A Tale of Two Entrances… and Exits

Americans are seeing two different realities in the Storming of the Capitol, neither perfectly accurate, and there are two paths forward, one better than the other.

If “Misinformation” is the New Standard, Rhode Island’s General Treasurer Must Step Down Immediately

This morning on the WPRO Morning News with Gene Valicenti – link to audio – General Treasurer Seth Magaziner elaborated on his call for Rhode Island Representative Justin Price to resign from the House of Representatives for spreading misinformation, saying

When elected officials use their platforms to spread (mis)information, to spread lies, they have to be called out for it.”

And

…as elected officials, we should be held to a higher standard …

Interesting. Alright, check out this analysis from August, 2018 by Mike Riley.

In assessing the effort to keep the PawSox in Rhode Island, it is important to review the role of General Treasurer Seth Magaziner. The state treasurer was asked to analyze the costs and opine on affordability, as would be expected with a large borrowing like this. Mr. Magaziner opined in October 2017 and in June 2018 as numbers changed along with the terms of the deal and then opined again recently, finally giving a nod to the deal.

But what everyone needs to know is that $350 million dollars in debt for Pawtucket’s other post-employment benefits (OPEB) for former employees was not used in his analysis. This is more than twice the city’s pension debt! In fact, it was purposely left out by Magaziner. Including OPEB debt would obviously have made the City of Pawtucket’s borrowing look dangerous and ill-conceived. … This $350 million is so significant and overwhelming, it would be irresponsible for any treasurer to think Pawtucket absorbing new debt was a good idea.

Well, that’s an eye-opener. Nice work by Mike Riley catching that serious piece of misinformation by General Treasurer Magaziner. Ultimately, the PawSox left Rhode Island and these ill-conceived, unaffordable bonds were never issued. But that was very much despite this substantive misinformation that Treasurer Magaziner issued about Pawtucket’s financial condition.

Now, it is absurd to call on an elected official to step down due to a statement of misinformation; in part, because it falls into a broader category of free speech and, in part, because about three quarters of all elected officials in the country would instantly have to step down. (I heard that; stop cheering!).

But that is the position of General Treasurer Seth Magaziner.

I do agree with him when he says, as he did this morning, that “As Americans, we all have a duty to speak up when we see people in positions of authority spreading misinformation” and that elected officials “should use our platforms responsibly”. Via this post, accordingly, I am fulfilling that duty. Specifically, I am calling out Mr. Magaziner for a piece of misinformation that is especially egregious because he communicated it in his capacity as the state’s General Treasurer in an analysis about a major financial decision facing a municipality and the state.

Clearly, Mr. Magaziner did not use his platform as General Treasurer responsibly by including misinformation in this important analysis. Now, I myself am not calling on him to resign as the state’s General Treasurer for this. But by his own standard, he must do so immediately. Referring once again to Mr. Magaziner’s own words on WPRO this morning, elected officials have a duty to tell people the truth, to be honest. He failed notably to do so.

In The Dugout: Welcome to 2021!

Politics This Week with John DePetro: Departing Queen and Incoming Squad

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for January 4, included talk about:

  • Raimondo’s prospects in a Biden administration
  • Channel 10’s groveling before progressives
  • The General Assembly’s likely atmosphere

I’ll be on again Monday, January 11, at 12:00 p.m. on WNRI 1380 AM and I-95.1 FM.

WJAR’s Valicenti Editing: Don’t Trust Media to Protect Our Rights

At the outset of 2021, progressives and the local news media have sent a dangerous message to Rhode Islanders, an early symptom of metastasizing fascism.

Politics This Week with John DePetro: Closing Out the Year

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for December 28, included talk about:

  • The Guv’s house as the new protest spot
  • A whittled down RI Congressional delegation
  • 2020 winners and losers
  • Things to watch for in 2021

I’ll be on again Monday, January 4, at 12:00 p.m. on WNRI 1380 AM and I-95.1 FM.

Politics This Week with John DePetro: The Breaking Cloud of Fear

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for December 21, included talk about:

  • The end of the Pause
  • COVID transparency
  • The Guv as a national story
  • Testing at the mall
  • Judges entering the Supreme Court under an ethical cloud

I’ll be on again Monday, December 28, at 12:00 p.m. on WNRI 1380 AM and I-95.1 FM.

Rhody Reporter: What Is a Campaign?

Diana Lozowski compares the style and substance of two very different, but successful, legislative campaign styles from the 2020 election, noting that either could become the template for all future RI campaigns.

Politics This Week with John DePetro: Them and the Rest of Us

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for December 14, included talk about:

  • The administration’s COVID outbreak
  • The governor’s quarantine
  • A budget through the roof
  • The governor’s house becomes an official protest spot

I’ll be on again Monday, December 14, at 12:00 p.m. on WNRI 1380 AM and I-95.1 FM.

Rhody Reporter: Fines by Executive Order

Diana Lozowski notes all the extra-legislative authority Governor Raimondo is exercising in the service of enforcing her lockdown orders and muses (along with two prominent legislators) that her excellency is skating on thin legal ice.

Court Appointments and the Governor’s Power

Raimondo wants you to follow rules that she, alone, has developed and proclaimed. Whatever their thoughts about the coronavirus, Rhode Islanders should insist that she must follow the rules that our representative democracy purports to impose.

Rhody Reporter: Rock the Vote

Mark Zaccaria analyzes the role of unsolicited Mail Ballots in the 2020 Election and asks the question: “Do we want an Election Day or an entire Election Season?”

Politics This Week with John DePetro: The End Game Settling In

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for December 7, included talk about:

  • Not getting rid of Gina
  • Identity politics rule
  • The poor investment of a General Assembly campaign
  • Nellie’s election security deterioration

I’ll be on again Monday, December 14, at 12:00 p.m. on WNRI 1380 AM and I-95.1 FM.

Magaziner, a Fiduciary Hypocrite

Only in a state where he knows he will never be questioned on ideological grounds could Seth Magaziner join in on a lawsuit like this.

The Era of Rhetorical Tricks

In times of division and brazen fraud, look for the opportunity to understand the other.

Politics This Week with John DePetro: The Governor’s Court

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for November 30, included talk about:

  • The Pause arrives
  • The Queen’s bid for a higher court
  • McKee’s bid for the Queen’s attention
  • The General Assembly as courtiers
  • Is the jester in the Britt trial still relevant?

I’ll be on again Monday, November 30, at 12:00 p.m. on WNRI 1380 AM and I-95.1 FM.

Raimondo in Line for National Scold

How Raimondo’s COVID-queen persona plays with the tens of millions of Americans who have a somewhat stronger view of their civil rights than Rhode Islanders may become an interestingly relevant question.

Arm’s Length for the Heir During the Very Serious Pandemic (TM)

If Governor Raimondo really thought the coronavirus represented a crisis, wouldn’t she be keeping her replacement in the loop?

Politics This Week with John DePetro: A Pause Before Dying

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for November 23, included talk about:

  • The governor hits “pause” on freedom
  • The Board of Elections hits “stop” for GOP challenges
  • Congressional Democrats hit “no” on Cicilline’s bid
  • A police review board director hits “send” on a leak
  • The General Assembly hits “go” on a progressive agenda

I’ll be on again Monday, November 30, at 12:00 p.m. on WNRI 1380 AM and I-95.1 FM.

Politics This Week with John DePetro: Mailing in the Lockdown

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for November 16, included talk about:

  • What to make of Gina’s move toward another lockdown
  • What to think about the RI Trump co-chairs’ differences on concession
  • What Rhode Islanders should do about mail ballot anxiety

I’ll be on again Monday, November 23, at 12:00 p.m. on WNRI 1380 AM and I-95.1 FM.

Tiverton on Track, with John Loughlin

Over on Tiverton Fact Check, for our Tiverton on Track show, I had a great conversation with John Loughlin, mainly about statewide politics.  Click the link above if you’d prefer the audio-only podcast. Here’s the video version:

Chris Maxwell: RITA Never Forgot Better Days of Eventually Turbulent Relationship with Nick Mattiello

The Rhode Island Trucking Association (RITA) made a conscious effort to never publicly target recently-ousted Speaker of the Rhode Island House, Nicholas Mattiello.

Politics This Week with John DePetro: After the Mail Ballot Wave

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for November 9, included talk about election results in Rhode Island and terrible news media practices.

I’ll be on again Monday, November 16, at 12:00 p.m. on WNRI 1380 AM and I-95.1 FM.

Clay Johnson: Let Us Be Thankful

We are living through one of the most peaceful times in human history. Given the tumult of 2020, it is easy to lose perspective. The number of people living in poverty is plummeting – globally. And even with a pandemic raging, we are seeing extraordinary advances in our ability to fight disease. Whether together or apart, we will soon see the arrival of Thanksgiving – a pause to give thanks, and maybe gain some perspective.

Before we arrive at this pause, we have an election to endure. The Gaspee Project board is committed to advocating for free market principles and supporting conservative candidates. These principles lead to more freedom. Freedom leads to prosperity (jobs). History has shown this to be true.

Conservatives believe in the individual rights and a free society. This is why private property and a limited government are so important.

The Doxing Site That Proves the Campaign Finance Concern

The evolution of the progressive dox-machine proves the point on campaign finance concerns.

In Search of Normal

The way to get closer to that ideal is not the defeat of Trump, but rather the defeat of those generating the turmoil.

The Times, They Are A-Changin’

Mark Zaccaria runs through some of the things that need changing in RI and points out the only way to do so.

Politics This Week with John DePetro: Protest and Action

My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for October 26, included talk about:

  • Fenton-Fung and Mattiello back in the ring
  • The governor comes for Thanksgiving dinner
  • Protests settle in in Providence

I’ll be on again Monday, November 2, at 12:00 p.m. on WNRI 1380 AM and I-95.1 FM.

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