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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Steve Laffey Jumps in for Gaspee Project – and Rhode Island

From a just-issued press release by Gaspee Project Chairman Clay Johnson:

Steve Laffey, the former Mayor of Cranston, has volunteered his time and voice to bolster an ad blitz for The Gaspee Project in the final week of the 2020 campaign season.

Laffey’s has recorded a radio spot and multiple robo-call ads that will run this week in support of 8 General Assembly candidates and the Republican party. In the spots, Laffey stresses how the Democrat party is no longer the party of JFK and has been taken-over by radical-left mobs, while the Republican party is still the party of Lincoln and stands for common-sense, pro-jobs policies.

Also this week, a second round of mailers, social media ads, and print ads by Gaspee are expected to run, which in combination with previous Gaspee election materials, will reach almost one-hundred thousand households, social media accounts, print ad readers, and radio listeners.

Thanks very much to Steve Laffey for doing this. He understands, as many of us do, that Rhode Island would be very poorly served by the election of far left, “progressive” candidates who will push to put on steroids the misguided, leftie policies that have already damaged the state: raising of taxes (often disguised as fees, tolls and budget scooping) even higher; ratcheting up of already burdensome regulations (that often pose as a redundant effort at diversity) on business; more encroachment on private property rights; and the cramming down of effectively non-existent, exorbitantly expensive, politically correct energy sources.

(Seriously, “progressive policies” has to be one of the biggest oxymorons in the history of political branding.)

If you are alarmed at the prospect of the expansion of these non-progressive policies in Rhode Island, please consider pushing back by donating to the Gaspee Project to bolster the reach of these radio ads and mailers.