WHO’S MORE HONEST ABOUT POVERTY?
The candidates for governor were questioned by the Providence Journal’s Edward Fitzpatrick on whether poverty is due to circumstances or lack of effort. Without fail, every Democratic candidate attributed poverty solely to circumstances. Not one of them said that, at least in some cases, it is the result of both circumstances and lack of effort. Republican Allan Fung answered that both circumstances and lack of effort are involved, while Republican Kenneth Block answered that he did not have sufficient information to answer such a broad question. Sounds like the Republicans are far more honest about this than the Democrats. Or, are they just less naïve?
CRANSTON POLICE IN “WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM”?:
State Police Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell spoke to the Cranston City Council last week about the ongoing investigation of the misuse of police power ticket blitz. After telling the council that the investigation may take several weeks, a councilman asked what was going on in the investigation.
O’Donnell replied, “That’s something I can’t discuss,” because of the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights which enshrouds in secrecy investigations of alleged police misconduct. Council President John E. Lanni, Jr., upset at the extreme restrictions included in the statute, exclaimed, “It’s like being in the witness protection program!” O’Donnell further told the council that he could not promise that any of the final investigation report could be released to the public because of the law.
As this column has previously advocated, the law must be revised and it must happen this year! Let’s see if a single state representative or senator has the guts to introduce such a bill!
ANOTHER RAIMONDO ERROR:
Gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo’s appeal to independents, conservatives and fiscally responsible Democrats after her overhaul of the state pension system is rapidly slipping away. Much of the respect for her was the product of her courage in standing up to those who wanted the pension system to continue its hemorrhage of taxpayer dollars to benefit special interests - mostly Democrat-supporting unions. That respect is diminishing in direct proportion to her almost palpable loss of courage.
First came her ludicrous campaign platform published a couple of weeks ago. The platform demonstrates that she no longer has the courage to stand up for anything fiscally responsible since the platform was clearly designed to tell far-left voters that she is willing to “give away the store” in order to get their votes.
Now comes the news that she and the State Investment Commission she chairs have decided to pull state retirement funds out of a hedge fund whose manager was responsible for the conservative Manhattan Institute giving Raimondo an award for her fiscal responsibility in re-engineering the state’s pension fund. Raimondo obviously thinks her continued affiliation with the hedge fund is a political liability because of its connection to the conservative group.
Why is this just another example of Raimondo’s loss of courage?
The hedge fund she is pulling out of managed $50 million of our dollars. In the past year it made our taxpayers $24.3 million on its investment of that $50 million. That’s a whopping 49 percent return in one year! The only reason for Raimondo to pull out of such a successful investment vehicle is because of politics.
When a state general officer’s actions are based on protecting her political future at the expense of taxpayers, politics has overruled courage.
After pension reform was passed, Raimondo was looked upon as equal to Disney’s courageous Lion King. Unfortunately, she now looks very much like the cowardly lion from the Wizard of Oz.
REPUBLICAN MESSAGE FINALLY RESONATING WITH OBAMA: For the first five years of his presidency, Barrack Obama and his Democrat minions in the U.S. Senate refused to compromise with Republicans, even when it meant that nothing would get done in Washington. Obama’s message seemed to be, “It’s my way or the highway!” Now that the end of his tenure is in sight and it appears his legacy will consist of nothing more than the costly, unpopular, and largely ineffective Obamacare health insurance law, Obama seems ready now to compromise.
He has laid the groundwork to justify approving the Keystone XL pipeline project that he opposed for years while Republicans have been pushing it for years. It will bring millions of dollars into our economy and will help create or maintain thousands of jobs. Obama’s environmental study group has reported the pipeline will contribute little to climate change, yet his environmental supporters remain adamantly opposed to the project. Regardless, Obama may compromise on this one.
For years Obama has declared that he will not sign immigration reform unless it provides a path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal aliens in our country that Democrats call undocumented immigrants. Now that House Speaker John Boehner has said he supports a bill that would lead to legal status for illegal aliens but will not lead to citizenship, Obama has suddenly decided that citizenship is not so important. He says he will support Boehner’s approach to immigration reform. Wow! Another compromise.
Just think how much better off our country would be had Obama and Senate Democrats not held the country hostage so long to Democrat ideology and refusal to compromise. Had they acted in the manner of previous presidents and senators and occasionally extended a hand across the aisle, our economy and our employment rate would be far more viable today. It may be too little too late, but at least Obama and his rigid followers in the Senate look like they may now be willing to compromise a bit.
Only good can come from it!
BLOCK WON’T SIGN “PEOPLE’S PLEDGE” AGAINST SUPER-PACS: In an interview with the Providence Journal’s Edward Fitzpatrick, Republican gubernatorial candidate Kenneth Block has indicated that he will not sign the so-called “people’s pledge” being pushed by Democrat rival Angel Taveras. Block says he supports comprehensive campaign-finance reform but won’t do it “piecemeal.” Further, he won’t agree to enter the campaign so far behind others, especially Democrat candidate Gina Raimondo “who has spent three full years as treasurer raising money for this race.”
Let’s hope that the other Republican candidate, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, will also refuse to sign the pledge. Democrat candidates seem to know that their message of big-spending, big-taxing, big-government won’t survive the light of day should a fiscally responsible, conservative message be broadcast by political action committees and super-PACs.
IT JUST AIN’T RIGHT: A story in last week’s Providence Journal should have made readers’ blood boil. A man accused by a woman of raping and assaulting her was stopped by police and his car searched. He had 87 U.S. Treasury checks in his trunk that were from income tax returns the man had filed using stolen personal information. Investigation later revealed that he had stolen personal information from 1,300 people and had filed 823 false tax returns using the information, netting him and his associates about $600,000.
Here’s a man who was accused of a terribly violent crime, who had invaded the personal privacy of well over a thousand people, and who had ripped off taxpayers for well over a half million dollars. Yet the federal judge at his arraignment agreed to set him free on a measly $10,000 surety bond which would cost him only $1,000 through a bondsman.
There’s something incredibly wrong with our judicial and prison system when someone like this is allowed to walk our streets and prey on us again while there are people locked away whose crime was simply selling a couple of marijuana joints to a friend. It’s no wonder our society is devolving into moral and economic chaos.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Now that a panel appointed by President Obama has declared the Keystone XL pipeline would have little climate impact, unions, business leaders and Republicans are pushing Obama to sign off on the project that he has long opposed. Most environmentalists also remain opposed even though the environmental impact report cleared the project. Urging quick presidential action and referring to Obama’s State of the Union promise to wield his pen for the good of America, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said, “Mr. President, no more stalling, no more excuses. Please pick up that pen you’ve been talking so much about and make this happen. Americans need these jobs.”