October 23, 2007

Re: Cabinet Pay Raises...Governor Calls out Legislature

Marc Comtois

First, the ProJo tried to make hay over the Governor's failed attempt to get the first raises for his cabinet in 5 years and fed us the unfiltered talking points of Democratic LegisIators to boot. Now, in an "if it's good for the goose, it's good for the gander" move, Governor Carcieri has asked (Via Dan Yorke) that the Legislature forgo their annual raises, just like they've asked his cabinet officers to do:

Governor Donald L. Carcieri today called on members of the General Assembly to forego pay increases they have received since 2002, and to begin paying a share of the cost of their health insurance premiums, as every other state employee currently does. Legislators have received six different pay raises in the last six years and, unlike other state employees, still pay no share of their taxpayer-funded health insurance premium.

Several state legislators were quoted today as condemning the Governor’s plan to give the directors of state departments the same pay raises that have been enjoyed in recent years by all other state employees. State department directors have not received a cost of living adjustment since 2002. During that time, state employees received four separate pay increases of 3, 3, 4 and 4 percent.

“There is no doubt that we need to cut personnel costs in order to resolve the state’s budget problems,” Governor Carcieri said. “But pay raises and health care co-shares should be applied equally and evenhandedly to all state employees – including department directors and legislators. Right now, that’s not happening.”

“Directors of state departments haven’t received a cost of living adjustment since 2002,” the Governor continued. “During that time, all other state employees – including members of the General Assembly – have received several pay increases. In fact, the General Assembly has received six separate pay increases in six years. In addition, most state employees – including department directors – also began paying a share of their health insurance costs, but not the General Assembly.”

“As a result, the directors of state departments are the only state employees who are now co-sharing their health care costs but have received no raises over the last five years,” Carcieri said. “And legislators are the only state employees who have received six separate pay raises but still receive free health care at taxpayer expense.”

Somehow, that didn't come up in the ProJo story.

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Let me understand. The Executive Branch didn't get these pay raises but did accept the health insurance co-share. The Legislative did get pay raises but didn't do the co-share.

So exactly who is sending what kind of "message"? And where does this leave the ProJo's story?

Posted by: Monique at October 23, 2007 4:32 PM


How dare you inject facts into the Projo's 'junk'. lol
What a sad sad spectacle that newspaper has become. Their lack of professionalism and even basic pride in their work product is shocking.

Posted by: Tim at October 23, 2007 4:45 PM

I don't know what my puppy would pee on if we didn't have the Projo ... it's just so, so absorbent! And, it's becoming increasingly irrelevant in a changing world. They're obviously acting out in some pathetic response to the failure of the governor to kiss up to them. The Providence Journal, as well as the Sunday Journal are both losing circulation at an unsustainable rate, and their parent company's credit rating has just been downgraded to "below investment grade" (aka junk bond status). When you're a starving dog stuck in a corner, you're prone to act out at anyone who challenges you. Of course, since they're usually behind the eight ball on reporting breaking news (a May memo? lol) stories anyway, they'll probably be among the last to realize their own demise.

Posted by: Will at October 23, 2007 5:40 PM

Well, I don't read the ProJo anymore and now it looks like I won't be taking home the extra copies from work to wrap my garbage in either. It makes no sense if the paper already stinks!

What an incredible piece of crap the Providence Journal has turned into!

Posted by: Jake4RI at October 23, 2007 6:16 PM


Another bit of Projo hilarity. Ed Achorn drones on endlessly about part-time crossing guards and their outrageous bene packages as he sits silent and says nothing about his dirty darlings in the part-time legislature who get the same free bene deal if not better. The levels of hypocrisy within the Fountain St. 'junk' yard knows no bounds.
Almost as funny as Achorn's bum kissing of Murphy and Co. is white Jewish liberal New Yorker Charlie I love all people of color as long as they don't live near me Bakst choosing to live in white wasp conservative Barrington Rhode Island. You're puppy must laugh like hell when peeing. lol

Posted by: Tim at October 23, 2007 6:32 PM

I don't want to give the impression that The Providence Journal "dead tree edition" is ONLY good for absorbing puppy pee. It's excellent for streak-free cleaning of home or car windows (try it!). It also makes for a great packing material for shipping breakable items. Of course, you can cover your carpeting and furniture with it if you're doing a little interior painting. One could also roll it up and use it as a means of enforcing some discipline on the aforementioned puppy, but the PETA folks might not be too thrilled to hear that one. Most importantly, what would all the winos hanging around near the Fountain St. building wrap their precious bottles of booze in? ;)

The problem with the Projo is two-fold: the product and the medium. As for the product, very little of it is original reporting anymore. Nowadays, it seems to largely consist of recycled New York Times, L.A. Times, and Washington Post stories, with a sprinkling of local old elitist hippie stuff thrown in between them for flavor. The problem is that flavored cardboard is still cardboard (or newsprint in this case). It also seems to have a very confused editorial staff that doesn't seem so sure what it stands for anymore.

The thing that I think makes the future of the Projo as it currently exists today shaky at best, is that by the time you even get to read what little there is of it in the paper, it's already outdated by the time you've receive it. We're talking about a medium that is literally a byproduct of the Industrial Revolution of the early 19th century trying to compete against 21st century technology, and more importantly, the expectation of immediacy by its consumers. I would not be surprised if within the next 5 years that the move of people to getting their news from electronic sources will be so overwhelming that the Projo will be forced to give away the papers for free (like the Phoenix ... hat tip to Ian), or will exist mainly, if not entirely in the online world, like this blog.

Posted by: Will at October 24, 2007 1:21 AM

Your complaints about the ProJo can be applied to just about any major big-city newspaper in the country. This is what media consolidation (given the green light by Clinton signing the 1996 Telecommunications Act) has wrought. This is what happens when the Murdochs, Gannetts, etc. are allowed to swallow one media property after another (and the restrictions on multiple ownership of radio and TV stations in the same market, or newspapers and broadcast outlets, are loosened).
Kevin Martin at the FCC wants to loosen these restrictions further. A coalition of groups across the political spectrum fought off Michael Powell's attempt to do that a few years ago, but the big corporations are gonna try again.

Posted by: rhody at October 24, 2007 11:23 AM


What does media consolidation have to do with the Democratic party/union agenda on display with the Projo and their blatant attempt to media lynch the governor? Rappleye and Taricani of channel 10 are part of the lynch mob as is Joe Baker at the Newport News. Jim Baron at the Pawtucket Times is a liberal State House good old boy so he'll no doubt chime in his approval of the lynching quite soon. The delay in Jim's approval is only because he's been away.
Media consolidation is how the entirely local Projo board editorialized a bold face lie about the governor in today's paper? An editorial taken straight from a Democratic party head Bill Lynch press release?

Posted by: Tim at October 24, 2007 5:02 PM

Tim, the liberal media thing is an old dog that no longer hunts.
The media are not owned by liberals. Call Belo Co, and tell the Texas (right-to-work-state, so they certainly don't like unions) - based media company it's not getting a penny more of your money, threaten an advertising boycott, and you'll get action against any reporter or editor you don't like. Do the same thing with Channel 10. Call Newport and demand Baker's head. Do likewise with Pawtucket (although that might be a little difficult; they have virtually no reporters left if they can Baron).

Posted by: rhody at October 24, 2007 11:03 PM

I don't buy into all of this. If you look at Taricani and Rappleye interviewing on 10 News Conference you can see they just about openly laugh in the faces of the leftists/progressives/communists when they spout their pro-union, pro-welfare Orwellism's.

Posted by: Mike at October 25, 2007 9:44 AM


Take a look if you dare.
Only question is will you come back and fess up then proven wrong?

Posted by: Tim at October 25, 2007 7:06 PM

Tim-I see the show every week. I have seen both Taricani and Rappleye wide eyed and chuckling as they have rather plaintively asked the union boss or welfare pimp something along the line of "can't ANYTHING be cut-we have no choice!"-only to be met with the normal Stalinist "everything is great Fa-La-La" from the leftist. Taricani in particular has become heated with leftist guests and pointed out that the off-camera union workers in his business receive less pay, no defined pension and high co-pays and that the current system is unsustainable. He has done the same thing on Lively Experiment.

Posted by: Mike at October 25, 2007 8:39 PM

I applaud Taricani for lifting the green curtain a bit and giving a shoutout to the unionized folk in his business (TV people, even some on-air people, don't make as much money as you think). If you listen to Carcieri, you'd think every union person in Rhode Island (both public and private) is a fat cat. Not true. As a union member in the private sector, I've also had enough of his garbage.
Jim brings a unique perspective to this discussion, given his wife's business (and Carcieri's staff) background.

Posted by: Rhody at October 26, 2007 1:49 AM


Also see the show every week and the agendas are crystal clear. If you doubt it just watch the broadcasts on the link I've provided. Quite amazing how different their attitude from one politician to another. Their treatment of Gov. Carcieri is in stark contrast to that of Pat Lynch Speaker Murphy the union dogs et al. It's all there on tape for all to see. Don't take my word for it. Take a look for yourselves.
No question Taricani is much more smooth and guarded with his on-air behavior. He doesn't wear his agenda on his sleeve to the extent Rappleye does. Rappleye's so bad he's unprofessional at times. Taricani outs himself with his blog. That's the beauty of the modern media we're in right now. All these TV and print 'reporters' are radio talk show wannabees. They're all dying for us to know their opinions. The Projo so-called reporters simply editorialize in their 'news' (lol) articles. Guys like Taricani expose their bias through their blogs. Problem is when they try to play straight reporter after exposing their bias/agenda through the written word it doesn't work. Can't put the genie back in the bottle!

Posted by: Tim at October 26, 2007 7:11 AM


You've got it backwards per usual. It's you union guys who demonize your political enemies not the other way around. As for Taricani this is a reporter who snitched out his own source to the feds. Got no integrity left.

Posted by: Tim at October 26, 2007 7:52 AM

Tim, read the Carcieri memo re: House District 22, and tell me who's demonizing who.
In a perfect world, we wouldn't need unions. But employers and corporations with attitudes like yours are the best advertising unions can possible have.

Posted by: rhody at October 26, 2007 11:05 AM
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