RhodeMap RI passed the Rhode Island Planning Council unanimously despite strong opposition from some local towns and political activists. Opponents of the plan are outraged saying that the bureaucrats are not listening to the people. Meanwhile officials are arguing that the plan is only a plan and needs executive action to be enforced.
House Speaker Nick Mattiello told the Providence Journal that the plan is really a non issue since it is nonbinding. Mattiello urged the public and lawmakers to focus on the real issues facing Rhode Island; the economy and unemployment.
Some are comparing the plan to 38 Studios but the good news is the plan will need to be vetted further to actually be put into place. That means even if the opponents of the plan are right, the plan can’t be enforced without more action by the governor or general assembly.
Certain curtain call
Governor Chafee attended the meeting as the plan was passed. This will probably be his last act as governor as he has only one month left in office. It seems fitting that Gov. Chafee will end his time in office knee deep in a controversial issue and surrounded by conservative protesters. Meanwhile, it leaves Governor-Elect Gina Raimondo in a good position because even conservatives will be welcoming her into office because they are ready for a change.
Skating her way to the middle
Olympic Figure Skater Michelle Kwan has slid her way onto Providence Mayor-Elect Jorge Elorza’s transition team. Kwan will be on Elorza’s steering committee serving on a committee focused on sports and recreation. Meanwhile, it is not quite clear where Clay Pell will end up, but what is clear -- Pell and Kwan had big plans and do not intend on disappearing from Rhode Island political life anytime soon.
What's a little staffer between friends?
Meanwhile, it does look like Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley will be gearing up for a presidential bid. Social media pages touting O’Malley 2016 have begun sprouting up. O’Malley’s candidacy would make Rhode Island relevant during the presidential election because Governor-Elect Raimondo has just hired a key O’Malley Staffer to serve as her Chief of Staff. Raimondo has not been shy about her friendship and respect for O’Malley and if he does run for president, it’s likely he will have an ally in Raimondo.
Nationally, the Senate Democrats released the “Torture Report,” and while it has been used as a political pawn across the country, there are some serious concerns for the safety of our men and women overseas. The report mostly outlined things most Americans already knew and didn’t really cause the “uproar” across the nation that many people expected. I guess American’s have a hard time sympathizing with people who masterminded a plot to blow up the World Trade Center, killing thousands of innocent people.
The Crimson doth protest too much, methinks
Students at Harvard Law School are asking for more time to study for finals because they were busy protesting during the fallout from the Ferguson Grand Jury decision. The school is considering the request on a case by case basis. Meanwhile, Columbia Law School has agreed to delay finals. And across the country people who work for a living are considering using protesting as an excuse to not show up for work, then they remembered they can’t because they will most likely be fired. While protesting is a healthy way to be civically engaged students should learn to juggle their passions and responsibilities. It is part of being an adult. In a few years from now I doubt a judge will delay a scheduled matter because the lawyers want to protest. “But judge… Harvard said it was okay…”
Mensch on the Bench
That’s all for this week.. Have a great week! If you celebrate Hanukkah, Happy Hanukkah… it starts Tuesday.