August 11, 2011

"Cognitive Capacity" in a Court Elevator

Monique Chartier

Kudos to Bob Plain, WPRO's Digital Reporter. He was quick on his feet and got the near dust-up yesterday between Rep Jon Brien and Louis Rainone, Secretary of the NEA-RI, on tape ... er, digital media, as both were exiting the John Leidecker trial proceedings.

What amused me (perhaps unduly so) about the incident was Brien's response to Rainone's insults.

Brien: Just that? I'm an [expletive]?

Rainone: Yeah.

Brien: Oh, okay.

Rainone: Oh, you know what? You're a big [expletive].

Brien: Oooh! That's very... that's very enlightened of you - very enlightened of you. Shows that your cognitive capacity is superior to most.

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These people sound and act like uneducated, violent street thugs, and they make $90-120k+ working for a public teacher's union.

Any teachers on here? Let me ask you - are you proud of your "representation"? Are you happy to spend thousands and thousands of dollars to employ these types of people?

Posted by: Dan at August 11, 2011 10:34 PM

Dan, don't kid yourself, these people ARE "uneducated, violent street thugs", period.

Posted by: stuckhereinri at August 11, 2011 11:21 PM

And I love the irony that this happened after leaving a trial for another teachers union rep who is charged with cyberstalking.

Imagine the outrage if this was two Tea Party members caught with their hands in the cookie jar like this? The left and the unions would be calling for resignations, yet Walsh and Purtill defend these guys.

All teachers should really speak out and demand that these two are fired, or else they do represent the beliefs and ideals of the people they represent.

Posted by: Patrick at August 11, 2011 11:21 PM

Don't leave out the snickering at Gablinske's testimony during the trial. Katie Mulvaney of Projo pointed it out during her recent coverage. It sounds like a scene out of Good Fellas. Rainone must think he's Joe Pesci.

Posted by: Max Diesel at August 12, 2011 7:34 AM

Pity Crowley and his crew.
They want to be longshoremen or teamsters.
{Improbable, irrelevant observation omitted. --MC}
They are just overcompensating. They want to be Marlon Brando's, not Marlon Waynan's.

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at August 12, 2011 8:45 AM

Rainone is also an employee at CCRI.

Do President di Pasquale and Chairman Adrain agree with Mr. Rainone did? This is what CCRI employees should strive to? Governor Chafee, do you agree with what you hear on that recording?

Rainone can work for the NEA for as long as they'll have him, but to be paid with public tax dollars as an employee of CCRI?

Posted by: Patrick at August 12, 2011 8:46 AM

So Rhode Island..a union official AND an elected state representative acting like a couple of hopped-up 20somethings coming of the Roxy at 2 a.m. on a Saturday night.
Given the rhetoric that flies around our political sphere, however, I'm surprised this kind of incident hasn't happened before. And the biggest political bully in the state (Christopher Young) wasn't even in this.

Posted by: bella at August 12, 2011 8:49 AM

Leave to a nitwit like bella to equate Brien's conduct with that of Rainone and Crowley.Brien doen't have a track of threats and harrassment like the NEA operatives he was in the elevator with.
I recall Crowley on RIF braying about "shutting down" the Glenn Beck book signing at Providence Place.It turned out from what the photos posted here showed that about six protesters were suckered into standing in the rain looking like panhandlers.I didn't notice Crowley in the photos.
Chris Young can't be a political bully because,aside from Kara Russo,he has no following to speak of.
The Statehouse gives Chris a free reign(too much if you ask me when it impinges on other peoples' time)as what I guess they consider a tip of the hat to free speech.
Hey,bella-eat some fish-it's brain food you know.

Posted by: joe bernstein at August 12, 2011 9:07 AM

"Given the rhetoric that flies around our political sphere, however, I'm surprised this kind of incident hasn't happened before." - bella

So like all [minority, young, underprivileged, public sector, etc.] individuals, these two are actually *victims* of the system and are not responsible for their behavior. We are all truly to blame here! Thanks for the progressive POV, but it's not particularly helpful.

You think that this hasn't happened before? This happens like 5 times a week in Rhode Island. It just isn't usually recorded.

Posted by: Dan at August 12, 2011 9:13 AM

That guy Lou is a bully. He shows up at all kinds of events and pushes people around. He frightens the elderly, has a big pie hole, and should be put in his place.

He gives unions a bad name. He should be arrested for threatening an elected official. If it was anyone else, they'd be in the can

Posted by: Kathy at August 12, 2011 1:03 PM

"He should be arrested for threatening an elected official."

Exactly. Imagine how loudly Walsh would be screaming if it was the other way around?

And check to see Chafee's reaction to this. Chafee instead says that the GOP chair was wrong for calling out Rainone and that we all need to work together.

What a joke.

Posted by: Patrick at August 12, 2011 1:11 PM

I'll take Rainone's invitation to an elevator meeting. But I'm sure he would chicken out.

And not to defend him, but Chris Young is hardly a bully, much less "the biggest" one in the state... unless you can feel bullied by a wingless gnat.

Posted by: BobN at August 12, 2011 1:48 PM

Must be a bunch of thugs to treat folks like that, eh? Ahem...

Posted by: Russ at August 12, 2011 3:26 PM

Russ - This is an internet forum, not a courthouse. Besides, you're one of the most insulting people here, calling us Nazis and fascists all the time. You should thankful because a judge would throw out 90% of your arguments on 401 or 403 grounds, they're so illogical.

Posted by: Dan at August 12, 2011 4:04 PM

{Deleted for vulgarity and irrelevancy. If the commenter had a substantive point, s/he is welcome to rephrase and repost. --MC}

Posted by: trinity at August 12, 2011 4:04 PM

Trinity must be a Lefty to use language like that here. For all the sparring and the stupidity, the regulars don't sink to that slimy level. T, your post might work at RIF, DU or Kos, but it won't win you any arguments around here.

Posted by: BobN at August 12, 2011 10:28 PM

Read the Projo today - there's a little more to the story.
In violation of R.I. Court policy demanding that cell phones be turned off in court, the deputy (a Johnston Dem politico) allowed Brien to use his while enforcing the policy when seeing others use theirs. I'd say that's as equal an affront to the proceeding as the NEA people snickering.
When Rainone asked the deputy why Brien could use his phone and others couldn't, Brien came over and things got out of hand.
Doesn't repudiate the PRO story. Each reporter saw something the other didn't.

Posted by: bella at August 13, 2011 9:43 AM

This isn't just union people acting like thugs. This is a regular strategy.

Liedecker tried a similar thing as Anthony Carcieri left the infamous East Providence School Committee meeting... trying to start a fight and create sensation. They'll amp up tempers, act like buffoons, but they'll never throw the first punch, because it's all an act. (Although being alone on the elevator might have allowed a bit of leeway, in that respect.)

Folks like Lou don't mind being tarred as long as some of the gunk lands on their political targets, and as Bella amply illustrates, above, their political sympathizers are eager to play along.

Rainone once tried to spread Internet rumors that I'm not really a carpenter. He showed up at an Ed Achorn speech in order to disrupt the Q&A. Interestingly, Liedecker was also at that event but took off when he saw me liveblogging.

This is the strategy. The top guys (like Bob Walsh) at best tolerate it, but probably encourage and facilitate it. And the entire teacher membership of the NEA-RI either supports these activities or is culpably ignorant about the organization that they fund so lavishly.

Posted by: Justin Katz at August 13, 2011 11:15 AM

OK-I can understand the NEA using thugs because their leadership is of the ilk to encourage that while pretending ignorance(read Walsh)but what disgusts me much more is the flaccid mess that gets called Governor(I thought a full complement of chromosomes were required for the job)sounding his most jellylike in addressing the situation.
The same scumbag that wanted to shut down talk radio and rob disabled veterans of their last few dollars.
You know,when people make it a practice to incite trouble and use thug tactics,they have little cause to complain if it comes back at them.
I have yet to hear of leftist legislators threatened by Tea Party people.
bella-are you suggesting that being allowed to use a cell phone justifies the behavior of the thugs?
Your stupidity is truly amazing.

Posted by: joe bernstein at August 13, 2011 12:29 PM

Bella's comments are a case study in the depths of progressive confirmation bias through selective reading. She sounds like a doting kook mother on the playground explaining to the other parent why it was their fault her child hit theirs and kicked over the other kids' sand castle. "Well, they didn't do a very good job including him..."

The "other side to the story" bella presents to mitigate the behavior of the union enforcer only makes him look worse in reality. The "court policy" is what the judge and deputy say is allowed in their courtroom. The representative obtained permission from the deputy to keep his cell-phone - end of story. It's at their discretion. We're supposed to think better of Rainone because he acted like an 8th-grade bully to start a manufactured conflict over somebody else having a cell phone? Totally ridiculous, it's none of his business. If it wasn't the cell phone, it would have just been something else. He was clearly looking to start a fight.

Bella is why Rhode Island is a hopeless case. The braying voters will simply look past anything that doesn't fit in with their happy little progressive story ("Huh? RI #50 for business? That can't be right...")

Posted by: Dan at August 13, 2011 1:15 PM

If anything, that political buffoon of a sheriff comes off worst. The lawyer who got shooshed off her cell phone before the sheriff let his pal Brien play with his should've been over there before Rainone was.
Now that's the kind of Democratic cronyism you should be attacking. Dan's approval of selective enforcement of the rules is something both liberals and conservatives should be worried about. Does anybody really want a courtroom where the sheriff enforces the rules depending on who his buddies are?

Posted by: bella at August 13, 2011 1:24 PM

Ah, I see. So Rainone was simply trying to see the rules enforced fairly. It had absolutely nothing to do with the state representative being a union critic, and he certainly wasn't trying to manufacture a conflict. He's not just a victim - the man is a hero for fairness and equality. Anything else you want to add to this ridiculous red herring narrative you have been weaving, bella? Rainone will be receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor by the time you're finished.

I reiterate - this is why Rhode Island is a hopeless case. The voters are by and large people like bella who either don't care or will comb a story for the one tidbit they can seize upon and distort into a half-assed defense of those they already support. They just see whatever they want to see and delete anything that challenges their simplistic worldview.

Posted by: Dan at August 13, 2011 1:39 PM

Dan, if you think I'm defending Rainone, then you have less command of English than most immigrants who just crossed the border.
Deputy Fife should've tossed all the principals in this mess out of the courtroom. He could've controlled the snickering and the illegal cell phone use. For whatever reasons, he chose not to - horrible mistake in what was obviously an emotionally charged atmosphere on both sides.
This could've been avoided if Fife there had made an effort to control the courtroom. Did Rainone behave badly? Yes, he did. But Brien and Fife did, too, and should not be let off the hook, either.

Posted by: bella at August 13, 2011 1:51 PM

Bella - Missing from your narrative is any recognition of degree, as well as who was clearly the primary instigator. The infractions are not even remotely equivalent, and your attempt to present them as such is a shrewd diversion tactic to draw attention from the real culprits (recurring culprits, I might add). This is why your credibility is zero, you are totally incapable of analyzing a fact pattern and drawing reasonable conclusions based upon it.

Posted by: Dan at August 13, 2011 2:05 PM

Dan, missing from your narrative is any ability to see this in more than one dimension beyond...
Unions: Bad.
Political hacks: Good.
But if you want to defend the actions of political hacks, it reflects more on your credibility (or lack thereof?) than on mine. I thought we shared a common interest in decrying political hackdom, but it looks like I was wrong. If that mistake harms my credibility, c'est la vie.

Posted by: bella at August 13, 2011 2:36 PM

Bella is pretty descriptive of what happened. Did you glean all that from the Projo story? You may not be giving Rainone a pass but you're certainly obfuscating the fact that he had no business opening his mouth about Brien or the sheriff. Whether Brien had his cell phone on or not is none of his business unless of course you're a union thug that already has an ax to grind.

Posted by: Max Diesel at August 13, 2011 2:48 PM

Max, take Rainone out of the equation for a second. Whether Brien is violating court policy (and the deputy is allowing it to happen) is the business of all in the courtroom.
It'll be interesting to see if Capital Police look at that issue in their investigation - I can see the next lawyer told to shut off his or her cell phone in District Court raising the issue.

Posted by: bella at August 13, 2011 3:22 PM

"Max, take Rainone out of the equation for a second."

You can't take Rainone out of the equation. He is the story. If it wasn't for his profanity laced threats, this wouldn't be news. If it was just Brien having his phone on the state police wouldn't be investigating. He's the whole story! It's about a pattern of union thuggery. Cyber-stalking, snickering in court, threatening a state rep. Do you know how ludicrous you sound?

Posted by: Max Diesel at August 13, 2011 4:45 PM

I actually had the misfortune of listening to John Depetro when the "story" broke. I couldn't believe he was trying to turn something so ridiculous into something it wasn't. He had a representative from the State Police on air and was doing the usual Depetro thing and the trooper basically bitch slapped Depetro and put things back into perspective. No charges filed, no story.

Good luck, Bella, your points make perfect sense to me, but then I guess we are part of the vast liberal conspiracy here at Anchor Rising.

Posted by: michael at August 13, 2011 5:50 PM

Oh, and Max, the State Police are not investigating, trust me. I believe the quote was we are "looking into the matter."

Looking and trying to keep a straight face is my guess.

Posted by: michael at August 13, 2011 6:10 PM

Michael - Aside from police involvement (I personally don't think this warrants taxpayer money to investigate), do you think this type of behavior is acceptable from union leadership? Just a question for the record since I know I'll never get a substantive answer from you, especially where any union misdeeds are involved.

Bella - The phone thing is a total non-issue. You can blow your nose with court rules - if it's not bothering the judge then that is the end of the story. Do you know how many times I've had a cellphone in a courtroom and nobody cared? Your arguments read like pro se briefs, focusing on irrelevant details and all the wrong people.

Posted by: Dan at August 13, 2011 7:26 PM

Unfortunately Michael, unlike Providence and apparently this includes your department, there is accountability in public safety...even the state police. Contrary to your opinion, they will investigate. Whether charges are warranted will be up to them. But my point which you obviously missed was that you can't remove Rainone and try to focus on a guy with his phone in the courtroom. It's all about thug behavior.

Posted by: Max Diesel at August 13, 2011 8:03 PM

Max - In the world according to Michael, unions stick up for the working man as management tries to mercilessly screw him. In this world, everyone would be earning minimum wage and working 80 hours a week with no overtime and have no benefits if not for unions. It makes zero economic sense, since most people wouldn't stand for that in 2011 with or without collective bargaining, but this is the narrative that makes the world easy to understand for him and he wraps himself in it like a comfort blanket. Any inconvenient facts or details that don't jive with that narrative don't exist as far as he's concerned ("Unions didn't bankrupt GE, China did," etc.). They'll be making snow angels in hell before you'll ever see Michael denounce or even acknowledge bad behavior coming from a union. It's best to simply post questions for the record (QFRs) so that readers can interpret his non-answers, insults, or silence as the evasiveness that they are and draw their own conclusions.

Posted by: Dan at August 13, 2011 8:38 PM

From 1971-76 I was a NY State Court officer.That job basically combines the duties of Sheriffs and Capitol Police.
In any case likely to draw attention I cannot imagine only one officer assigned
and no one in the hallway.
I worked in some courtrooms where there were as many as 7 or 8 officers assigned
,like Brooklyn Night Court,where the place regularly went up for grabs or the criminal competency hearing courtroom where people were returned to NYC for competency hearings from the state's forensic mental facility upstate and they were generally off their meds and flipping out.
It seems like they try running court security on the cheap around here.

Posted by: joe bernstein at August 13, 2011 9:00 PM

I suppose, Max, but I still think the whole thing is ridiculous, from the behavior of the people involved, the news media blowing it out of proportion and the people here who are trying to make this into something it simply is not.

Posted by: michael at August 14, 2011 2:04 PM

Isn't there still a state law against threatening elected officials? Is there much of a question that Rainone was acting threateningly toward Brien, regardless of cell phone situation?

If that's not threatening, does that mean I can do the exact same thing to any legislator I disagree with?

Posted by: Patrick at August 14, 2011 4:23 PM

"If that's not threatening, does that mean I can do the exact same thing to any legislator I disagree with?"

Good question.

Same situation if John Leidecker is acquitted. Opponent operatives of pro-labor Dem candidates will be able to send around e-mails pretending to be them and, if they're busted, just give the same fairy tale that Leidecker told.

"It was a spoof! Wacka-wacka!"

Posted by: Monique at August 14, 2011 10:25 PM

John Leidecker grew up across the street from me. He was a good guy, good neighbor, took great care of his mentally retarded brother, took care of his mom and sister the best he could and was an Eagle Scout. He also had a ridiculously sharp wit and was tough as nails.

He's a bit older than me, we were never friends, and I'm not at all surprised by the e-mail satire thing, it sounds like something he would do, he used to always be up to something that would drive his parents crazy, but the kids in the neighborhood would love.

Posted by: michael at August 15, 2011 9:12 AM

michael, do you really believe his sole intention was satire? You don't think in the slightest bit that the intent was to misrepresent Gablinske's opinions?

Posted by: Patrick at August 15, 2011 11:28 AM

I had a friend growing up who was always up to mischief, had many admirable qualities. He got caught committing fraud and went to prison. Good.

Posted by: Dan at August 15, 2011 11:44 AM

Patrick, I honestly don't know. I'd like to think he was just being an idiot with no real harm intended, but nothing would surprise me.

Posted by: michael at August 15, 2011 11:57 AM

Michael-I worked with a guy who worked two full time jobs to support his family-bus driver and court officer.
He was one of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet or depend on at work.
He never had a cross word for anyone.
He wound up with a 25 year to life sentence for murdering a passenger on his bus who gave him too large a bill to make change from.It was hard tto feel sorry for him.
So Michael,what is your point about Leidecker?That because he is a nice guy and witty in the bargain,he gets a free pass to fraudulenty screw around with the electoral process?

Posted by: joe bernstein at August 15, 2011 12:03 PM

No point, just some perspective. We'll see what the court has to say about his intent.

Posted by: michael at August 15, 2011 12:22 PM

Deleted for vulgarity and irrelevancy.

Oh, so now you're taking down posts for vulgarity and irrelevance or is it just the left leaning ones?

Besides, you're one of the most insulting people here, calling us Nazis and fascists all the time.

Nope, just you and a couple of others who attempt to shout down anyone with a dissenting view. The right uses the label in exactly the same way, so get off your high horse...

"Leftist Brown Shirts Shut Down Horowitz Speech at Emory"

Posted by: Russ at August 15, 2011 2:35 PM

Horowitz regularly gets shouted down at "liberal arts"colleges to the point where he can't deliver his address.
It happens because he knows the rotteness of the left wing from the inside.The left can't take that kind of sunlight.
Russ,you do not see the extreme right here on AR.
For that,you need to visit Stormfront or some similar happy spot.
BTW your favorite blog,RIF is infamous for banning people simply for criticizing the local leftists icons.

Posted by: joe bernstein at August 15, 2011 3:05 PM

Michael-I guess we just have to wait and see.
Poetic justice here would be some non-political grifter stealing Leidecker's identity and getting a dozen new credit cards.
Now I'd say he wouldn't appreciate the wit and humor in that at all.

Posted by: joe bernstein at August 15, 2011 3:08 PM

"Now I'd say he wouldn't appreciate the wit and humor in that at all."

Really? I'd think it was hilarious. Or would it be funny if he emailed death threats against conservative public officials and he had to spend a weekend in the ACI while it all got cleared up?

Wouldn't he find that satire funny? What a spoof! A real knee-slapper!

Posted by: Patrick at August 15, 2011 3:32 PM
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