May 23, 2008

"I Am Your Father's Brother's Nephew's Cousin's Former Roommate"

Monique Chartier

A small clarification for the Chair of the RI Democrat Party who today on the Dan Yorke Show suggested that Governor Carcieri should have sought an opinion from the Ethics Commission before hiring the niece by marriage of his wife by marriage: if the Governor had done so six years ago, they would have approved it. His hiring of her conformed to the rules in place at that time. Grandfathering doesn't just apply to pension vesting. And if, conversely, we are going to start applying rule changes retroactively, by all means, bring it on. We'll start with pensions and work our way right through Rhode Island government.

As for Turn to Ten's Bill Rappleye who "broke" this "story" and will be grilling the Governor about it this Sunday on 10 News Conference. He normally does good work. In a state where the dominant political party seems to operate principally by nepotism and cronyism, however, this story conveys the impression that Mr. Rappleye went to the North Pole searching for ice, determinedly plowed past icebergs and glaciers on all sides and triumphantly came away with a potential ice cube.

[h/t the Helen Glover Show for the line from Spaceballs.]

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This vignette rather succinctly describes the peculiar mix of desperation and hypocrisy that characterizes the RI Democratic Party in May 2008 as it peers over the precipice of its impending demise.

Posted by: John at May 24, 2008 12:00 AM

Paging Senator Alves, paging Senator Montalbano...

Although that of a "niece" (which was not specifically defined as also including a niece by marriage) was, the hiring of a "niece-in-law" was not specifically covered by the state ethics code when she was initially hired in 2003 following the governor's election. The update to the ethics rules, which took effect in 2007, was not retroactive to past hires. It affects new hires or people moving into new positions. In the United States, ex post facto laws are prohibited in federal law by Article I, section 9 of the U.S. Constitution and in state law by section 10. I imagine there is something in Rhode Island state law roughly equivalent.

Rappleye was clearly fed a story from the Democrat Party chair with which he is very cozy, without independently researching the whole of the law himself. He just took their word for it, as if they have some sort of credibility on the issue. He played the worse sort of "gotcha" journalism by trying to get the governor on the spot about something that he clearly didn't know would or could have been an issue -- and as it turns out, was a complete non-issue. It was disgusting. It was clearly a ploy to put the governor on the defensive at a time when he's trying to dig the state out of a big hole.

As anyone who attended the recent Operation Clean Government corruption forum could easily ascertain from Rappleye's remarks on their panel, he has gotten awfully close to the General Assembly leadership, esp. that of the Senate. I wonder of Rappleye's ever gotten anything from them? Free tickets? Dinner and a movie? Hmmm. Who investigates the investigator? Maybe we should ask John Celona. Of course, I'd never insinuate a quid pro quo situation. If I recall correctly, Rappleye was the one on the panel who said that he did not believe that corruption in Rhode Island government was any worse here than in other states (then he tried to bring up something about Laffey supposedly having been ignored -- which was a non-issue, too). Monique was there, so perhaps she might recall better than myself. When was the last time he did a big hit piece about his General Assembly pals? He's in their back pockets big time.

It was an attempted smear, and I'm glad that the governor and his staff have called him out on it. If he doesn't issue an on air apology to the governor for jumping the gun without getting his facts straight first, he should be terminated by Channel 10.

The "north pole" analogy is right on. Rappleye looked foolish (or more foolish than usual).

Posted by: Will at May 24, 2008 1:24 AM


Where does the oft heard Bill Rappleye myth you cited .."he usually does good work".. come from? Yorke kept saying the same thing yesterday but couldn't cite a single example of Rappleye reporting excellence. Perhaps because there aren't any examples to be found but Danny's protective of a fellow media good old boy?
Bill Rappleye has been a lousy lazy superfluous reporter for years and one who's more a Democratic party-union propagandist than anything else.
(FYI in Bill's world illegals are 'undocumented citizens')
Consider him the television version of Steve Peoples or Karen Lee Ziner. They never let the facts get in the way of their political agendas. You won't find a better example of a political propaganda hit piece by 'media' (this isn't journalism so I won't insult journalists by calling it such) than what Rappleye and Democratic party chair and patriarch to one of the largest political patronage/nepotism families in Rhode Island Mr. Bill Lynch orchestrated on Channel 10.
Says much about the state of 'media' at Channel 10 during the May sweeps rating period doesn't it.
Quite a piece of unprofessional trash!
My only question to Bill Rappleye would be when did Bill Lynch approach him about doing this hit?
How well has this bit 'o trash gone over? Other TV/print media have ignored it Buddy Cianci with tongue in cheek says he'd love to see a forensic audit done on the Lynch family to see how many are on the state/municipal dole and Cool Mooser Bob Healey says this story says more about the hypocrisy of those raising the issue than anything else. How'd that taste Mr. Lynch?
Not exactly the reception they were looking for I'm sure.
Maybe next time BillyGoats! lol

Posted by: Tim at May 24, 2008 9:34 AM

Yeah, it was funny, Tim, I could find nothing on this "story" to link to in the ProJo yesterday.

Thanks to Will for elaborating on the law. Did you say Steve Alves, Will? I just pulled out some research of a couple of years ago. It appears that at that time, Senator Alves was responsible for securing public sector jobs for at least eighteen (18) of his own family members. Surely the Chair of the RI Dem Party will be following up very soon on this information - calling for ethics ruling and investigations, giving stern lectures ...

Posted by: Monique at May 24, 2008 3:04 PM

If this was about AG Pat Lynch,hiring
his niece at the AG's Office, the folks at Anchor Rising, would want to "tar and feather him"

Carcieri should not have hired her,
Legal or not, it was a stupid thing to do

Posted by: Cosmo at May 24, 2008 5:25 PM

"the impending demise of the Democrat Party"

You are joking, even the Right Wing Kooks at Anchor Rising are not predicting a GOP sweep,anytime in my lifetime.

Posted by: cosmo at May 24, 2008 5:40 PM

"If this was about AG Pat Lynch,hiring
his niece at the AG's Office, the folks at Anchor Rising, would want to "tar and feather him""

Funny you should mention Patrick Lynch, cosmo. In a way, he is the ultimate nepotism hire. Does anyone seriously believe that he was the most qualified and most experienced Democrat to run for the important office of Attorney General in 2002?

Posted by: Monique at May 24, 2008 8:15 PM

Does anyone (including Republicans) think that young, 40 something, Linc Almond Jr is THE MOST QUALIFIED AND
EXPERIENCED Republian Lawyer, to be a Federal Judge, (with ove 7000 members of the RI bar, many with twice his years on the bar)
I do not like Pat Lynch,but at least he was elected NOT APOINTED like Linc Almond Jr

Posted by: Cosmo at May 24, 2008 9:18 PM

A lot of complaints about Rappeleye, but I have bigger issues at Channel 6 with Jim Hummel (but is it fair to single him out?) being in the tank for the convicted felon who shall remain nameless.
When the felon says "Attack!" they ask which extremity they should bite.

Posted by: rhody at May 24, 2008 11:32 PM

Wait a minute... wasn't it Rappleye who did the piece on Rep. Gallison who gets a direct infusion of cash from the state budget for a no-show job at URI? Maybe he could do a follow up and redeem himself.

Posted by: Josh Brennon at May 25, 2008 8:26 AM

On the subject of Attorney General Patrick Lynch:

On the subject of Senator Stephen Alves:

In general, it would be very interesting to do a study of the RI General Assembly and the RI Judiciary to see how many of their relatives are employed in RI state government.


If you have the article you reference above about Alves allegedly securing jobs, please send it to me so we can link it on the website. We try to keep it complete and accurate.

Posted by: Citizen Critic at May 25, 2008 1:10 PM

"Wait a minute... wasn't it Rappleye who did the piece on Rep. Gallison who gets a direct infusion of cash from the state budget for a no-show job at URI? Maybe he could do a follow up and redeem himself."

Josh Brennon,

Did Rappleye run to interview the head of the Rhode Island Republican party over Rep. Gallison and did he use multiple responses from the Republican chair in that single story? Was Gallison secretly video taped? Was he unsuspectingly ambused during an interview?
Let me guess.... lol
Bill Rappleye is an embarrassingly unprofessional tool of the unions and Democratic party and has been for years. Why are folk like you and union Rhody looking to change the subject?

Posted by: Tim at May 26, 2008 10:48 AM

Tim, if you're gonna call me out personally, you're gonna get a response.
If you have a problem with Rappeleye, call Channel 10's corporate ownership. They're in the middle of cutting jobs across the chain, and I'm sure they'll seize upon any excuse to cut someone like Rappeleye. These days, people in TV lose jobs for reasons even more stupid than some poster on a blog whining that they're union sympathizers. Rappeleye is employed by a corporate interest, and if he was the union stoge you claim he is, he'd be out of work by now.
And if you want to stay in denial about Channel 6 becoming a tool of Cianci...I'm sure he brings cash in for them somehow.

Posted by: rhody at May 26, 2008 11:54 AM


Haven't you learned by now that you can't apply your simplistic union mindset to the corporate world? The rest of the world doesn't intellectually goosestep the way you do. Your knowledge of corporate ownership and its' control (or shall I say lack thereof) over local media and its' political agenda and lean is embarrassingly naive.
Really is! I chuckle whenever you try to make this silly and specious argument and yes you've tried to make it in the past and with the same sad result.
The world of union rhody says that corporate ownership of Channel 10 (and the Projo as we've discussed in the past) is 'rightwing' therefore flaming libs like Bill Rappleye Michelle Brown Mario Hilario Scott Mackay Kathy Gregg Steve Peoples Karen Lee Ziner Charlie Bakst Bob Kerr etc. who are employed by these rightwing entities simply cannot be flaming liberals (multiple examples of their Democratic party/union propagandizing are easily and rountinely exposed) because they work for rightwing corporate entities. lol
To be honest rhody I actually feel sorry for you. You're simply incapable of intellectual honesty. Got to get away from that mental goosestepping rhody. Become your own man with your own mind. You'll see the world for the way it really is and you'll feel truly empowered once your very own eyesight is returned to you.
What's with the numerous Channel 6 references? What does Channel 6 have to do with Democratic party head Bill Lynch having a direct hands on role in the manufacturing of a purely political hit job carried out in direct collaboration with 'reporters' from Channel 10?

Posted by: Tim at May 26, 2008 2:33 PM

Tim, if you'd lay off the cough syrup for a second, your complaint should be with Media General, not with me - you're giving me much more credit than I deserve, my good friend. Do you really think I have more power than the corporation that owns Channel 10? Now THAT's naive.
If you believe these media corporations bow before unions, well, you're living on a different planet than the rest of us (or please, slip me some of whatever you're drinking).
BTW, on-air talent at TV stations is generally not unionized.

Posted by: rhody at May 26, 2008 10:39 PM
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