May 15, 2006

Lieutenant Governor Charles Fogarty on Newsmakers: Budget, Spending, and Corruption

Carroll Andrew Morse

Presumptive Democratic Gubernatorial Nominee Charles Fogarty appeared on WPRI-TV’s Newsmakers public affairs program this past Sunday. Here are some of the highlights of Steve Aveson, Ian Donnis, and Arlene Violet's questions and Lieutenant Governor Fogarty’s answers...

Steve Aveson asked how a political insider can combat Rhode Island’s culture of corruption.
Lieutenant Governor Charles Fogarty listed a reform of agenda of implementing full financial disclosure from public officials, term limits on legislators, and lobbying reform.

Aveson asked how to control the deficit without cutting spending.
Fogarty blamed the deficit on poor fiscal management by the current administration and proposed several administrative reforms: a hiring freeze and implementing a “hiring council” to determine where new hires are needed, bulk purchasing of drugs (savings of $20M), getting a handle on outside legal costs, and cutting back on $23M spent on outside consultants and $11M spent on contract employees. He would propose budgets that don’t exceed the rate of inflation.

Ian Donnis asked about Governor Carcieri’s job-creation goal.
Fogarty jumped into a backhoe, drove to Meade Stadium at URI and started moving the goalposts (OK, I made that part up).
Fogarty answered that the a goal of 20,000 jobs over four years was too modest anyway. The Governor’s job is to change the direction of RI and strengthen the business climate in RI for all business, not just big corporations.

Donnis asked about the House leadership’s “tax cuts for the rich” program.
Fogarty answered that the tax cuts impact only 500 people, too small a number to have a significant impact. Property tax relief should be the top tax-relief priority and the state needs to end unfunded mandates on the cities and towns.