February 7, 2009

And Saturday Afternoon...

Justin Katz

And now to the Ed Achorn talk in Barrington. I missed the beginning, owing to the need in this state to circumnavigate rivers.

A few notables in the crowd, including a unionist who's disrupting the question period by trying to turn the session into a discussion of Mr. Achorn and the Projo. The crowd actually piped up and told him to let the event proceed.

As it happens, it's the guy who called me a loser at the East Providence school committee meeting and who complained of having to drive down from Boston to a Tiverton school committee meeting.

Peculiarly, he made a point of shaking my hand as he left the room. Wonder what the crowd thinks I'm typing, here.

2:38 p.m.:

Ed called the special interest groups of RI DaVincis in their masterpiece of controlling RI's legislature.

2:49 p.m.

There's a wide-ranging conversationi going on, from town to national topics, almost making the group of 50 (or so) people a community event for reform-minded people. (That's now that the union plant has left, of course.)

2:55 p.m.:

One member of the audience asked about the CEO bonuses in the midst of bailoutpalooza, leading to a sense of collusion, and Ed noted that part of the problem is the size of the government and the market manipulation that it enables. That speaks to the point that I often make that these millions of dollars in waste and bonuses would represent a significant cost disadvantage in a more competitive environment.

3:02 p.m.

June Gibbs just noted that there is a group forming in conjunction with Operation Clean Government that's attempting to create an opposition movement. I think I know what she means, but there are actually several things going on behind the scenes that bear on the question.

To be honest, sometimes I worry whether the whole thing can come together, for various reasons, but there is some movement out of view.

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I'm sorry I could not attend today. Ed didn't delve into any of the sorted details about his partners high jinx with the Educational partership did he? He rails against corruption in the newspapers editorial page so often that you would think that a few words about an organization that was suppose to distribute college scholarships to students and didn't would be in order. I wasn'nt holding my breath.

Posted by: Phil at February 7, 2009 6:33 PM

Phil, you can't fairly expect him to discuss the Education Partnership. After all, I don't think you or I would ever want to discuss our wives' indiscretions in a public forum, either.

Posted by: rhody at February 7, 2009 7:38 PM

You are right, Rhody, unless your name is John Depetro.

Posted by: David at February 7, 2009 8:22 PM


Right you are. You don't really expect much from him or sadly from the Providence Journal. Ed uses much ink targeting unions and elected officials for acts that he deems injurious to the "State" and usually concludes after election results that the voters are at fault. Rhode Island to Ed is one huge cesspool of corruption and insider deals and the result is that the people suffer, but that the people bring this on themselves. His stance is that of public scold.
The reason that he would not want to mention anything about his wife is obvious. The actions of the Educational Partnership rank up there with other schemes to bilk people and live high on the hog . His wife was of course the executive director of the organization of which Anchor Rising and Ed do not mention when describing Rhode Island in their usually negative tone. Ed if you remember did have quite a bit to write about when it came to castigating unions and holding up the work of the Educational Partnership. His wife without revealing her connection to the editorial page penned enough editorials to have singlehandily wiped out whole forests. And imagine that it was unions that thought they were being screwed by the Journal.


Right you are too.

Posted by: Phil at February 8, 2009 8:59 AM

I was unable to make it to Ed Achorn’s talk, but wanted to underscore the efforts by former Sen. June Gibbs and many others who are working to get the straight party option on the ballot repealed. This practice is a throwback to the old machine politics of the early 20th century where people didn’t have access to information that they do now, and political parties served a purpose of providing the platform for voters. We don’t see a party platform these days, as voting for the individual has become the preferred option. The other states in the northeast have done away with straight party vote options. Its time for RI to join them, and in doing so, eliminate a big disincentive for people to run for office and eliminate a ability for special interests to gain further support for the one-sided government they now enjoy. We hope to get support out there for this, as Sec. of State has ignored his own Voters First Commission’s vote in not submitting legislation to repeal this “anachronistic” practice (words of former Rep. Mabel Anderson (D).

Posted by: Susan Story at February 8, 2009 11:05 AM

What's the story on Susan. I googled Susan Story and found that Susan Story is President and CEO of Gulf Power Company, which is a subsidiary of Southern Company--one of the largest producers of electricity in the United States. Gulf Power Company is headquartered in Pensacola and provides electricity and energy services in Northwest Florida. She has had appointments and awards from Jeb Bush, George Bush and representative Mel Martinez - quite a right wing cabal. Based on that group, I wouldn't take a political cue from the likes of her. How did she get to write to AR. Was she invited or did she just happen on to the blog? Just curious!

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at February 8, 2009 4:18 PM

OldTime: It's got to be a different Susan Story. RI's Susan lives here in Barrington. She was formerly a member of the GA (I think the House).

Posted by: bam at February 8, 2009 6:06 PM

Repeal of straight ticket voting is the one area where I actually agree with Achorn. As I joke to friends from out of state, being a Rhode Island liberal requires voting for Republicans almost half the time.

Posted by: rhody at February 8, 2009 6:24 PM

I am Susan Story of Barrington and not Pensacola, Fla. (although Gulf Power Company CEO sounds OK to me. ) I have just retired from the RI house after 8 years as a Rep. from Barrington. The blogosphere is something I am just learning about, so you may be seeing me contribute from time to time. The straight party option is an issue I worked on when in the General Assembly and I believe is a simple way to just start to level the political playing field in this state. It is curious that the majority party is so afraid of eliminating it. There is a growing effort out there to do away with it and hopefully we can keep the buzz going to support that.

Posted by: sue story at February 8, 2009 8:39 PM

Susan Story

Were you on the House Finance committee when Tony Pires was the chairperson?

Posted by: Phil at February 9, 2009 4:07 PM
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