January 2, 2007

The Rope They'll Hang Us With

Justin Katz

I know the dollar amount is minimal, and I'm not even sure that I'd make any blanket policy suggestions, but something just seems wrong with making taxpayers cover expenses for this:

Rhode Island sent three state lawmakers to Washington, D.C., last month for a conference put on by the Center for Policy Alternatives.

Rep. Edith H. Ajello, D-Providence; Rep. Arthur Handy, D-Cranston; and Sen. Juan M. Pichardo, D-Providence; attended the three-day conference Dece. 8 to 10 at the Capitol Hilton. Seminar topics included same-sex marriage, mortgage foreclosure laws and predatory lending, stem-cell research and divestment from Sudan.

Also part of the trip was a day-long seminar put on by Catholics for Free Choice, in conjunction with the Center for Policy Alternatives. Besides abortion rights, discussion topics included preventing pregnancy through age-appropriate sex education in schools, Ajello said.

Ajello described the Center for Policy Alternatives as "A progressive organization that works on public policy issues at the state level, providing information and model legislation on this range of issues." She said she didn’t come back with specific bills she plans to file, but rather that the conference provided an opportunity to consider ways to frame the issues during discussion back in Rhode Island.

Again, the cost — just under $500 per person — is insignificant in its effect on the state budget, but implementation of the CPA's agenda would be much less benign. Indeed, my negative reaction to the trip is more a moral one... against making us finance the processes of our own state's demise. It seems especially wrong given that the CPA makes is frighteningly comprehensive guide to undermining a society available online for free.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Whenever I read about "progressive" groups, I can't help but think back to when Howard Dean became the DEM spokesman. On Meet the Press, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson was asked how Dean got the position. His response - “there are a lot of progressives now in the democrat party.”

I think we will see much more of this but hopefully the blue-dogs and progressives will fight amongst themselves.

As for paying for the trip - who (with power) in RI is going to complain?

Posted by: WJF at January 2, 2007 6:41 AM

I still love the ongoing attempt to use to term 'progressive' to replace 'raving whack-job liberal' and 'socialist'

Posted by: Greg at January 2, 2007 8:28 AM

I have some questions.

1.) Where is the line between education and lobbying?

2.) In addition to the $500 footed by taxpayers, did the conferences themselves pay any of the expenses of this trip? [This may or may not make it onto legislator disclosure reports - e.g., "Ginseng" Joe Montelbano.]

3.) Do these legislators agree to attend a conference which presents the opposite view on same-sex marriage, stem-cell research, abortion rights and sex education?

Posted by: SusanD at January 2, 2007 2:41 PM

Greg buddy
The term Progressive, replaced Liberal
on nov 7,2000
The same day that conservative replaced "right wing nut-job"
aka "right wing homophobe nut-job"
or "compasionate homophobe"

Posted by: steve at January 2, 2007 4:29 PM

$500? These guys are amateurs. You want to see real boondoggle spending, check out corporate America. Those guys really know how to waste money.

Many, many companies offer perks to the CEO that you wouldn't believe. Like dry cleaning. $10 mil a year, and he can't even pay for his dry cleaning. Which means YOU do, in the form of higher prices.

Michael Brush as msn moneycentral has a whole slew of articles on this topic.

Posted by: klaus at January 2, 2007 8:17 PM

Actually klaus, if the prices are too high, YOU don't need to purchase the products offered by that CEO's company. That's the beauty of competition.

Taxes offer no such options. The state takes taxes from my pay before I even see the check.

Posted by: rightri at January 2, 2007 8:50 PM

I'd classify this as a junket. I don't think either side wants to take a closeer look at legislative junkets.

Posted by: Rhody at January 3, 2007 1:51 AM

So Klaus, if you acknowledge that we, the consumer pay for the CEO's dry cleaning, would you also admit that we, the consumer pay when liberals raise taxes on businesses and that it ends up hurting the consumer when you over-regulate businesses?

Posted by: Greg at January 3, 2007 1:22 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Important note: The text "http:" cannot appear anywhere in your comment.