November 3, 2010

UPDATED: RI House Summary

Justin Katz

The RI House now has 9 Republicans (ten, if you include John Savage, from East Providence). 12% is better than nothing, I guess.

At least both chambers will have heckling sections, now that Rhode Islanders have given the Democrats the run of Rhode Island, with Linc Chafee as a governor alternately to cheer buffoonishly as he spearheads reckless policies and to blame as a "former Republican" when the state continues to deteriorate.

The outcome brings to mind the conclusion of my Providence Monthly essay from last year:

If former Cranston Mayor Stephen Laffey was correct, when he withdrew from the state and from speculative candidacy, that Rhode Islanders simply do not want to bring the feast to an end, then his opponent in the last Republican U.S. Senate primaries will prove to have the perfect head for that three-belled cap. Lincoln Chafee is an "independent" still bearing the stain of his years as a nominal Republican. His pretentions toward fiscal conservatism will make a target of free-market and small-government principles, even as his actual liberalism clears the way for increasing burdens on taxpayers and businesses and facilitates a drunken lurch toward the libertine left in the dark hours of apocalyptic night.

In any case, conservatives might find new liberty in lacking an ally in the hall of power; we'll be free to venture out and rebuild the kingdom from the frontiers in.

All that's left to us, now, is to begin rebuilding the shires, as it were, while the state continues to limp along toward wounded delirium. Too many potential reformers have made the calculation that leaving is the wisest course, and as other states pull out of the recession, leaving Rhode Island behind, that skew will only worsen.


Providence Journal reporter Gene Emery did me the honor of a personal PolitiFact check by email and corrected me on my total, above. The problem wasn't that I miscounted, though; it was that, in my haste to move on to other investigations, I forgot to add the parenthetical note about John Savage that now appears in my first paragraph.

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Laffey was right. Rhode Island isn't ready for what it will take to save it.

Matt Allen is right, too. The "putrid Rhode Island gene" (the expectation and acceptance of mediocrity) has no cure.

My own description is that Rhode Island is in the advanced state of the cancer of Progressivism. The public-employee unions and other special interests, especially those whom Ayn Rand called the "double parasites - those who feed both on the sores of the poor and on the blood of the producers", have spread so widely and deeply through the state that they will inevitably kill off the producers who stay and allow them to feed. The education system that they have created has succeeded in creating at least two generations of Rhode Islanders who are unable to think and fully indoctrinated in the co-dependent mindset.

I will be leaving as soon as I can arrange my affairs. Especially since I am planning to hire two people in my business next year. I wouldn't subject myself to the torture of being an employer in this state.

Posted by: BobN at November 3, 2010 12:49 AM

Matt Allen is my hero. He just flipped off Bill Rappleye (studio cam is awesome) and called him a D-Bag on the air. Was great! Rappleye is thrilled with RI's lurch to the left and told Matt he should move out of state if he doesn't like the way things are. I love it when these "journalists" aka mediots show their true colors.

Posted by: Tim at November 3, 2010 12:57 AM

So the Republicans move up from 11 members in the Assembly to 17, a 55% increase!

The part that I'm going to find interesting now is every time something went wrong, it was Carcieri's fault, not the Assembly's. The left blamed the Republican Governor. Ok, now they have their guy in the Governor's Office. What if things don't get fixed now? Who's fault is it?

This could be interesting in two years if we have the progressives on the left and the conservatives on the right both railing against the incumbent General Assembly.

Posted by: Patrick at November 3, 2010 6:51 AM

Patrick, don't you know? It will be the fault of the Republican Congress for not allowing the federal deficit to continue it's exponential growth to prop up the state deficit.

THey'll be saying that in 2012 we need to make it even more liberal by re-electing Obama and getting rid of the DINOs in the state general assembly.

It's NEVER the fault of the liberals.

Posted by: John at November 3, 2010 8:54 AM

Look at the map on the ProJo's home page -- the one showing that John Robitaille won the vast majority of cities and towns in this State.. . .

I understand that it wasn't a majority in any of these towns, but given the number of folks who voted for this almost entirely unknown Republican candidate, why can't the party field many more competitive candidates for the GA?

We will have had sixteen years of Republican Governors in office . . .why hasn't this party been built up to be competitive?

Posted by: brassband at November 3, 2010 9:51 AM

Great points brass. I kinda saw it the opposite way. Look at the trouncing that Republicans took in Providence. I thought that legal immigrants and rich people are generally conservative. Granted we do have the east siders who seem to have money and be liberal (I don't really understand that too much), but why can't the RIGOP appeal to a broader base in the city? For Robitalle to lose something like 13,000 to 4,000 is just silly. In many local races, the Republican candidate came in third behind independents. Are the people of Providence really that happy with a car tax rate in the $70s (highest in the state) and a property tax rate in the 30s (15 if you have the homestead exemption, like our Gov-elect), but even 15 is higher than a lot of others. Failing schools. Corruption. Is this really what the people of Providence are proud of? Apparently the answer is yes.

Posted by: Patrick at November 3, 2010 10:42 AM

Having seen first-hand, up close, the union GOTV machine in East Providence yesterday, I am not surprised by the Providence results.

The city has a population that is largely apathetic, and turnout was poor except for those who participated in, or were directed by, a massive, military-style, vote production organization.

Remember these two points when you consider the public-sector unions:

1. Just because they are evil doesn't mean they are stupid.

2. They have people on full-time, paid staff whose entire jobs are focused on doing politics. And their "volunteers" by contract get a paid day off to participate in the union's political action. On the right, everyone is doing politics in their spare time, for free. Until this dynamic is balanced it will be very hard for the forces of good to triumph in this hostage state.

Posted by: BobN at November 3, 2010 11:13 AM

Post 1934 Rhode Island in a nutshell:
“The public has spoken, so get your checkbooks out"
Anthony Carcieri

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at November 3, 2010 11:33 AM

What was most surprising in the election returns was from Barrington. Chaffee had 41% of the vote. Do a bunch of union members live in Barrington? Are they a bunch of Socialists? I am trying to figure it out, I would have thought that community was a lock for the republicans.

Posted by: Swazool at November 3, 2010 11:50 AM

Barrington has a high concentration of college professors, lawyers and executives/professionals of "non-profit" social service organizations that derive all of their revenue from the state social services budget.

Posted by: BobN at November 3, 2010 12:03 PM

"Ok, now they have their guy in the Governor's Office. What if things don't get fixed now? Who's fault is it?"

For the next four years, we'll be hearing how poor Linc had a "big mess to clean up" that was left to him by the "failed policies" of Don Carcieri, essentially the same "Don't blame me, Bush left me a big mess" excuse The Chosen One uses all the time.

Posted by: Chris at November 3, 2010 5:45 PM

It just goes to show you that Rhode Island is fu@&ed. RI has passed the tipping point - there are more people sucking off the system, than pay into it, and they will elect those sympathetic to their cause. This will only hasten the demise of the state.
Laffey was smart to leave. He knew winning as Governor was actually losing. There is no hope for this state given the union whores and poverty pimps who treat every taxpayer and business as a cow to be milked. They fail to realize that there are no fences keeping those who pay the bills in RI. Just watch.

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at November 3, 2010 8:30 PM

Chris the "blame Carcieri" game won't work because after 8 years in office Carcieri's job approval numbers are higher than Chafee's "election winning" numbers. lol
Trust me Chafee in office will boost Carcieri's efforts to oust Whitehouse in 2 years

Mike a really important aspect of the national results that has gone under the radar around here is the importance of Republicans winning governorships/state assembly's in places like Ohio, Pennsylvania etc. Because of the census there will be redistricting in those key states which will make the US House of Reps (they control the money) pretty much bullet proof Republican for the next 10 years.
That means Obama liberalism is dead, money will not flow to this bluest of blue states from Washington and Cicilline et all will be powerless, voiceless nobody back benchers for the next decade. All of which will only hasten our badly needed demise.
It's a beautiful thing! Burn baby burn!

Posted by: Tim at November 3, 2010 9:01 PM

"For the next four years, we'll be hearing how poor Linc had a "big mess to clean up" that was left to him by the "failed policies" of Don Carcieri, essentially the same "Don't blame me, Bush left me a big mess" excuse The Chosen One uses all the time."

Let's dispose of that one up front.

Politics on the state level are controlled almost 100% by the General Assembly. Therefore, almost 100% of all big messes and failed policies can be fully attributed to them.

Posted by: Monique at November 3, 2010 10:16 PM


You're absolutely right. However, the left has been telling us that it's not true. The failures of the state have been because of the Governor's Office. So now that they have Lefty Linc in office, they can't really blame the Governor's Office anymore. Will they actually now agree with those of us on the right that have blamed the Assembly all along? And what will the result be?

Depending on their perspective, people are saying that the Assembly moved to the right or "more left". I think they're both correct. I think that of the new people that were elected, very few are small-m moderates. I think the new people elected are either Matt Jerzyk type-lefties or the Tea Party/RIILE membership. It's going to be an interesting dynamic for the Democrats that are remaining in the middle of it all and to see if they are willing to align themselves with the far-left Ajello/Perry types, or actually have to ask the Republicans for help on things. I don't know if they try to do things along if the left and the right can come together to defeat whatever the middle tries to do.

Or even more interesting, in two years when people don't like what the Assembly did, will they think it needs to be "more left" because they didn't think it did enough for them, or will they want it to more "more right" because the Democrats have been so deep in control for so long, we need a better balance. If Congress is any indication, it should move "more right" as the opposition party usually gains seats in a mid-term election. That's exactly what it'll be for Linc next time.

Can't wait to see how this all turns out.

Posted by: Patrick at November 4, 2010 10:13 AM

Who lives in Barrington?Lessee now-Steven Brown,the ACLU turd,,Charlie"the schnorrer" Bakst,Rabbi Alan Flam-all cerified extreme leftist scumbags.

Posted by: joe bernstein at November 5, 2010 12:51 PM

It's a beautiful thing! Burn baby burn!
Posted by Tim at November 3, 2010 9:01 PM

Ha, Ha.
It is going to be quite a show come January with NO more stimulus or bailout money coming from Boehner, you can be sure of that.

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at November 5, 2010 7:20 PM