June 29, 2008

RI's Government by Aristocracy

Justin Katz

Think we'll hear repeated ethics complaints about this? (Emphasis added.)

The state Senate returned to a darkened Assembly chamber yesterday for a one-day session to confirm the appointment of a new District Court judge and two new magistrates, including the Senate president's chief of staff and the sister of the Judiciary Committee chairman.

In unanimous votes, Senate President Joseph A. Montalbano's top staffer, R. David Cruise, a former senator himself, was named magistrate of the Traffic Tribunal along with Alan R. Goulart, the chief of the criminal division at the state attorney general's office.

The pair will replace Marjorie R. Yashar and Aurendina G. Veiga, both of whom left in 2005 amid ethics complaints. The positions carry 10-year terms and annual salaries of $128,650.

The Senate also unanimously confirmed Mary E. McCaffrey to the District Court bench. Currently a Family Court magistrate overseeing truancy cases, McCaffrey is the sister of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Michael J. McCaffrey, D-Warwick, who abstained from voting yesterday.

No doubt many of Rhode Island's coastal-state snobs would gleefully perpetuate the cliché of incestuousness backwoods governing practices, but we've raised the practice to a governing principle.

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Alan Goulart is a highly experienced prosecutor and probably was picked largely on qualifications-the others are the usual nepotism/good old boy/girl selections.

Posted by: joe bernstein at June 29, 2008 8:15 AM

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quid pro quo - (Latin for "something for something" [1]) indicates a more-or-less equal exchange or substitution of goods or services.

English speakers often use the term to mean "a favour for a favour" and the phrases "what for what", "give and take", "tit for tat (this for that)" have similar meanings

News: Recent Press Releases Op-Ed Publications About the Legislative Press Bureau

4/10/2008 New site proposed for Blackstone Valley Courthouse

Citing unacceptable traffic abatement plans for the proposed Blackstone Valley Courthouse in Lincoln, Supreme Court Chief Justice Frank J. Williams, Senate President Joseph A. Montalbano and Representative Peter John Petrarca today announced a new site in Smithfield for the judicial complex.

The courthouse is now proposed for 13 acres of state-owned land on a section of George Washington Highway between Douglas Pike and Farnum Pike, not far from Bryant University.

“I was never happy with the results of the traffic studies in Lincoln,” Chief Justice Williams said. “Senate President Montalbano, Representative Petrarca and I have been discussing the necessity of finding another site. They have been totally committed to taking care of the concerns of the people of Lincoln. I promised the people of Lincoln, the Lincoln town administrator, the Lincoln Town Council – and especially Councilman Keith Macksoud – that we would examine other sites, and we have done that in good faith.”

The new courthouse had been proposed for a site adjacent to the Community College of Rhode Island and William M. Davies Vocational Technical School campuses in Lincoln. Traffic studies commissioned by the Judiciary, however, indicated the Lincoln site would be problematic.

The Smithfield site is more centrally located within northern Rhode Island, and has better highway access and traffic control, Chief Justice Williams said. In addition, the Smithfield proposal has been warmly received by town officials there, he said.

Legislation reflecting the new location and financing is expected to be heard in a House Finance Committee meeting at the State House today at 2 p.m.

“I am pleased to have been able to address the concerns of my constituents in Lincoln,” said Senate President Montalbano (D-Dist. 17, Lincoln, North Providence, Pawtucket). “I am happy to join with Chief Justice Williams, Representative Petrarca, and Councilman Macksoud in making this announcement, which benefits all residents of the Blackstone Valley and the state. While moving the courthouse out of a location that had raised concerns among neighbors in Lincoln, this plan keeps the much-needed courthouse on schedule to begin serving the people of the Blackstone Valley for generations to come in a more suitable location.”

President Montalbano added that he hopes to make this change official through the supplemental budget proposal, which is scheduled to come before the House Finance Committee later this month.

Chief Justice Williams, Senate President Montalbano and Representative Petrarca said that they recognize the need for, and remain committed to, a courthouse to service the residents of the Blackstone Valley region. However, as the Chief Justice noted in his State of the Judiciary address last month, funding for this proposal is not going to be appropriated in the fiscal year 2009 budget.

For more information, contact:
Greg Pare, Press Secretary for the Senate
State House Room 314
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 276-5558

In 2007 William R. Guglietta, Esq. was named the Chief Magistrate of the Traffic Tribunal. Guglietta served as chief legal counsel to the House of Representatives

Posted by: Tim at June 29, 2008 10:08 AM

And Lincoln Almond Jr. is a Federal Judge ?

Posted by: Fabu-Lance at June 29, 2008 10:39 AM

And Tin Ear Don's niece-in-law...

Posted by: Greg at June 29, 2008 11:58 AM


When did you become such a simpleton? lol
You're comparing the unholy and corrupt political patronage alliance between the legislative and judicial branches of government with the hiring of the governor's niece in law for his constituent service office? Try to bring a bit more depth to your analysis of this issue Greg. You sound like Ducky Crowley. Embarrassing!

Posted by: Tim at June 29, 2008 12:55 PM


"What are your qualifications?" is the ONLY question that should be asked for ANY position that the taxpayers in this state fund. "Who are you related to?" seems to be the only question currently asked regardless of what side of the ideological aisle you're on.

Glass houses. Grandpa Don has forced an already crippled party to have to deal with our own glass houses on WAY too many issues in this battle.

Posted by: Greg at June 29, 2008 1:46 PM


Again you mix apples and watermelons and you make these broad generalizations. Utterly ridiculous! Try to follow along Greg. The governor's niece would be relevant to this conversation if she were hired by Joe Montalbano or Frank Williams and the governor were then turning around and delivering some sweet deals for them. For you to equate the governor hiring H-I-S niece to work in H-I-S constituent service office (when he leaves office she losses her job) with the head of the Rhode Island Supreme court turning the traffic court into a legislative patronage job pumpkin patch is moronic.
Your comments are made even more moronic when considering during these deficit running times that same legislature the one on the receiving end of those traffic/district court patronage jobs and other such winks and nods from judiciary (CRMC) doesn't cut a single hair on the judicial budget head as they approve the building of yet another Frank Williams palace in North Smithfield.
Say hello to quid pro quo!
Yet you equate all of that as being on par with the governor hiring his wife's niece to work in his constituent affairs office? lol
Your analysis is beyond embarrassing!
Greg people like you are the reason the Rhode Island Republican party is the mess it is. People like you are the reason smart people like me want no part of it. Greg the Republican swallows Bill Lynch and his talking points 'whole'.
Such a joke!

Posted by: Tim at June 29, 2008 6:28 PM

Dear ******* Tim,

When the governor or anyone in power in the RIGOP comes out against these patronage jobs the FIRST question that will be asked is "Well, what about the Governor hiring his niece?"

And that will be the lead on every news station. That will be the quote in the paper. That will be the talking point Lynch and the Dems will latch onto. "Well, Don does it so how does he get off complaining?"

Do you get that? Do you get the perception game? God help the party if you're one of the morons involved in it.

Posted by: Greg at June 29, 2008 6:57 PM

You rail against "aristocracy" and speak like an oligarchic sycophant. But consistency does not seem to be one of your strong points, and contradiction apparently bothers you very little.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at June 30, 2008 12:50 PM


Greg is Right on this issue.

Carceiri is far and away better than any of the alternatives.

But that being said, I've grown tired of him stepping on [himself]. Either by design or by incompetance, he ALWAYS seems to give the leeches a foot hold, something to hang on, something to distract from the real issues at hand.

Be it Pension Reform a few years ago when he Excluded Judges, opening the door for the Union supporters to vote against it under the guise that "it should include everyone".

Or be it the fact that he takes the $2000 health-care buy back when we are trying to appropriately get employees to pay their fair share. And lord knows he can afford it. It is just plain stupid to do.

Or be it hiring his niece. Substantively, you are correct in that it should not compare to what goes on with the judiciary. But PERCEPTION is REALITY and the way politics are played, you just can't do this stuff. The great unwashed is not going to perform an in depth "analysis" as you suggest. Rather, they are going to read the Headline, as Greg suggests.

Very simply, the Gov. undermines the important causes he is trying to address with his bumbling incompetance on things that should be easy.

Posted by: George Elbow at July 1, 2008 9:40 PM
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