The Way It’s Done

This definitely has a very Rhode Island ring to it:

When a family-owned Pennsylvania trucking company announced plans early this year to build a New England distribution center in Johnston and create 120 well-paying jobs, Governor Carcieri and Mayor Joseph M. Polisena hailed it as an economic triumph.
But when tax-incentive legislation to help lure the company to Rhode Island went up to the State House, it ran into an unexpected roadblock — Sen. Stephen D. Alves, D-West Warwick, chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee.
Now, the FBI is investigating whether Alves killed the measure to punish Polisena for not investing Johnston pension funds with Alves, a stockbroker.
The federal investigation is part of a larger probe of the possible intersection of Alves’ private investment business with his public office — a probe that has reached into Johnston, Woonsocket, Cranston, Lincoln and Alves’ hometown of West Warwick, according to officials in those communities. …
A UBS spokeswoman in New York said Friday that the company is “cooperating fully” with the investigation, but declined to elaborate. She confirmed that Alves has left UBS, but would not say why.

I have no idea how the FBI would prove such a thing. In some places, the controversy would be enough to cost Alves his position, as it may have cost him his job. In Rhode Island… well, in Rhode Island, I suspect we’d be surprised how few people in West Warwick know who he is.

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Greg
Greg
13 years ago

WHAT?! Another corrupt politician using the power the people loaned him to advance his own wallet? I wish I was even slightly surprised by this.

jd
jd
13 years ago

I’m surprised it took this long, Liberace Alves has been pulling this garbage with cities and town since the early 90’s. This loser is the absolute worst of a bad lot.
I better not say more or I could end up in court.

rhody
rhody
13 years ago

Alves is precisely the kind of jerk the GOP should be focused on taking down, instead of beign obesssed with Amy Rice and the like.
But then again, Alves has never been accused of being progressive.

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
13 years ago

Rhody,
I agree that the Republicans should be more aggressive about “calling” the Democrats on their behavior.
OTOH, it’s not the Republicans job to police the internal workings and membership of the Democrat Party – that’s what the Democrats are supposed to be doing.
The Democrats – both rank and file and leadership – are uniformly and universally silent about Alves; Pauly “pat you down for looking for a wire” Moura; Joe “conveniently forgets about 80k a year from West Warwick” Montalbano; John “I think I’ll make my wife a Magistrate for life as a Christmas present” Harwood; etc. etc. etc.
Dare we call this silence “Democrat Omerta”?
The Democrats who aren’t directly participating in corrupt activities are, by their silence and acquiescence, tacit supporters of the corruption … enablers of it.
Therefore it follows that the entire Democrat Party in Rhode Island is complicit, and corrupt.
Even here in ethically lax Rhode Island the average citizen intuitively realizes this, which explains why in this bluest of states more are registered as Independents than Democrat.
After all, why would any decent person want the taint of public association with the enabling organization of the Alves, Montalbano’s, Moura’s and Harwood’s of the world?

Aldo
Aldo
13 years ago

Justin,
To answer your question as to how the FBI would prove any of it? How about Chapter 96 of Title 18 of the United States Code, 18 U.S.C. § 1961 through 18 U.S.C. § 1968 other wise known as the RICO Act!
Alves filed an illegal SLAPP suit back in 2001 because of Letters to the Editor regarding the WW Pension Fund as well as a local school building project. In my opinion, his ILLEGAL Lawsuit was financed by taxpayers through quid pro quo arrangements.
By the way, when Alves brought in UBS to “manage the WW Pension Fund, it was funded at almost 98% with an unfunded liability of $1.6 million. Today it is less than 43% funded with a UAAL of over $51 million!
As an aside, 13 months after he brought in UBS, he was hired by the as a VP for Investments.
Shall I go on?
If you want to take a look at the whole sordid history, check out Hal Meyers website:
http://alvessucks.com

Thomas
Thomas
13 years ago

Ragin-
That’s possibly the worst logic I’ve seen… even here.

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
13 years ago

“Ragin- That’s possibly the worst logic I’ve seen… even here.”
Yeah, I guess you’re right, since I neglected to give credit to all of those Democrats that have stood up and publicly denounced the activities and behavior of Celona; Irons; Montalbano; Harwood, Moura, etc.
Democrats like, uh, uh, uh. Well, I’m sure there must be at least one Democrat out there who has bucked their party’s tide and stood up for clean and honest government. Just give me a little time, I’m sure a name will come to me …

Aldo
Aldo
13 years ago

Lou Raptapkis!!!!

John
John
13 years ago

Yeah, let’s give Lou full marks for standing up to the Murphy/Fox/Montalbano/Paiva Weed brain trust (no disrespect meant to you, Paulie).
But let’s not forget the real disappointments in this story, starting with Mike “I still support Senate President Montalbano, but I still want people to think I’m Mr. Clean Government” Lenihan. When his RI political obituary is written, HYPOCRITE (or maybe just COWARD) will be in the headline…

Monique
13 years ago

“After all, why would any decent person want the taint of public association with the enabling organization of the Alves, Montalbano’s, Moura’s and Harwood’s of the world?”
… Irons, Celona, Bevilaqua. Ragin is correct. Most of the Democrats I’ve met in Rhode Island – aside from those in public office or current members of a public labor union – are disgusted by the openly self-serving (not to mention unprofessional) behavior of state and local Democrat politicians.
And not only have they disaffiliated, many such Democrats actively work for the campaigns of local Republican and independent candidates. In October 2004, one such friend called me to discuss ad copy and other campaign items for some local Republican candidates. What she said at the end of the call and how incongruous it was didn’t really sink in until after the election: “okay, gotta go make some calls for the Kerry campaign!”

Thomas
Thomas
13 years ago

Ragin-
Your argument was that all Democrats, including the rank and file, who have not stood up and denounced Alves (and every other Dem. politician you believe to be corrupt), are “tacit supporters of the corruption … enablers of it”.
You might name all the Republican politicians, especially those in the General Assembly, and also the Republican rank and file who have denounced Alves. I assume all the rest must be “tacit supporters of the corruption”?
Or, maybe your argument is just a tad too broad.
By the way, I agree on one point: Alves and Montalbano should go. As a Rhode Isand resident, and totally independent of party loyalties, I am ashamed of their behavior.
By the way, when did it become party line to call it the Democrat Party, rather then by it’s official name?

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
13 years ago

“Lou Raptapkis!!!!”
I know the name but not his record, but I’ll take your word for it.
BTW, I’ve not been saying that people are bad because they are Democrats or Democrat office holders (that just means that their policies are inherently bad).
So I’m open to the idea that there are some honest, incorruptible Democrat officeholders in RI. But given the record in this State, they’re all too rare and NOT representative of the Democrat Party on average.
Which is too bad. It’s one thing to have misguided but honest liberal Democrats, like in Minnesota – one can vehemently disagree with their socialist policies, but at least respect them as people. It’s a whole ‘nuther thing to have the mob-influenced corrupt Democrats like we have here, who deserve nothing but contempt (and jail time).

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
13 years ago

“Your argument was that all Democrats, including the rank and file, who have not stood up and denounced Alves (and every other Dem. politician you believe to be corrupt), are “tacit supporters of the corruption … enablers of it. You might name all the Republican politicians, especially those in the General Assembly, and also the Republican rank and file who have denounced Alves. I assume all the rest must be “tacit supporters of the corruption”?”
Granted there are a lot of appeaser / lap dog “Republicans,” particularly in the General Assembly. Not only about corruption, but in policy matters I can’t respect their appeasement in return for some legislative grant money mentality. I have no problem lumping them in as enablers. OTOH, let’s face it, in the General Assembly the Republicans are irrelevant – they don’t have the numbers (or the spine) to matter.
But like the recent video / cheating scandal with the NE Patriots – ultimately the onus is on the Patriots organization to clean up its own act and culture, not the other teams.
The Democrats have the overwhelming majority and the power – if they won’t clean up they’re own act, nothing will change for the better (despite the best efforts of the U.S. Attorney – he’ll put some in jail and new ones will take their place, just like we have “Operation Dollar Bill” following RISDIC).

Thomas
Thomas
13 years ago

Ragin,
I took issue with the statement “Therefore it follows that the entire Democrat Party in Rhode Island is complicit, and corrupt.” as unnecesarily insulting a lot of people of good will and integrity (independent of disagreement with the policies they support).
I don’t disagree with anything in your last post.

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
13 years ago

Thomas –
There is perhaps a nuance that I should have been clearer about – “Democrat Party” was meant to refer to it as an institution / organization … not every single “Democrat.”
Due to the misdeeds of a substantial (and visible) segment of the Party (including among its leadership), and the lack of apparent criticism (or ostracism) from within the Party when it is exposed, it is fair (I believe) to taint the entire Party. Particularly for office holders who are in effect the voice of the Party: silence = acquiescence = tacit complicity.
Kind of like Enron – there were a lot of honest working stiffs in the company just trying to make an honest living, but “Enron” has (rightfully) become a poster child phrase synonymous for corporate corruption.
So too has the Democrat Party in RI – it has given this State a national reputation for political corruption – which looks to be further solidified with the upcoming “Operation Dollar Bill” indictments.

Rhody
Rhody
13 years ago

As long as Alves, Murphy, Montalbano, et al, run the R.I. Democratic Party, you cannot automatically equate “Democrat” with “liberal” or “progressive.” Carcieri counts on these guys to keep liberal and progressive Democrats under their thumb.

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
13 years ago

“As long as Alves, Murphy, Montalbano, et al, run the R.I. Democratic Party, you cannot automatically equate “Democrat” with “liberal” or “progressive.” Carcieri counts on these guys to keep liberal and progressive Democrats under their thumb.”
The RI Democrat Party was run by that kind long before Carcieri, and there’s no reason to believe that it won’t continue this way long after Carcieri is gone (or Corrente, for that matter).
To the extent that there is a “liberal and progressive” wing of the RI Democrat Party, they’re complicit too – have you heard a peep out of Teresa Paiva-Weed or Rhoda Perry?
Perhaps they don’t like the situation, but as a member of the public I can only judge them by their public words and deeds, and it is fair to interpret their silence as approval, or at least acceptance, of the status quo.

johnpaycheck
johnpaycheck
13 years ago

lost in all this is that you have to hire a lobbyist for $10000 to get face time at the state house.

johnpaycheck
johnpaycheck
13 years ago

lost in all this is that you have to hire a lobbyist for $10000 to get face time at the state house.

rhody
rhody
13 years ago

Time for Teresa and Rhoda to speak up, perhaps. I can only hope their silence is preparation for a progressive coup against the Democratic Assembly leadership in both houses. If it requires working with GOP reps and senators, go for it.

Greg
Greg
13 years ago

The state GOP doesn’t have to get involved at all. All we have to do is sit back and wait for the union wing of the party and the poverty pimp wing to eat each other.

Citizen Critic
Citizen Critic
13 years ago

Teresa Paiva-Weed is no angel. She is no friend of the people. She is one of the slimeballs who killed the Voter Initiative amendment in committee, denying the citizens of Rhode Island a greater voice in their government.

johnpaycheck
johnpaycheck
13 years ago

week was apponited only bc she was a woman. she has no clue on business issues. recent interview. had no idea taco was one of the biggest employers in the stste.she just plays along.

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