February 26, 2009

RI House Leadership: "Shut Up and Sit Down!"

Marc Comtois

That's the line WPRO's Dan Yorke is using to characterize a new effort by the RI House Democratic leadership to stifle free speech (because, you know, they're barely holding on to control up there....). Yorke was tipped off about this from Rep. John Laughlin and got confirmation in a conversation with Rep. Bob Watson. The House leadership tried to do the same thing last year and Yorke successfully led the charge against the bill. The section of the bill in question, submitted by Rep. Eileen Naughton, states:

(20) Amendments, articles or sections of the State budget shall concern only appropriations, expenditures, revenue or matters related thereto. No matter which has been the subject of a bill, resolution or amendment heard or considered in a House committee shall be offered as an amendment to the budget bill either in the Finance Committee or before the House, without the prior written consent of the Chair of the Finance Committee.
So that means that Rep. Steve Constantino, House Finance Committee Chair, has speech veto power. If he didn't like your idea in "his" Committee, he's not going to let you bring it up on the floor of the House. I'm not sure if this is the height of insecurity or arrogance. Or both?

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Meanwhile, Democrat (wasn't it DIaz) are allowed, no encouraged, to introduce bills on the floor at midnight of the last day of the session to, e.g., effectively prevent privatization of any government functions, thus affecting expenditures by preserving the high paid, pension accruing positions of state employees ... whose union dues not-coincidentally pay the salaries of union bosses and fund Democrat election campaign support.

Little wonder the RI is "circling in the bowl" and smart employers avoid Rhode Island like it's a leper state (for from a business perspective it is).

Posted by: Tom W at February 26, 2009 5:25 PM

Tom, I think it was Charlene Lima...?

Posted by: Marc at February 26, 2009 7:22 PM

It was Charlene "garbage" Lima. One of the biggest morons and scumbags in the whole Assembly.

Posted by: Patrick at February 26, 2009 7:54 PM

It was Charlene "garbage" Lima. One of the biggest morons and scumbags in the whole Assembly.

Posted by Patrick at February 26, 2009 7:54 PM

Those invectives apply to easily 70% of the GA.

Posted by: Mike at February 26, 2009 8:02 PM

"I'm not sure if this is the height of insecurity or arrogance. Or both?"

Both. And they are fully justified in doing so considering the results of the last GA election.
The voters deserve to reap what they sow. I hope they raise the sales tax to 10% like in progressive Sh**cago.

Posted by: Mike at February 26, 2009 8:06 PM

"Those invectives apply to easily 70% of the GA."

True, but she is moreso than any of them. No idea what Crannnston sees in her.

Posted by: Patrick at February 26, 2009 9:10 PM

>>The voters deserve to reap what they sow.

The sowing has been going on for years.

The reaping is just beginning. Perhaps temporarily slowed down thanks to the Weimar-inspired "stimulus," but ultimately inevitable.

The General Assembly has arranged things so that RI has entered this period as one of the most mismanaged states in the country - billions in unfunded pension liabilities and OPEB; collapsing bridges; decrepit roads; poor public education system; national reputation for political corruption and bottom of the barrel rankings for business friendliness.

The feds don't have enough money to keep "stimulating" and bailing out profligate states and special interest groups and individuals.

The Chinese, themselves emerging out of a poverty inherent in a collectivist economic model, and looking at at the economic Three Stooges of Pelosi - Reid -Obama, must realize that continuing to buy our Treasury paper is a loser, and instead of subsidizing our profligacy will start repatriating the billions of dollars they already own to buy tangible U.S. assets (companies and properties) before the dollars further devalue.

Johnson & Wales (if it isn't already) should start offering courses in Mandarin, for Rhode Island's only growth industry may become Chinese tourists taking advantage of the exchange ratio between the Yuan and the "cheap and getting cheaper" U.S. dollar.

Posted by: Tom W at February 26, 2009 9:16 PM

The General Assembly is already a de facto dictatorship, why not just codify it in the rules and get the march down the road to perdition over with?

Of course, I'm kidding, but I think if this kind of debate-squelching rule change were to be forced through, it would be incumbent of the small Republican caucus in the House to take it to the next level. Perhaps they could consider actually boycotting the legislature when it's in session; sitting outside the State House on the front steps "Contract with America" style, holding a press conference every time the House is in session. If they can't speak on the floor, there's very little point to showing up or doing anything there, just to give the General Assembly the veneer of a functioning democratic institution. It's just a politburo by a different name.

PS I don't know if Charlene Lima is a scumbag, however, she is a moron. I've heard her speak in person, and it was like sliding down a razor banister. She almost made Patrick Kennedy sound articulate. I said almost.

Posted by: Will at February 26, 2009 9:50 PM

This is an abuse of power,period.
Cranston is definitely strange-they elect Alan Fung and Peter Palumbo and also Charlene Lima and Art Handy,who is far worse than Lima.I would suggest recording Charlene Lima speaking on ANY subject and forcing Gitmo detainees to listen to it 24/7.We'd get the info on the terrorist network REAL quick.

Posted by: joe bernstein at February 26, 2009 11:05 PM

I have heard Charline Lima speak also.
The sad thing is she a public school teacher.
Is it any wonder why the state of education in RI is what it is?

Posted by: Bob at February 26, 2009 11:36 PM

Mike is right, as long as the voters keep electing these creeps, we are killing ourselves. The dumbing down of education will keep us as mushrooms, just feed us crap, keep us in the dark, and yes, you have our vote.

I don't know if we can right this ship. It's like the Titanic, it's end is out of the water, ready to take to final plunge to the bottom of the ocean.

Posted by: kathy at February 27, 2009 12:23 PM
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