November 21, 2011

He Didn't Know It Was In The Bill!

Patrick Laverty

This is a bit of a bombshell that might get glossed over by the media. According to Ian Donnis over at WRNI, Governor Chafee didn't know that the 5.5% new tax on contractors was in the pension bill when he signed it.

Chafee was unfamiliar with the amendment imposing the 5.5 percent assessment when asked about it after signing the pension bill.
Seriously? Ok, so the bill is 114 pages long and they only gave him about 18 hours in between passage and his signing. Who can be expected to read all that?

What this really leads me to ask is where was he while the Assembly session was going on? Why wasn't he following the discussions first hand? In the State House, the floor discussion is available in many rooms, likely including in the Governor's Office. Why wasn't his staff following what was going on? No one in the Governor's Office either knew that the 5.5% tax was added to the bill or thought to tell the Governor?

Remember Chafee's campaign slogan? "Trust Chafee" But we can't even trust him to know what is in a monumental pension reform bill that he signs? Sorry, I just can't trust Chafee.

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You didn't trust Chafee before deliberations, during deliberations and after deliberations.

"I didn't read it" sounds very lame and, personally, I don't think much of the excuse, but please; any pretense of giving the governor a fair hearing on any substantial legislation is just gilding your personal prejudices.


Posted by: OldTimeLefty at November 21, 2011 9:07 PM

There you go, attack the messenger.

Posted by: Patrick at November 21, 2011 9:16 PM

"He Didn't Know It Was In The Bill!"

It's simply not believable. His Director of Administration, Richard Licht, was briefing RI-NPR on the amendment in detail shortly after the Governor had signed the bill.

Are we to believe that Mr. Licht was running around behind the Governor's back sneaking amendments into the bill without his boss's authority???

Posted by: Monique at November 21, 2011 10:07 PM

"Better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt"

So which is worse, that he didn't know it was in the bill or that he's dumb enough to publicly admit it.

Posted by: Max D at November 22, 2011 7:31 AM

If he is too busy with his schedule, I'm sure that Chafee could hire a skilled "reader" for half or a third of Stephen Iannazzi's salary. I've been asked to read and summarize 100+ page bills before on an hour's notice, and that's hardly unusual in the law-related fields.

Posted by: Dan at November 22, 2011 7:51 AM

Do not be too hard on the Missing Linc. He had an excellent role model in "Stretch" Pelosi. Remember "Stretch" said we have to"Pass the bill (HusseinCare) so we can see what's in it". It is the mantra of liberalism. Keep the populace barefoot and pregnant while emptying their pockets.

Posted by: ANTHONY at November 22, 2011 10:47 AM

Aren't you attacking the messenger? This is a game of chasing one's tail (tale). You were doing nothing more than restating your preconvictions. I generally support Chafee, but said that his excuse here was weak in this instance. You never concede him an inch on anything and that is my point. All you can say in reply is a lame "Attack the messenger." Unworthy.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at November 22, 2011 5:16 PM

"You never concede him an inch on anything and that is my point."

That's just another lame attack OTL. You're basically accusing Patrick of having an inability to hold a credible opinion based on past criticisms. In your scenario, once you've criticized, you lose all credibility. Remember, you too called this a lame excuse. Despite it's shortfalls, this is 'monumental' legislation that required his final stamp of approval to become law. Was it asking too much for him to know what he was signing? Was it asking too much that he know he was signing a new 5.5 percent tax increase? Don't you think a majority of the electorate shares the same opinion?

Posted by: Max D at November 22, 2011 11:20 PM

Stupidity. OTL, I like you more than well enough, and I think everyone here knows my strong positive bias towards Gov. Chafee.

But seriously? Linc... man. You spent 2 hours with me going over a map of Native American Reservations I visited randomly one day -- paying attention to every detail and noting points of interest. But you can't be brought to read one of the more important pieces of legislation in RI in at least a few years?

How gullible are we supposed to be? Well, if you didn't read it, you aren't doing your job. If you did read it and said you didn't, you are lying. So either way, foul play.

Maybe John Cucco should have been on this one? I worked with him on policy on the campaign and I know he has a brain. Who is this Brian Daniels guy? Does he know how to read?

Nope, I'm with Patrick on this one. I call BS.

Posted by: jparis at November 23, 2011 2:36 PM

" Was it asking too much that he know he was signing a new 5.5 percent tax increase? Don't you think a majority of the electorate shares the same opinion?"

1. No.

2. Yes.

Posted by: Monique at November 23, 2011 4:22 PM
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