October 12, 2008

A Consequence of Pulled Strings

Justin Katz

If, after all of the technicalities are applied, Stephen Alves returns to his seat in the Rhode Island Senate, Rhode Islanders ought to take it as a final straw:

Yesterday, the court gave some insight into its decision. According to Craig Berke, spokesman for the state judiciary, the court withheld its decision on the Alves case because of the call from the state Democratic Party for a state police investigation into the primary. There is no inquiry into the Warwick race.

"The Supreme Court cannot act on the District 9 race at this stage of review by law enforcement, a review that has become public knowledge," Berke said.

The state police said earlier that they were inquiring into the primary, but had not launched a full investigation. On Thursday evening, troopers did speak to selected residents of Msgr. Deangelis Manor in West Warwick to ask them whether they voted in the primary, residents said.

In fewer words, at Democrat leaders' request, the state police are knocking on doors, feeling out the situation (and, I imagine, intimidating voters), so the Supreme Court postponed its decision until after the deadline that would avoid the entire electoral system's being disrupted. Citizens should not take this lightly, and our rulers should know that they're playing with fire.


For clarification: My parenthetical about intimidated voters wasn't meant to suggest any particular behavior on the part of police. I imagine, however, that having state police show up at one's door for some form of inquiry is an intimidating experience of itself.

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Perhaps Justin, the state police were responding to evidence of voter fraud? You know, the 10 or so Republicans who voted illegally in a Democratic primary? The implication of "pulled strings" has no basis at all. It is, in fact, the kind of toxic innuendo that the right uses too regularly these days. The best of example of which is the flailing and hysterical McCain-Palin campaign as it realizes that this election is likely to be a rout.

Posted by: Pragmatist at October 12, 2008 11:17 AM

The RI State Police are not tools of anyone.They are the one institution in this state that can be trusted to do their job honestly.More so than the courts.
I do hope Alves doesn't manage to worm his way into power again,because it will dishearten anyone trying to take on the entrenched political mafia in this legislature.

Posted by: joe bernstein at October 12, 2008 11:36 AM

It's tough to tell, Pragmatist, inasmuch as the information offered is pretty vague. All the cited report says is that they are "inquiring," not "investigating."

But police complicity isn't necessary for this whole thing to raise alarms. Even if the police are responding entirely according to established practices, the head Democrat is the one who set that process in motion, and the judiciary (again with vague explanation) scheduled its involvement in such a way as to disrupt an election.

Call me a cynic (as blameless a quality as it can be in a corrupt, failing state like RI), but if Alves retains his seat, it'll be indicative of a rigged system that with fail-safe second chances when the undesirable occurs.

Posted by: Justin Katz at October 12, 2008 12:22 PM

For related articles and background on the Senator Stephen Alves matter, please see this citizen criticism page here:


Posted by: Citizen Critic at October 12, 2008 1:12 PM

Point of order!

The State police are NOT looking at the 10 "Republican" votes.

Their inquiry is an entirely new direction. They are going to a polling location where Mr. Pinga defeated Alves 150 - 75. Unfortunately for Alves, this polling station is located in the area where his bakery is located, where he grew up and where his family has many friends. Any wonder he defeated Alves 2:1?

The Msgr DeAngelis Manor is elderly housing and many of the people there know his mother very well. To allege some sort of irregularity occurred there is grasping at straws.

Next there is the issue of the “Republican” ballots. Alves keeps stating there were FIFTEEN “Republican voters who voted.

In fact, the WW Board of Canvassers has provided a list of the 10, repeat 10 “Republican” voters.

As for the 10 “Republicans”? The Projo story on Wednesday 8 Oct completely destroyed that one!

Of the 10 voters on the list, as the Journal Pointed out, when contacted FOUR said they had previously disaffiliated and THREE voted for Alves!
Additionally, of the four who claimed to have disaffiliated, one went so far as to return home from the polls when offered a Republican ballot and produced a properly executed disaffiliation form.

This is what the RISP and AG's office should be investigating.

Alves initially claimed there were 87 more ballots cast than ballot applications.

The RI Board of Elections found this to be untrue and noted that there were only THREE over votes. In fact, one person has already stated that she did not sign a ballot application because one was not offered but she did sign the master voter list at the polling station. So much for that one!

So now we have the RISP “Inquiry” into voting at Msgr DeAngelis manor? On what basis? The Chair of the RI Democrat Party asks for it? Based upon what??

Can you imagine being 85 years old, living at Msgr DeAngelis Manor, and having some stranger with a badge, knocking at your door to find out if you voted in the primary?

Can you imagine these poor old folks thinking they might have done something illegal?

The story by WPRI on Friday noted that many people did in fact feel intimidated.

To what lengths will Alves go to retain his seat?

His antics to date are beginning to border on the absurd.

One wonders if someone will file a complaint with the RI Bar Association because of his attorneys’ action to date.

How much is this costing the RI taxpayers?

Posted by: Aldo at October 12, 2008 2:07 PM

Let's be clear. No one is impuning the Rhode Island State Police. In fact, they'd probably just as soon not be involved in this matter.

Posted by: Monique at October 12, 2008 2:35 PM


You're absolutely correct. The RISP are probably very embarrassed to have been drawn into this mess.

Without a doubt, they will find NOTHING improper!

As for Frank Williams? That is another story...

Posted by: Aldo at October 12, 2008 3:08 PM

if alves does lose, you can bet he will run again in 2 years

Posted by: johnpaycheck at October 13, 2008 7:32 AM

This case is going to be one to watch. If the candidates running against the leadership of the house and senate are successful win, then the losers can get the court involved so they retain their seats. It's all in how much they can tie you up in court. As long as the candidate or the candidate's party has the money for endless court battles, this is going to cause a real problem. I'm still trying to figure out how the chair of the democrat party is so up in arms about voter fraud, when his own brother voted in a town he did not live in. Too bad the mainstream press is too afraid to investigate that.

Posted by: kathy at October 14, 2008 10:47 PM
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