The Saturday Morning Post: Quick hits on politics & more in RI

May 10th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site, The Saturday Morning Post

Happy Saturday! Here’s another edition of my weekend column – as always, send your takes, tips and trial balloons to tnesi@wpri.com. For quick hits all week long, follow @tednesi.

1. The most revealing comment in this week’s debate about repaying the 38 Studios bonds may have come from Rep. Karen MacBeth, who told RIPEC’s John Simmons at a hearing: “This committee isn’t about, is it cheaper or not to pay? It’s whether we should or should not.” Governor Chafee, Simmons and others are emphasizing that it would be more costly for the state to default than to pay, because default would damage the state’s credit rating – an argument buttressed by the SJ Advisors study released Friday. But MacBeth’s comment suggests she – and perhaps others – might refuse to pay even if it would cost the state more money in the long run. How much is Rhode Island willing to spend for the psychic and cathartic benefits of knowing taxpayer money isn’t being used to pay back the 38 Studios bondholders? At net present value, the SJ Advisors study puts the added cost from refusing to pay at $14 million to $219 million. Is it more palatable to Rhode Island lawmakers – and voters – to spend that money (spread across other bond transactions) for the satisfaction of knowing the 38 Studios bonds weren’t repaid directly? Plus, nobody can say with certainty what default would actually cost; interest rates remain historically low, Detroit and Greece are already borrowing again, and the 38 Studios debt is clearly unique. MacBeth also suggested a default is necessary to force negotiations with Assured Guaranty, the bond insurer, which is responsible for making the 38 Studios bondholders whole if Rhode Island won’t; bond analyst Cate Long suggests Assured Guaranty would make the payments but sue the state if that’s the path lawmakers take. (Now those would be some interesting depositions.)

2. Here’s a compromise option for Chafee, Teresa Paiva Weed and Nick Mattiello if they want rank-and-file lawmakers to approve the 38 Studios bond payment: in exchange, they could agree to Dawson Hodgson’s proposal for an independent investigative commission into the entire affair, armed with subpoena power. That might placate some lawmakers, and it would clear the air faster than a drip-drip-drip of leaks to Tim White. As Scott MacKay wrote Friday, “about all Chafee has done is file suit against the law firms and financial advisors that rode the gravy train all the way to bankruptcy. It is very sad that neither the Assembly nor Chafee had earlier put together a special commission to probe this deal and recommend a way forward.”

3. The debate over paying the bonds also hit the Democratic primary for general treasurer on Friday. In response to the SJ Advisors report, Ernie Almonte declared: “It is fundamentally irresponsible for any candidate or public leader to suggest that we not repay these loans; that demonstrates a clear lack of understanding of what our fiscal decisions mean for Rhode Island’s future.” That sounded like a reference to, among others, his opponent Frank Caprio, a former treasurer himself who tangled with Don Carcieri over the original deal and has expressed skepticism about repaying the bonds. “If I can save the taxpayers $80 million, I don’t mind being called names,” Caprio told WPRI.com in response to Almonte’s statement.

4. For what it’s worth, the 38 Studios bond payment accounts for 0.15% of Chafee’s proposed 2014-15 budget.

5. Why was Chafee apparently so surprised in April 2012 when he was brought to 38 Studios and told the firm needed new financial assistance from the state? This week’s revelation that Chafee right-hand man Richard Licht met with Curt Schilling and other 38 Studios insiders months before to discuss their need for tax credits suggests the administration should have been well aware the original $75 million wasn’t going to be enough. As Don Carcieri himself remarked to Tim White in 2012: “Nobody should have been surprised in April that they were running out of money. That’s something that could have been seen six, eight months before.” While Chafee was a fierce opponent of the original deal, the vast majority of the money 38 Studios got was formally doled out on his watch, not Carcieri’s. It’s surprising the new governor and his team didn’t seek any independent vetting of the company’s financials once he took over, particularly with Carcieri holdover and deal architect Keith Stokes still running the EDC at the time.

6. Here’s your weekly dispatch from WPRI.com reporter Dan McGowan: “You know who the biggest loser might be from the renewed interest in the 38 Studios debacle? David Sweetser, the owner of the vacant Superman building. This week Target 12 focused on the lucrative contracts Providence lawyer Michael Corso had with the failed video game company, intensifying the perception that the $75-million taxpayer-backed loan was an insider deal. Now Sweetser is seeking $39 million in state support to renovate Providence’s tallest building, but for the second year in a row, he may end up the victim of poor timing. House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello is already grappling with a tight budget thanks to lower revenue, skyrocketing Medicaid costs and proposed tax cuts, and with many of his colleagues openly discussing defaulting on the 38 Studios bonds, there may not be an appetite for supporting Sweetser’s project. Of course, it’s worth noting that Sweetser’s strategy has been completely opposite from the one used to secure $75 million for 38 Studios. The team leading the Superman building effort, which includes developer Arnold “Buff” Chace, has laid out exactly what it will cost to turn the building into a multi-use complex that will include 280 apartments. Ironically, the nail in the coffin for the Superman building could come from Corso, who built his reputation as a lawyer for Chace throughout much of the 2000s. If lawmakers have it stuck it in their heads that more insiders stand to profit from the Superman building, they’ll be hard-pressed to back the deal no matter how good it sounds.”

7. An intriguing development in the pension lawsuit – on Friday Judge Taft-Carter refused to delay the start of the trial from Sept. 15 to February, despite a joint request from both sides.

8. Those trying to read the tea leaves on the master lever debate should note the Rhode Island Senate’s floor session on Wednesday afternoon, when Providence Sen. Harold Metts delivered an impassioned speech in favor of keeping it – and was rewarded with a long ovation from his colleagues. Among those who stood to applaud: Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio, Paiva Weed’s powerful No. 2. “[W]hen you disagree with me on the issue, does this make you a racist or a Ku Klux Klan member? Absolutely not,” Metts said. “Why, then, on this legislation to remove the master lever in the Senate Judiciary hearing, were my constituents called misinformed, uneducated, ignorant and lazy? I take exception to it. Such comments not only describe people from my district, but yours, too, because 104,000 people voted using the master lever – about 25%.” Paiva Weed can’t be happy Mattiello let that bill pass the House, huh?

9. The outlines of a corporate tax overhaul that Rhode Island’s business and labor interests can probably unite behind are coming together: a rate reduction paired with combined reporting that uses single sales factor apportionment. (Read this study to learn more.)

10. Rhode Island spends a lot of time comparing itself unfavorably with Massachusetts, so it’s worth noting a striking counterexample: Massachusetts is scrapping its massively expensive unfinished Obamacare website, one of the most troubled in the entire country. The Pioneer Institute’s Josh Archambault now calls it “Massachusetts’ Big Dig I.T. project” – an astonishing failure by the state that pioneered the subsidized exchange approach under Mitt Romney. Rhode Island’s HealthSource RI, by contrast, has the nation’s third-highest enrollment (second-highest excluding Vermont, with its mandatory sign-up rules) and a 91% payment rate, with another insurer set to join this fall. That doesn’t mean HealthSource RI is perfect: its plans are expensive and limited in number, the Medicaid enrollment projections were way off, and there’s no strategy to pay for it. But at a basic level of execution, on this occasion Rhode Island succeeded and Massachusetts failed.

11. A loyal reader reports one of the protagonists on the CBS show “2 Broke Girls” returned to her hometown of Hope, Rhode Island, in this week’s episode to get her diploma. “Couple of references to Providence, Cranston,” he reports, adding: “If she was living in Hope, then she must have gone to Ponaganset High.”

12. If the publisher of The New Republic had endorsed Angel Taveras, Gina Raimondo or Clay Pell, you’d know about it. That’s basically what happened this week on the other side of the aisle when Jack Fowler, publisher of William F. Buckley’s legendary conservative publication National Review, endorsed Allan Fung in a blog post and solicited donations to his campaign. (The headline: “Fung S(h)ways Rhode Island Conservatives.” Get it?) It’s a nice shot in the arm for the Fung campaign, even if Fowler’s assessment of his odds of victory – “a long shot, but doable” – wasn’t exactly glowing. The Republican primary continues to be worth keeping an eye on.

13. The city of Providence will spend $103 million on medical and dental benefits in the 2014-15 fiscal year – and that’s actually down from $111 million in 2011-12, Angel Taveras’s first full year in office, according to the mayor’s new budget proposal. That’s a sizable chunk of the entire $678 million tax-and-spending plan – a reminder of how much the cost of health care matters to municipal finances.

14. Here’s a roundup of the latest Campaign 2014 endorsements we’ve received: the Warren Democratic Town Committee endorsed Gina Raimondo and Frank Caprio … the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Hands Local 23 endorsed Clay Pell and Mike Solomon … the Johnston Democratic Town Committee endorsed Dan McKee the Pawtucket Democratic Town Committee and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local endorsed Guillaume De Ramel … the Coventry Democratic Town Committee endorsed Nellie Gorbea … the Tiverton Democratic Town Committee endorsed Seth Magaziner … and the North Smithfield Democratic Town Committee endorsed Frank Caprio.

15. If you missed them the first time around, now’s your chance to check out some of the other items we published this week: a whole bunch of stories about 38 Studios, which Dan McGowan rounded up here … Hope Global’s CEO told me the company may leave Rhode IslandAngel Taveras says it’s “up to the voters” whether Buddy Cianci should return to City Hall … and warned the next mayor to be fiscally responsible … and also got the backing of Eva LongoriaFrank Ferri said he may run for lieutenant governor … a chart that shows how the unemployment tax system is out of whack … and 43% of Providence homicides remain unsolved since 2000.

16. Set your DVRs: This week on NewsmakersMichael Yelnosky, incoming dean of Roger Williams School of Law, on the pension litigation; former Providence Mayor Joseph Paolino on his bid for Newport Grand. Watch Sunday at 10 a.m. on Fox Providence. This week on Executive Suite – Hope Global President and CEO Cheryl Merchant. Watch Saturday at 10:30 p.m. or Sunday at 6 p.m. on myRITV (or Sunday at 6 a.m. on Fox). See you back here next Saturday morning.

Ted Nesi ( tnesi@wpri.com ) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com and writes the Nesi’s Notes blog. Follow him on Twitter: @tednesi

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40 Responses to “The Saturday Morning Post: Quick hits on politics & more in RI”

  1. Who's on first ? says:

    I wonder when the looney talk radio crowd will realize it was not the fault of Don Carcieri, or the legislators at the State House that was the problems of 38 studios, and start zeroing in on EDC as the root of the problem ?

  2. Kathryn says:

    Hope is a village in Scituate, so someone living there would not go to Ponagansett, which serves Foster and Glocester residents.

  3. George McDonald says:

    You get the feeling that Allan Fung is the recognized as the real deal with the higher ups, I think we are all just waiting to see that spark on the campaign trail. When you meet him one on one at an event you feel like the only one in the room with him, and his plans are very detailed. But that speaking passion isn’t always there. Is that a cultural thing? I don’t know.

    Cmon Mayor HIT BACK! Ken Block is nothing but a lying, scheming, disgusting little turd of a politician. Let’s go and show us that passion that we need to push back against these types in Rhode Island! This primary will be over right there and then.

    1. Park Ave says:

      George you might be right, but the as of May 10, Ken Block has Al Fung in his back pocket.

    2. Phil says:

      Couldn’t agree more George. Mayor Fung clearly the better candidate. Can’t argue with the success he’s had in Cranston either. I’ve worked with Asian physicians frequently in my career, and that quiet respectfulness is part of their culture. However, Mayor Fung needs to come out of his comfort zone and show some fire in that belly. This Ken Block charade has gone on long enough.

      1. Bill Zarlenga says:

        I feel like the Mayor has been a very studious Mayor even in the time of the campaign. Perhaps a focus shift is required? I agree with all of the above though, Ken Block getting legs shows how absolutely dysfunctional that party is. The man voted for Obama. Twice. Cost the Republicans the Governor’s race four years ago. And the people like Robitaille give him a chance why? It’s unbelievable. It is like they don’t like success. Which explains a lot about that party. And why I’m an independent.

      2. Yeehaw says:

        Mr Zarlenga, you are spot on about the Republican party in Rhode Island…. You have tea billy Costa supporting a man who voted twice for Obama.

      3. Wakefield Hick says:

        Yeehaw, I think Costa even does the Tea party shame. Lost all respect for her when I asked her at a gun&rod event why she supported Block, a true enemy of us 2A folks. She whipped her head around and went on a 5 minute tantrum about how evil the Mayor’s girlfriend is. A RI Repiublican party leader heard her & and joked that Costa is jealous of any other woman who is prettier or more successful than her. If that’s why she’s supporting Block, then shame on her as a grown woman. The RI Republican Party is doomed with people like at the helm.

      4. Frank M says:

        It is the worst kept secret in this party that Doreen will do anything to take Fung’s girlfriend down. Including supporting Block. It’s very immature. The way her & Micheal Napolitano talk about the girl is disgusting. And Doreen doesn’t try to whisper. Alan needs to press harder I agree, but the nonsensical support can be explained by a lot of jealousy. To my party quote leaders, you all need to grow up.

      5. Yeehaw says:

        Wakefield, and Frank. If it’s about looks teabilly couldn’t get the tide to take her out.

      6. Nancy says:

        Mr Block has surrounded himself with some pretty pathetic characters. Demonstrates a lot about his character. I used to be part of state central proceedings, but no longer. People like Napolitano & DeNuccio made it intolerable. They are in a time warp. Block made his bed, let him lie in it. Also, since everyone is talking about, what exactly is Costa’s beef with Fung’s girlfriend? I only met her once and she seemed sweet as pie.

    3. Sarah says:

      I used to live down the street from the Costas. She is an enormous fake, and can’t handle female competition of any kind. A very insecure woman with a GED education. Would not surprise me in the least if her motive for supporting Block is jealousy of Fing’s girlfriend. It’s like a grade school sandbox. Her campaign helper Steve is also a big creep. He came door to door with her and he made an inappropriate comment about my dress. Still remember it to this day.

      1. Charlie says:

        I have to say that I think we are all sick of Mike and Doreen’s shenanigans. It makes DePetro’s ranting about union women look tame . Block laughed at it too when we were at the RICC for his fundraiser. While I like block’s ideas on spending cuts, he doesn’t have the morality to be my next choice for governor.

  4. Commenter says:

    Sen Metts does understand that the master lever bill passed unanimously in the house, right? Thus meaning the Reps from his district had no problem voting in favor of it without hearing an uproar from their constituents.

  5. snow says:

    Of course it’s interesting to hear certain politicians such as Almonte take the moral high ground about paying “moral obligations,” when he was a member of Raimondo’s pension theft road trip, hawking reducing pension all over RI in 2011. The comparisons between paying off the 38 studios loan and funding pensions has been made many times, but how seriously can we take politicians who speak with forked tongue about these two issues?

    Chafee’s consultant came out this week with dire predications for RI if we default on the 38 studios loan. The credit agencies would reduce our bond status to “junk,” yet we got the thumbs up when we cut our obligations to workers. I think MacBeth’s words (#1) are also a lingering allusion to the 2011 pension legislation, and the way the state is more concerned about getting everything on the cheap, and not the actual moral impact of many decisions. Taking this to its logical conclusion , maybe the state should defund all social services because it would be “cheaper.” Where are we going with this mindset? What decisions should be made because they are “cheaper,” and who decides?

    1. Really? says:

      Really?! Pretty sure Ernie said the state should negotiate with the unions. This whole talk about not paying back the 38 Studios bonds is really stupid. Chafee had it right. It was a bad deal, but the state needs to take responsibility for it. Honestly, the same thing with the pensions. It’s nice live in a world where things are so black and white, but that’s not the case. Between people trying to compare pensions and bond debt, Dawson’s dumb investigatory committee which will serve no purpose but jeopardize a criminal and civil investigation (clearly he forgot everything he learned in law school), and MacBeth’s delusional world, I sometime wonder where the adults are.

      1. snow says:

        Almonte said negotiate with the unions once mediation began, not before, certainly not when he appeared on the URI panel and other venues. Yes, he wanted municipalities to negotiate with the unions, not the state.

        The world may not be black and white, but decisions must be made based on standards politicians must defend later on, not the “we threw everything at the wall to see what would stick” to the get the economy going policy behind 38 studios. There isn’t a plan, there wasn’t then, and there isn’t now, to get the economy going. Stealing from workers won’t do it, 38 studios didn’t do it, slashing corporate taxes and the flat tax won’t do it either. What will? Maybe the things that will work haven’t been tried because there is no theory behind what the legislature has done to date. What about a philosophy that says, when the private sector won’t jump start things, the public sector must. Heard of that one? But no, we won’t do that, we won’t use the historically low interest rates to beef up infrastructure, we won’t add back the number of state workers cut under the Carcieri years, we won’t alleviate some of the stress the cities and towns are under by more taxation. No, we will just keep cutting taxes on the wealthy and see if that sticks.

      2. Really says:

        We do not have an election system that is able to have clear, defined standards for politicians to defend on. Right now you have half the country blaming Republicans and the other half blaming Democrats for everything. That is because we have a divided government and their is no clear accountability. On the local level, it’s equally unaccountable because of the one-party domination yet has several fractions. That’s why its stupid for Republicans to say it’s a one-party state. If you look at ideology and philosophy, there are more like 5 or 6. However, it’s not easy for voters to identify them.

        I agree with you that it is the public sector that will have to jump start the economy but it cannot be done on the state level. The state does not have the resources. The Feds do, and it is up to them to do that.

  6. It would be nice to see the Republicans to drink some tea together.

  7. lost in ri says:

    riedc–funny thing, marcel valois and jp have been with riedc for over a year…you never even hear about them– neevr see the names in the paper…

    riedc is as dead as it always was.

  8. B says:

    Let the Insurance company investigate, and maybe compromise on something with us. What are the terms of that policy?
    Ted Nesi–why don’t you look into the Insurance. (or did they forget to pay the premiums?)
    Who are these mysterious bondholders who Must BE Paid ?–perhaps they are the very same people who were crying out to eliminate cola payments.
    Most of them probably have six months in FL to avoid paying any State TAxes too.
    Why don’t they just claim a Loss on their federal return….!

  9. Matthew says:

    This thread has gotten out of control. Hopefully to end it, unfortunately everything that was written about Doreen is true. When Barbara Ann popped up on the scene, she had instant success and did a great job with the young republicans building it into a functional, diverse party of the future. This is where we need to go. Allan and Barbara Ann represent a breath of fresh air, and the beginning of some thing better here for the RIGOP. However, some people seem to resist change even if successful in terms of numbers for growth in the party, or by winning elections. It is the worst sitcom to watch somedays because it’s just so sad! You can ask any of the young republicans and they adore barb. With Allan and her, it’s all about party building, helping others out, going out into the urban communities, and quite frankly, tackling the tough demons of this party. Doreen is all about herself. I have firm intel that the GOP was going to support Marcello and probably make him the next speaker until she went out on her own and got her own deal for the vice chairmanship on judiciary. It’s the same with Ken Block. It’s all about himself. Where is his team of candidates? Where is his support of the next generation? I don’t see it. He never financially supported his own moderate party candidates, what do you expect? Secondly, yes Barb is a very attractive young woman. No doubt about that. But she’s got brains. And beyond that she’s got tits and balls and stands up to the bullies in the party without a hint of fear. Allan will make a great gov, Barbara Ann will make a better first girlfriend, and people who aren’t in this party to grow it into something that, one day in the future, might mean something here in RI SHOULD GET THE HELL OUT OF IT!

    1. Traveling Circus says:

      Matthew as long as Costa, Napolitano, DeNuccio, throw in the guy who brought a new meaning of family values ( using your kids money to run for office) the party will need years just to get on the same page, never mind rebuilding.

    2. ???????? says:

      ” And beyond that she’s got tits and balls”

      Is this how you recruit new blood into the party ?

  10. Ace In The Car says:

    Back to 38 Studios and the SJ Advisors report……

    I am perplexed as to why “sophisticated” financial analysts such as they would not differentiate between general obligation (GO) bonds and all other state debt, GOs are approved by the voters and have the full faith and credit of the state backing them. GOs require the General Assembly to appropriate monies to pay the debt service on the bonds because the voters have approved the taking on of the debt obligation. Most other state debt is subject to appropriation at the General Assembly’s discretion. Now the General Assembly has always in the past made such appropriations but it is not mandated to do so as the voters have not bound them to make such payments. In my mind, 38 Studios is the exception that proves the rule (which is the proper characterization of the English truism). Does anyone honestly believe that if RI did not pay the 38 Studios bonds that institutional investors wouldn’t purchase RI GOs? If RI GOs yielded 50 basis points more than otherwise comparable GOs from other states, institutional investors would buy these bonds in a millisecond

    1. Not really... says:

      Institutional investors follow bond ratings closely. If we are downgraded to junk bond, or close to it, it’s going to make the cost that much higher. It really doesn’t matter that his is GO or moral obligation bonds as far as I’m concerned. There may be some philosophical difference, but it looks pretty clear that investors are looking at it the same way. You may want 38 Studios to be the exception, but it’s the investors that need to want it to be an exception and that doesn’t look likely. At this point the people of this state need to accept that we are paying back the bonds. All these other “leaders” who want to do otherwise are irresponsible and pandering.

  11. Steven says:

    Well…things seem to finally be making sense. I have been trying to figure out why on Gods green earth someone as conservative as Doreen Costa would support Ken Block. I had heard through social media some rumors, but had chalked it up to just that, rumors. But, after reading some of these comments as well as a recent conversation with someone close to her circle, it now makes perfect sense. I had actually been a supporter of Doreen, and honestly would still like to be because she does so much for her community. But unless she sheds these goons she has aligned herself recently, she has lost not just my support, but any admiration I had for her.

  12. silverdawg says:

    I find it a bit curious to see all the breathless commentary about “tea party this”, and tea party that”, or this or that candidate or elected official being “tea party”, when the RI Tea Party has neither taken ANY position on the governor’s race, nor has any plans to endorse or otherwise support/oppose either Ken Block OR Allan Fung, or any other candidate/elected official/political party. It seems folks might use their time better if they actually focused on what the “tea party” philosophy really is, and what the RI Tea Party is working so hard to do.

  13. Harry says:

    Silverdawg the problem with the tea party is that everyone else defines it. I don’t even know what it is at this point.

    These rumors about Costa have been going on for months. Doesn’t seem like rumors anymore. And if Block is proud of her support, for him, because she is jealous of the Mayor’s girlfriend, he must be really desperate.

  14. Phil says:

    This whole thing with Mayor Fung is really disturbing. I am not a regsitered R though, I often vote R. Allan is one of the most decent people in public life I have ever met. What in the hell are some of the Block people doing in destroying one of the few of their own elected officials? Block is not a bad man but his problem is himself. He suffers from the same problem Obama and Clinton do… he is a narcissist. He might want to help the state but he is kidding himself and those who support him if they buy into his concept that his leading the charge will lead to any serious change. Can you imagine this guy if the state were in a crisis? I don’t see any humanity in him; just an automaton telling us for whom to vote… Fung needs to grow more backbone but he is a very, very decent person, down-to-earth and the kind of person I believe can do good things in the State.

    1. Phil says:

      By the way, I know the State is in crisis financially and in desperate need of leadership. I was referring to some type of terrorist situation or similar issue to what Boston went through… I want someone who has served in executive capacity in government leading us through it.

    2. John Lippisquale says:

      Phil, this is highlighting the penultimate issue with the Rhode Island Republican party right now. It is filled with people, at that state central meeting, who are one and dones, who could never win, and if they can’t win, they won’t let anyone else do so. I hate to say it because I used to have just a ton of respect for him, but John Loughlin is acting like a two year old in this whole playground fight. Bitterness over old campaign staff, angry because people backed Doherty in 2012, and an absolute pissing match with Patrick Sweeney, Loughlin has become the poster child for the “I couldn’t do it, so I’m going to make sure you aren’t successful either” crowd. I don’t think Mike Napolitano has won a race ever. The Rep Costa issues are well known.

      The problem isn’t with Allan Fung himself, it’s that he never kissed the ring of these people in the party who think they are kingpins, as delusional as they are. Good on him, because they don’t well represent the good hard working people who call themselves Republicans or Republican-leaning, and in the end it should give the party a much needed enema. Even if it makes this primary nearly unbearable. I fear his girlfriend is just becoming the collateral damage and scapegoat.

      1. Matt says:

        Is Fung a leader ? He could start by taking the bull by the horns in regards to his girlfriend getting lambasted by others as mentioned within the party, that’s a start. How Al has let this escalate is troubling in itself. As for John Loughlin what a fraud he has turned into. A junior John DePetro. I’m just starting to wonder if this is all about promised jobs.

      2. George says:

        Very interesting about John Loughlin. Block is constantly on his radio show, so I don’t doubt this at all.

        No wonder Mayor Avedisian won’t run for higher office. These fools would probably primary him! What a joke.

  15. Ashley says:

    I really like Doreen Costa personally, but her personal mission to take down Barbara Ann has gotten out of control. If Barbara Ann is around at a candidate announcement or state meeting, it’s like a whole different person comes out of Doreen’s mouth and I agree with others above. It’s really disgusting. She should be ashamed of herself. Of course Barbara Ann isn’t clueless, but it does show her class that she doesn’t seem to let it bother her. I’ve just seen her laugh it off. I don’t know how she keeps doing it. I love Allan Fung too, he’s so nice to all of us and is really encouraging to everyone getting into the party and running. He’s so nice and a great man and will make a great governor.

    1. Ballot box says:

      If Costa has an opponent all he/she has to do is expose her adolescent behavior. The phony Costa is using guns, and Christmas as headliners, and the real Costa is just a troubled insecure, and hateful person inside.

  16. B says:

    We don’t need people like Gina Raimondo who said manufacturing will never come back, when in fact it is coming back in other states and is even starting to come back in RI…!
    We need to jump on the pro USA-made bandwagon and encourage manufacturers to open businesses in RI.

  17. ChristmasTree says:

    It’s not just the Mayors girlfriend they like to make fun of. I was at an event where the rep & her handlers were overheard making fun of the attire some young voters representing the Legions of Christ Ministries wore. I would love to see them all show up at her fundraiser at Camille’s on the Hill…..yes…Camille’s…I guess her home town restaurant just isn’t fancy enough for Ms. Costa anymore..already forgetting her roots. It will be interesting to see who is contributing to her campaign..we can be sure Mr. Jeffrey Britt & Mr. Block will be !

    1. Thanks says:

      All this info is making me take a long look at Mr Block. Maybe Ted Nesi can run a story and see how much truth may be behind these Costa accusations.

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