June 11, 2011

Bob Kerr: Answers about the Iannazzi Hiring as Accurate as Blind Date Pre-Screening Information

Monique Chartier

Those like myself who are obsessed with politics to the exclusion of almost everything else can be excused for passing lightly over Bob Kerr's column yesterday; the headline

The blind date doesn’t seem to be working out

gave the impression that the topic of the column was lifestyle or culture.

Not so.

It’s like a blind date pitch: “Great personality, really funny, gets along with everybody in the dorm …”

The details are, uh, selective. A fondness for guzzling Jell-O shots and jumping on the bar screaming, “I am the love machine” is overlooked, as is the neck-circling anaconda tattoo and a tendency to describe almost everything with an f-bomb. ...

And so it is at the Rhode Island State House, where [Senate Majority Leader] Dominick Ruggerio tried to fix up a guy while going light on the details.

Kerr points out that one of the people trying to get information about this unsolicited, unposted $88,000 salary fix-up with the Rhode Island taxpayer's wallet is his ProJo colleague, Ed Achorn.

Achorn asked questions, such as “Was the job posted?” and “What qualifications does Mr. Iannazzi bring to the job?”

Ah, but such specificity does not usually go well for either blind dates or patronage hires.

Questions always mess things up: “How tall is he/she?” “Has he/she ever been arrested?” “Does he/she tend to scratch a lot?”

Indeed, substantive answers about the Iannazzi hiring either do not exist or apparently would not be flattering to those in charge as Dominick Ruggerio responded in the mode of Anthony Weiner pre-confession.

But rather than answer the questions, Ruggerio went for the redo. Iannazzi, he said on the Journal op-ed page, is “superbly qualified for this position and has a diverse skill set.” He also said that officials at the State House have praised Iannazzi’s ability, work ethic and knowledge of the issues. I think that means he gets along well with everybody in the dorm, er, the State House.

Oh, great - collegiality over qualification and even necessity: isn't that partly why Rhode Island is in so much financial trouble? (Nice job with the column, Bob.)

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Why would a communist-hippie from Massachusetts care about RI taxes? He only works in this state and has no vested interest here.

Posted by: dave at June 13, 2011 7:33 AM

Well, Dave, let's stipulate for a moment your description of Bob Kerr.

The only conclusion to draw is that Rhode Island politics have become so rancid that even a "communist-hippie from Massachusetts" is compelled to disapprove.

(It should be noted here that Mr. Kerr not only served in the military but served in combat. Against a communist regime, by the way.)

Posted by: Monique at June 14, 2011 9:20 PM
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