NYT to profile Raimondo; labels RI ‘Greece on the Narrgansett’

October 21st, 2011 at 9:51 pm by under Nesi's Notes

Gina Raimondo will make her most high-profile appearance on the national stage yet this weekend.

The New York Times’ cover story in its Sunday Business section on Oct. 23 will spotlight the treasurer and the bill she’s crafted with Governor Chafee to resolve Rhode Island’s pension funding problems by taking the radical step of freezing cost-of-living adjustments while moving to a hybrid plan.

The story’s author is Mary Williams Walsh, a veteran Times reporter who covers public-sector accounting issues and traveled to Rhode Island recently to research the article.

“When you go there, you can see something special is going on – something unusual,” Walsh said on a Times podcast. “You hear people always talking about kicking the can down the road and passing the bill to our grandchildren, but in Rhode Island it’s like there’s nowhere left to kick it anymore.”

David Gillen, the Sunday Business section’s editor and Walsh’s interviewer on the podcast, said her story will make Rhode Island sound like “Greece on the Narragansett.” (Gillen also trips up and calls the treasurer ”Mary Raimondo,” though hopefully that won’t make it into print.)

The Times is the latest national news outlet to take note of Rhode Island’s dramatic pension debate and Raimondo’s role on it, following on the heels of The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and PBS.

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