September 13, 2010

The Cooperative Temper

Justin Katz

Among the arguments that candidate Victor Moffitt has made for his election as governor has been an asserted ability to work with the General Assembly without Governor Don Carcieri's "CEO mentality." By that phrase, he means dictating policies and taking an overbearing posture. As I've written, I disagree with that assessment.

I also disagree when Moffitt brings his "accountant mentality" to the question of school regionalization. In that case, I'd argue that the political dimension is far more significant, to final costs, than the arithmetical dimension. (And the fact that the teacher union heads take Moffitt's side should be reason for him to question his stance.

It's interesting, therefore, to see those two threads come together during a Republican primary debate:

"To say that there's no savings in regionalization is a straight-out lie," said Moffitt, still fuming after the taping [of a debate with primary opponent John Robitaille] at Rhode Island College ended. ...

Robitaille said there has been "no documentation that says it will save us any money," and evidence that the "cost of administration per student" in the merged Chariho Regional School District is higher than it is in Westerly. Beyond that, "I believe that control of the schools should be at the local level."

But Moffitt said "anyone in their right mind" would recognize that by whittling 36 school districts down to 4, "we are going to save money ... and have less bureaucracy. Even John should understand there will be less bureaucracy."

The sniping meanness ("even John should understand") on an issue that is certainly arguable, going so far as to fling accusations of lying is discordant against a message of cooperative leadership. That's especially true when the candidate is pitting his assertions of common sense against his opponent's reference to evidence. And this is against a fellow Republican with whom the candidate agrees on most issues.

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I will be voting for Victor tomorrow. The comparison with Westerly does not take into account such as transportation costs.
Also the history of the state in such things as UNEVEN handling funding of vocational training. Davies Vo-Tech for example is totally funded by the state but the Chariho Career & Techincal Center has not been.
I do not necessarily agree with Victor on all issues but he has put out some ideas to think about. Regionalization needs to be evaluated on how it is set up. Also to what extent you want to maintain local control also needs to be considered on regionalization issues.
While I don't think only business people should serve in office, Victor seems to have an advantage over John Robitaille with business expertise.
As a Republican, I think Victor would be a better party builder than our current Governor. He also has legislative experience which is a "plus".
Scott Bill Hirst
Candidate for Town Council-Hopkinton
Vice Chairman, Hopkinton Republican Town Committee
Member, Rhode Island Republican State Central Committee
Member, Hopkinton Finance Board, 1991-96
Member, Hopkinton Town Council, 1996-2004
Member, Board of Fire Commissioners, Ashaway Fire District, until Tuesday, September 21,2010

Posted by: Scott Bill Hirst at September 13, 2010 2:11 PM

Hi again,
I am a Chariho graduste, Class of 1971,.

Posted by: Scott Bill Hirst at September 13, 2010 2:16 PM

OSPRI released a report that clearly shows that school consolidation will not save money. Yes, on the surface it does seem to make sense that it will, until one does their homework. That is the key. Victor's soundbites are just that. He does not do his homework. The Republican city and town chairman have endorsed John Robitaille and are looking forward to working with him as Governor. In the past week Victor has lost his credibility by making false statements about John Robitaille and even throwing our Governor under the bus on a live TV debate; blaming him for all of the ills of the last 8 years. He actually just lost the respect of many Republicans by going there. This state is a mess because of the Democrats in the general assembly.

Posted by: Phil at September 13, 2010 7:03 PM

Our family is supporting John Robitaille.

Posted by: Kathy at September 13, 2010 10:31 PM

Everybody wants to be like Phil. What a burden to carry. The only thing I like about Moffitt is his crazy idea about a giant aquarium. Maybe we could go one better and install huge tanks along route 95 and fill them with water and lobsters and make a bundle on roadside sales.

The One

The Only

The Original Phil

Posted by: Phil at September 14, 2010 3:33 PM

The Governor has NOT been a party builder and that fact very likely be covered by political scientists, historians,journalists,political professionals, as well as rank and file Republicans in Rhode Island.
That fact has NOTHING to do with either gubernatorial candidate.

P.S. If John wins the primary I would glad to welcome him to my town. However lets not rewrite Republican party history about the Carcieri years!

Posted by: Scott Bill Hirst at September 14, 2010 5:48 PM
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