handed "suspect, seize property, then investigate" process. It should be "suspect, investigate, the seize only if warranted" process.
— Mike Stenhouse (@MSten37) February 26, 2018
The video following the text on this WPRI story features me arguing that the governor’s executive order making gun confiscation a higher priority for law enforcement doesn’t adequately respect the rights of the gun owner. One can tell that it was written entirely by gun-control advocates. The person under investigation, while law enforcement must “follow up” with him or her at least once, has no advocate in the process. Moreover, the Working Group for Gun Safety has no requirement that any members be supporters of gun rights or even private-sector gun experts. “Gun violence prevention advocates” and “affected families and youth” get a nod, though.
As a distinct matter separate from the wisdom of the “red flag” policy that Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo promoted, however, the process and presentation raise important questions about the governor’s priorities.
First is the fact that the public was told on Friday that the governor would sign some broadly defined “red flag” legislation on Monday, which she did at a staged media event in Warwick. Then, we all waited around to discover what, specifically, she had done after she had already done it. No public input; Raimondo formulates a policy behind closed doors and assumes it is perfect.
That was followed by, second, the fact that the language of the executive order was not available anywhere, as far as I could tell, including on the governor’s executive order page, which at the time hadn’t been updated since 2015, and on the page for the related press release. The executive order page was updated before the close of business, yesterday, after I’d complained about the omission on social media, but as of this writing (the following morning), the tab at the top of the list still says “2015.”
In other words, with all the public relations personnel that Governor Raimondo is infamous for having hired, nobody bothered to make this executive order available upon release — let alone beforehand, available for public comment. That suggests that the important thing, to the governor, isn’t the policy, but the PR, and that isn’t how law ought to be formulated, especially when restricting Constitutional rights.
Discussions about protecting students in school, perhaps by arming teachers, should be conducted maturely, not by listening to kids saying the darndest things.
For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, the topics were Senator Kettle’s travails, Raimondo’s special fund raising deal, defining the Moderate Party, and progressive dog whistles.
Do too many instances suggest RI may have an ethically challenged Governor? Gov Gina Raimondo Faces Growing Transparency Questions As Controversy Grows Over Secret Fundraising Agreement – https://t.co/AMbyVElBBF via @the_rga
— gary sasse (@gssasse) February 20, 2018
I’ve expressed skepticism that the state Ethics Commission will see a violation in Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo’s hiring of a member of the Providence Democratic City Committee and subsequent campaign agreement with that council. In general, the commission has held the view that corruption only exists in the private sector. Maybe a political committee will count as a private sector organization under its taxonomy, but I doubt it.
Abstruse government rules aside, the agreement, which Raimondo released on the Sunday of a three-day weekend, looks really bad, mostly because of this part:
No later than January 31, 2018, the Committee will authorize Patrick Ward (“Ward”) to open the following three accounts (collectively, the “Accounts”)…
The Committee agrees that Ward shall have exclusive and plenary authority to spend, transfer, and otherwise disburse funds from the Accounts for any lawful purpose… and shall be the only signatory on the Accounts…, except that Ward may designate any other persons of his choosing to also exercise these powers. No other person’s approval will be required to authorize the spending, transfer, or disbursement of funds from the Accounts.
So, the agreement doesn’t leave the money in the control of the “committee president,” or any other such language that would give the committee as a whole ultimate control. It gives control to somebody to whom the governor recently gave a $71,608, in company with his wife’s job in the administration.
The governor insists that the agreement doesn’t establish any “master and servant” relationship, but it gives the committee as a body no control outside of one of the governor’s employees. Let’s just say that doesn’t look very good or ethical.
. @GovRaimondo keeps proposing budgets that not only take money from these programs, but also adds new taxes, fees and tolls every year. Then she spends the money pandering to insiders. #TimeforNewManagement https://t.co/TkGFNRhnjK
— Patricia Morgan (@repmorgan) February 17, 2018
— Andrew Morse (@CAndrewMorse) February 13, 2018
For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, the topic was the clarity we’re getting from Providence Democrats, Rhode Island progressives, and teachers unions.
The seemingly minor travails of former Providence Democrat Chairman Patrick Ward provide a lesson in Rhode Island politics and the direction that seemingly unrelated trends are taking us.
The state is running on fumes. This has been hilighted by the budgets from the past 2 years. Relying on “scoops”, unrealistic and unfulfilled cuts in spending, and phantom sources of income. It’s time for wholesale change in the way we do things around here.
— Tim Zimmerman (@timzimm0517) February 8, 2018
The Governor has been on a hiring spree! And one with a lot of 6 figure adds! It is costing us $10 of millions more and she's not done. Requesting over 250 new FTEs in this year's budget. Her answer to unemployment statistics? Not good for taxpayers. @RICenterFreedom https://t.co/1C9WTlEic7
— Patricia Morgan (@repmorgan) February 6, 2018
Noble attempt, I think. Or is it, alternatively, to be interpreted as: send us your tired, poor, huddled masses? Is Rhode Island now to become the Statue of Dependency? I thought we were the "fun sized" state.
— Mike Stenhouse (@MSten37) February 1, 2018
— LoughlinRI1 (@LoughlinRI1) February 1, 2018
Well said, The issue is number of state PR types is in direct proportion to the lack of confidence an administration has in agency heads dealing w the media. Reporters may leave, but our mission continues – News – https://t.co/9bWUuy1Aqr – Providence, RI https://t.co/2BkFtQFtgR
— gary sasse (@gssasse) February 2, 2018
Say what? EP bridge where Raimondo campaigned in 2014, cut ribbon in 2017 and played up in 2018 State of the State already failed an asphalt test https://t.co/ME1dxDhpuR
— Ted Nesi (@TedNesi) February 2, 2018
— gary sasse (@gssasse) January 30, 2018
Yesterday’s Providence Journal “Political Scene” reminded readers about the windfall that Brown University recently paid for a house owned by Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo’s chief of staff, Brett Smiley:
In July 2017, the university purchased a two-and-a-half story, federal-style Colonial house at 37 George St. — assessed by the city at $843,600 — from Gov. Gina Raimondo’s chief-of-staff Brett Smiley and his husband, James DeRentis.
The university paid them $1.1 million, according to city records.
As I detailed in July, the price that Brown paid for the house may not be the scandal (although it’s conspicuous that Brown has plenty of reasons to want to be on the good side of Raimondo’s upper echelon). The property assessment is the oddity. Smiley’s assessment, made while he worked in the administration of Democrat Mayor Jorge Elorza, was actually 6% below what he’d paid two years earlier, even though his neighborhood generally increased in value by 20% during that period, saving him something like $4,400 per year.
Don’t forget that Smiley ran for mayor as a progressive, which is very telling of progressive thinking. They create a big-government funnel of money and power and then position themselves right at the tip.
This is just how it’s going to work until Rhode Islanders stop falling for the rhetoric and insist that government go back to working for us, not connected insiders who like to talk about supporting the oppressed.
For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, the topics were the governor’s budget proposal, the March for Women, and the politics of PawSox subsidies.