Dee DeQuattro (@DeeDeQuattro)
Gina Raimondo is a winner this week after the first debate on WPRI-TV. Raimondo was clear, cool, and confident. Clay Pell showed some personality during the debate with a few witty lines, such as giving Governor Chafee an ‘A’ for becoming a Democrat. Even with traces of humor Pell and Taveras were outshined by Raimondo who was on her game. Luckily for them this is just the first of many debates.
The master lever advocates had a big win yesterday as the bill actually passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, but not without a little wheeling and dealing. First the date the bill takes effect is not until 2015, after the November elections, second it might just be a coincident, but it is weird that on the same day the master lever came up for a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee, the judicial nomination of Richard Licht got put on a fast-track and the Senate had a vote to confirm his appointment.
Block on the Offensive
Gubernatorial Ken Block released his first attack ad this week indicating that his campaign is not as confident as they let on. Speaking of gross exaggerations, the ad specifically references one of my ABC6 blogs but refers to it as a report from ABC News. While I appreciate the promotion to network reporter, that’s not quite the case.
A Divided GOP
Meanwhile, John Robitaille seems to be sympathizing with Ken Block based on his latest piece in GoLocalProv. While he shows disgust with the discourse in the race in general he seems to blame Cranston Mayor Allan Fung for starting it. Robitaille is right, the real loser in this race is the Republican Party which is being torn apart as a result of this primary. Robitaille said both campaigns are getting vicious and personal and it is disgusting. At this point it’s unlikely that either campaign will lay off the attacks but at the same time neither candidate seems overly concerned with the fate of the troubled GOP. Robitaille was in the gubernatorial race for the party and the state, these guys could seemingly care less about the party. Kudos to Robitaille for calling them out.
Ray McKay is taking a stand after taking the city of Warwick to court to challenge an ordinance that bars certain city employees from running for office. After losing a first hurdle in court McKay has resigned from the Warwick GOP. McKay said Warwick has a double standard where some city employees such as police officers, teachers, and firefighters are allowed to run for office. Mayor Avedisian is mum on the issue although it is no secret that McKay and Avedisian have nothing shy of a tumultuous relationship.
Providence VA - Not Okay
The Providence VA scores poorly this week after a national audit reveals that the VA Hospital has some of the longest wait times in the country with some veterans waiting up to 72 days for an appointment. Not good, especially in a state where the military is a big part of the economy.
The hotel workers in Providence suffered a loss this week as the House voted to ban municipalities from setting their own minimum wage that is higher than the state's. This essentially bars Providence from complying with the hotel workers request to hike the minimum wage for city hotels to at least $10 an hour. Don’t worry they can elect Clay Pell for Governor, he vows to make a minimum wage hike one of his first acts if elected.
Dee Dequattro is a WBOB political columnist and reporter for ABC 6 (WLNE).
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