July 8, 2011

Mayor Baby Daddy

Marc Comtois

Expecting politicians to act with sexual propriety is loser's bet, I know. And you can call me an up-tight, un-modern Puritan prig or whatever, but it just isn't good when the Mayor of the largest city in the state--someone who is, correctly and properly, a role model for minority youth--reveals he is having a child out of wedlock.

The baby with live-in girlfriend Farah Escamilla, a legal assistant for a Providence law firm, is Taveras' first. The due date is Jan. 4 or 5, almost exactly a year after he became the city's mayor.

He began dating Escamilla, who Taveras said is from Providence, shortly after his inauguration and subsequent break-up with [a] longtime girlfriend.... Taveras said he and Escamilla were friends for more than four years before they began dating.

Although the baby was not planned, Taveras, 40, said he and his family are "really excited." He and Escamilla don't know the baby's sex yet, and the mayor didn't say whether marriage was in his future.

Obviously, Mayor Taveras is excited. Look, there are "oopses" in life, I get it, and he still has time to "make it right" as they used to say. I just don't think he should get a pass for a lack of judgment and discretion.

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Umm, Marc...
"The point is that we simply don't make it a regular practice to get into the private life shenanigans of our politicians just for the sake of it. Really. Now, I won't claim universal abstinence on our--or my--part (methinks references to Patrick Kennedy may include some allusions, for instance), but generally we try to focus on issues and wonkdom."


Posted by: Patrick at July 8, 2011 9:02 AM

How long have you been holding that in your holster, Patrick? Nice try, but I did say "regular practice." Besides, I've been generally supportive of the Mayor's political agenda, but the results of his personal behavior undermine the argument that the social costs of unwed mothers lead to real costs in our city, state and federal budgets, like those he's been dealing with in Providence. I'm sure you'll think that's a stretch by me to legitimize the post, but that's actually what my point was and I didn't think it necessary to belabor the point.

Posted by: Marc at July 8, 2011 9:33 AM

I haven't been holding anything in any holster. I generally agree with your posts about 90%+ of the time. Probably more than any of the other posters on here. I just remembered that it had been written (I'd originally thought by Justin) that AR generally tries to stay away from the personal lives and mistakes of politicians.

Otherwise, wouldn't it make sense to bring up the Watson stuff immediately as it pertained to the medical marijuana debates and his opinions on that?

Posted by: Patrick at July 8, 2011 9:54 AM

Patrick, a fair point. At the time, I didn't know Rep. Watson had been a supporter of Medical MJ, etc. I also think that, whether subconsciously or not, I tend to avoid "personal" type stories when it seems everyone else is jumping on them too. In Watson's case, that was certainly true. It is my belief that the Taveras story won't meet with the same level of condemnation as the Watson story did from the general media, commentariate, etc. (not that they warrant the same level, I think you know what I mean). Call it filling a gap in the coverage? I don't know. Anyway, thanks for the opportunity to self-analyze, btw.

Oh, and I was just kidding about the holster.

Posted by: Marc at July 8, 2011 10:01 AM

Today's real scandal regarding I'm No Angel is the golocalprov reoprt that the much heralded "$6 million firemen giveback" is A FRAUD:

E-Mail Blasts Providence Fire Contract

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Friday, July 08, 2011

Dan McGowan, GoLocalProv News Contributor

An anonymous e-mail sent to the media and every member of the Providence City Council yesterday criticized the apparent lack of savings in the contract the Fire Department recently agreed to with the city.

The message, which was sent from the e-mail address WHEREARETHEFIRESAVINGS@YAHOO.COM, blasts Mayor Angel Taveras for moving forward with a 13 percent property tax hike while failing to get the savings he needed from the Firefighter’s Union.
Message: Only $1.2 Million In Savings

The message claims the city will only save $1.2 million in 2011. Taveras originally said he wanted to save $6 million in both the fire and police departments.

“Under this tentative agreement the Taveras administration negotiators have given away an opportunity to begin to reduce the city’s healthcare costs,” the e-mail reads. “Why would the Taveras administration eliminate precedential contract language agreed to by the Cicilline administration? They did so when they eliminated the clause committing employees to contribute $632,000 in healthcare co-share money they would have collected this year.”

“Firefighters still have no co-share for healthcare! All other Providence unions have long since agreed to pay some co-share for their healthcare! They have also agreed to a potential increase in the leave of absence costs, by $834,500 in one year alone. They have agreed to an increase in vacation time, which may increase by an additional 32 hrs per employee, per year, which translates into an additional cost increase of $556,500 per year! This agreement gives all fire employees a potential for a 3.5% pay raise, by paying them additional pay stipends to be certified as EMT’s and hazardous material specialists etc. As we understand it, overtime costs alone are now in the range of $7 million per year.”

The message, which also leaked out to some city residents, calls on residents to contact their City Councilmen and make sure they have looked carefully at the new contract.
Mayor Taveras: I Am Grateful To Local 799

The firefighters overwhelmingly voted to support the contract last week, less than a year after former Mayor David Cicilline reached an agreement with the department for the first time in nearly a decade. The deal came shortly after he announced his run for Congress, which he went on to win.

Mayor Taveras has praised the Fire Union for coming to the table and helping the city in its time of need.

“I am grateful to Local 799 leadership for their willingness to accept significant reductions to their labor agreement,” Taveras said. “Despite just recently having settled a longstanding contract dispute, Local 799 came to the table willing to negotiate a solution that allows us to create significant savings without cutting jobs or compromising our fire and rescue services. I commend Local 799’s willingness to help our City during this time of critical need.”
Changes To Contract

According to a press release sent by the city, the major changes to the new contract are as follows:

* The union is set to forgo a three percent pay raise that, per current contract, was due on 6/30/11, saving the City $1 million FY12.

* Structural changes to the contract include a reduction in minimum manning from 92 to 90. This reduction enables the city to significantly reduce personnel, operations and overtime costs.

* A significant savings was achieved by deferring retroactive pay that, per the union’s current contract, was due on July 30, 2011. Rather than receive the funds stipulated in the current contract, firefighters will receive 25 percent on 7/30/11, 25 percent on 7/1/12 and the remainder on 7/1/13.

* Healthcare co-shares increase in each year reaching $1,170 for single and $2,340 for family by FY16.

* New hires will move more slowly up “steps,” with the new contract requiring new recruits to work five years to get to the top step versus the two years it takes now.

* New hires will be eligible for a pension after 25 years, rather than 20 years, as stipulated in the current contract. New hires will contribute 9 percent to their pension vs. the 8 percent they contribute today.

* A one-week reduction of paid vacation time will create additional savings by reducing the amount of overtime the City must pay to cover shifts.

Shared Sacrifice

Fire Union Chief Paul Doughty said his department has committed to being a part of the shared sacrifice everyone in Providence needs to make.

“Like many in the community, the men and women of the Providence Fire Department have been asked to share in the sacrifice necessitated by the severe budget crisis facing the City,” Doughty said. “While these cuts will be a hardship for many in the department, we negotiated an agreement that keeps people working and creates significant financial relief for Providence.”

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at July 8, 2011 10:24 AM

Having a baby out-of-wedlock isn't abnormal for the up-and-coming generation. College loans are saddling our best-and-brightest with decades' worth of debt that reduces attractiveness of marriage and home-purchasing; Meanwhile, biological clocks keep ticking at the same pace they always did. Many women I know in their mid twenties and thirties have decided to just 'go for it' instead of waiting for their fiscal house to come to order.

Look, you can have a baby in your early twenties right out of college and then start focusing on finding 'a nice guy' and 'a nice job', still look and feel great, boost your chances of a healthy baby, and get some assistance (WIC, food stamps) while you're paying-off your loans. If you wait until your loans are paid-off, own a home, have a great husband, and are mid-career you're likely going to 'ruin' your body with pregnancy, get no government help, possibly lose your job, and the chances you child will have defects are an order of magnitude higher.

It's a perverse combination of incentives we've built-up over time. Personally, in today's climate, my advice to a daughter graduating high school would be, "Once you find a nice boyfriend, make a kid ASAP. Then use your time at home to learn a trade, get a job in that trade, and have your employer help pay for college while you save for a home. Get married when you feel like it."

Posted by: mangeek at July 8, 2011 10:29 AM

Uptight prig.

Posted by: Russ at July 8, 2011 2:28 PM


You apparently are wasting your key strokes. Society doesn't want responsible role models anymore. As long as you can run, catch, shoot, sing, or play an instrument, it matters not that you have reproduced in almost every major city in and around the US. While its nice that Angel is 'taking' responsibility, it would have been nice to see him exercise some before conception. I'm sure Russ and his ilk are all giddy because it validates the behavior that enslaves the less fortunate to progressives.

Posted by: Max Diesel at July 8, 2011 2:50 PM

Another area where conservatives and libertarians part ways. There is nothing inherently good or bad about a piece of paper from government saying you are married. The real issue is whether a father and a mother can support and raise their child without burdening society, which only loosely correlates to marriage. Taveras is a 40-year-old corporate attorney, now the mayor of a major city. This child will not be living on welfare and food stamps, so what business is it of ours? I am genuinely happy for him.

This has nothing to do with integrity or the ability of Taveras to do his job. If the mayor came on here and posted a big "F--- You" in response to this nonsense, then I would be more inclined to vote for him, not less.

Posted by: Dan at July 8, 2011 3:25 PM

someone who is, correctly and properly, a role model for minority youth--reveals he is having a child out of wedlock.

If anything, I'd say he's only following the example of his constituents. They hardly need his example to do what their friends, neighbors, and relatives have already been doing for generations.

Posted by: EMT at July 8, 2011 3:48 PM

I agree with Dan completely. Marc, you are entitled to this opinion but a piece of paper doesnt make a man a good father. He can be an excellent, loving, commited father and partner without subscribing to a religeous or legal tradition.

Posted by: Rich at July 8, 2011 10:08 PM

What matters is the atmosphere Mayor Taveras and his girlfriend bring up the child in.
Marriage is no guarantee of good parenting or superior morality.
I have a son and a daughter-my daughter's been married almost five years and they have an 18 month old girl.
My son and his girlfriend have been together eight years and have a daughter going on six,and another child on the way.
There isn't a dime's worth of difference between the two situations as far as good parenting and love goes.
My son and his girlfriend have their own reasons for not getting married which are no one's business(neither is married FWIW)and they've been together longer than some folks who had big weddings.
My grandaughter(the older one)oughta talk with Marc though-last year at Christmas dinner,just after turning five,she stated for everyone to hear that her parents should've gotten married before having kids-go figure.
She has my son's surname of course.
My wife's youngest sibling was kiving with ther boyfriend and her parents pressured her to get married for "decency's"sake.
So she wound up married to a total piece of s**t for 27 years until he took off on her.
My wife and I played it conventially and married almost 41 years ago-we had our first child after about five years.
That doesn't give me the right to get all judgemental about someone else's relationship.
Taveras seems to be doing a reasonably good job under the circumstances-that's my main concern as a Providence resident.

Posted by: joe bernstein at July 8, 2011 11:13 PM

Guess he came home one night feeling his oats after putting all those teachers out of work.
Wonder if he always wore a condom with the longtime girlfriend.
I'd be willing to bet the people who scream loudest about how "immoral" Angel is are the anti-abortion crowd.

Posted by: bella at July 9, 2011 2:19 AM

bella-as usual your ignorance shows.
I am anti-abortion and not being critical of Mayor Taveras on this issue at all.
Better use of birth control can limit abortions.
Sometimes you really ought to consider putting your brain in gear before responding.

Posted by: joe bernstein at July 9, 2011 5:40 AM

bella-You have a problem with Taveras' handling of the situation with teachers?
He dropped the hammer on the police and fire departments also and many non-union employees.
Taveras isn't exactly a conservative,but he's a realist.
Cicilline was a filthy piece of garbage who brought this crisis about to a large degree.
He got rewarded by getting elected to Congress by idiots.

Posted by: joe bernstein at July 9, 2011 12:34 PM

Who cares? It's up to the Mayor and his girlfriend how many babies they choose to have together. I don't care if they're married or not.... as long as I'm not supporting them.

Posted by: Who Cares? at July 13, 2011 7:34 PM
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