June 14, 2008

Secondary Priority to a Primary Constituency

Monique Chartier

While I would disagree with his characterization of the proposed budget that came out of the House Finance Committee last week, Dr. Michael E. Migliori raises an interesting point in today's Providence Journal about State Rep and Providence school teacher Steven Smith (D-Providence/Johnston).

It was illuminating to see the photograph of Rep. Steven Smith, president of the Providence Teachers Union, on June 4, addressing union members protesting potential cuts in the face of a $425 million deficit.

While the governor and legislature dismantle health care in Rhode Island, while they pull the rug out from under the poor, the elderly in nursing homes, the mentally ill, and while public schools have to eliminate art, music, athletics and can’t even buy books, and we sink deeper into recession, I’m sure the citizens in Representative Smith’s district take comfort that, as a member of the same legislature that is responsible for this deficit, Mr. Smith is looking out to protect the members of his union from having to share in the sacrifices the rest of the state will have to make to recover.

Every citizen in this state is going to have to make sacrifices, including the citizens of Representative Smith’s district. I wonder how they feel, knowing that they are not his primary constituency.



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Is Steven Smith any relation to Matt Smith, who for years was another Union Teacher in the General Assembly serving at the pleasure of the Union and one of the architects of our current fiscal mess?

Posted by: George Elbow at June 15, 2008 11:57 AM

Are you speaking of the same "Matty Smith" who (as I recall) got his sister pension credit ("years of service to the State") for time she took away from teaching in order to raise her kids?

The same "Matty Smith" who went from the General Assembly into the court system and, with his buddy Fay, established a slush fund?

Yet another example of the stellar caliber and high ethical standards of Rhode Island's Democratic Party leadership.

Posted by: Tom W at June 15, 2008 4:01 PM
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