July 15, 2010

Patrick Lynch Dropping Out

Monique Chartier

WPRO's Steve Klamkin report during the 6:30 am news that the AG will be withdrawing from the governor's race sent me to projo.com which had a confirming article by Katherine Gregg and Tracy Breton on the front page.

On Wednesday, a source close to Lynch said, the two-term attorney general was telling people close to him that he intends to announce at midday Thursday that he is withdrawing.

At this point, “it is when, not if,” the source said.

The AG's chronic, garrulous inability to give a straight answer (Buddy Cianci once noted that if you asked Lynch the time, he'd tell you how to make a swiss watch) has stayed in high gear right to the end.

When asked directly on Tuesday night, as he was leaving a Rhode Island Young Democrats’ event, if he intended to drop out of the race this week, Lynch said: “That’s back again? Listen, you asked me on the way in and the way out. What job am I getting now with the Obama administration? I always thought ambassador to Ireland would be a good one.” But he did not deny it.

Had Lynch become the Dem candidate for gov, I was looking forward to compiling the long list of his politically motivated failures and malfeasances as the people's attorney. (Bad as they were, none came close to his deliberate mishandling of the Station Night Club fire, during which he did not just refuse to prosecute West Warwick Fire Inspector Dennis LaRocque, the man most responsible for the fire, but actively shielded him from the Grand Jury and from being held accountable for all of those deaths and injuries.)

As Klamkin's report was followed by a discussion between John Depetro and Professor Victor Profughi about the feasibility of Lynch returning to politics in due course (presumably after memories have had time to fade somewhat), I won't clear out my Lynch files just yet. For now, it's just nice to know that the actions of Rhode Island's worst Attorney General will not be rewarded in 2011 with the state's highest office.

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If AG Lynch does officially bow out of the Governor’s race today that means, Mr. Caprio no longer has a primary. Therefore, he will have to remove his political signage posted all over the state until the general election.

Posted by: Mark at July 15, 2010 9:46 AM

"Dennis LaRocque, the man most responsible for the fire"

Well, maybe it's just mincing words, but Great White was still the most responsible for the fire, LaRocque was the most responsible for the extent of the fire and the death toll. Sorry.

Good point, Mark, but the question might be whether Lynch has returned his signatures and at what point does dropping out get your name off the ballot? If returning the signatures guarantees a spot on the ballot, regardless of dropout, and if Lynch has done that, then technically there is still a primary. But if Mollis and/or the Board of Elections rules that there will be no Democratic primary for Governor, then your statement would seem correct. Caprio's gotta take 'em down until he meets the criteria of each town's own sign ordinance.

Posted by: Patrick at July 15, 2010 10:05 AM

Why does the lack of a primary require removal of signs?

There's an election in November and can't any candidate in that election post signs?

What am I missing?

Posted by: brassband at July 15, 2010 12:52 PM

Brassband, it's about town ordinances. For example, in Cumberland, you can only put out signs 90 days before the day where your name appears on the ballot. So if you have a primary, it's 90 days before the Sept. primary. If you don't, then it's 90 days before November. If Caprio doesn't have a primary, then he's backed up to the November date.

Posted by: Patrick at July 15, 2010 3:47 PM

Lynch, Caprio, Garrahy, Sundlun, Fox, Smith, Williamson, Murphy and others-all the same toilet bowl of s***.
Since 1934-the longest continously running horror show on the planet-"da party of da workin' people".

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at July 15, 2010 7:03 PM

"maybe it's just mincing words, but Great White was still the most responsible for the fire, LaRocque was the most responsible for the extent of the fire and the death toll."

Let's see. If Dennis LaRoque had done his job, the flammable foam would not have been on the walls and the place would not have quickly turned into an inferno when the band lit the fireworks but might have been only a minor fire or none at all.

If Dennis LaRocque had done his job, the occupancy that night would not have been nearly as high as it was. (It was he who had increased the permitted occupancy 3-4 times, the last time on a completely indefensible basis.) That would have permitted more people to exit if there had been a fire.

He committed other failings and bad actions but those are probably the two biggest.

So, yes, Patrick, you make a fair statement.

Put it another way. Everyone that night - the band, the club owners (not that I would defend them beyond this) and most especially, the patrons - had counted on Dennis LaRocque doing his job conscientiously and in good faith. He did not do so and a lot of other people paid the price - a very high one, indeed, in many cases.

Posted by: Monique at July 15, 2010 8:04 PM

West Warwick Fire Marshall Dennis LaRocque, is a Conservative, and like
all good wing-nuts, he thinks that
building codes are socialistic government intervention into the free market

Posted by: Sam at July 15, 2010 9:27 PM

I'm not sure what LaRocque's politics have to do with anything. He signed on to do a job. If he was grossly negligent in that job and people died as a result he should be held accountable.

You could, I suppose, establish a libertarian community without building or fire codes or inspectors. People in that community would then know that any given building they enter might very well be a death trap. But when the state and the town establish building codes and hire people to ensure the codes are followed, people have a reasonable expectation that the buildings in that town will be safe.

I, of course, cannot get inside Patrick Lynch's mind but, this being Rhode Island, I'm sure I can be forgiven for entertaining the suspicion that the Town of West Warwick, along with its officials, was under the protection of Bill Murphy and, for all practical purposes, immune from prosecution.

Posted by: David P at July 16, 2010 9:59 PM

Kudos to Dave Kane, who the ProJo quoted yesterday as having said (prior to Patrick Lynch's withdrawal announcment) that he would apply some of the funds he received resulting from his son's tragic death in the Station nightclub fire to the effort to keep Lynch from being elected Governor.

Kane has written eloquently about the nauseating corruption that surrounds the Station fire. Let's hope his voice continues to be heard.

Posted by: Bill at July 17, 2010 9:03 PM
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