Alves’ Probable Defense: I’m So Powerful, I Can Kill Any Finance Provision for Any Reason, So Who’s to Say I Did It for Corrupt Ones

Senator Stephen Alves defense against allegations that he tried to use his position as Senate Finance Committee chair to compel Rhode Island cities and towns to give him their pension business is taking shape. It looks as if Senator Alves will argue that his committee chairmanship gives him such absolute power over Senate finance matters, he is able to kill any specific item for any reason he wants, making it impossible to prove that the town of Johnston’s decision not to do pension business with him was the reason he spiked the Duie-Pyle tax deal.
Mike Stanton, for instance, reports in today’s Projo that Senator Alves is suggesting that the failure of lobbyists for Duie Pyle to approach him using proper protocol was enough of a reason for him to kill the deal…

[Senator Alves] said that he wasn’t opposed to the tax break for Duie Pyle, but that advocates for the company failed to lobby him in a timely fashion….
As Senate Finance chairman, Alves helps shape the budget that the House Finance Committee passes, sitting with his House counterpart, Rep. Steven M. Costantino, D-Providence, to hash out what’s in and what’s out. Those meetings are so secretive, said Rep. Jan. P. Malik, D-Warren, that he’s not even allowed to attend — and he’s a vice chairman of House Finance.
“That’s where they barter — ‘I’m looking for this, you’re looking for that,'” said Malik. “I can’t even get into those meetings. They’re afraid that if word leaks out, then members will find out that they’re not going to get a project they want. By the time it comes out as a document, then it’s too late to start moaning and groaning.”
Doesn’t this matter highlight the need for Rhode Island to reform its archaic, 19th century legislative committee system that gives just a few legislators, unaccountable to the whole of Rhode Island, nearly absolute veto power over the matters the legislature can even begin to consider?

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chuckR
chuckR
13 years ago

“…advocates for the company failed to lobby him in a timely fashion…”
advance and kiss the ducal ring, peasants!

rhody
rhody
13 years ago

For all the time we spend talking about unions, lawyers, teachers, etc., this is where the REAL corruption takes place – Alves trying to turn the General Assembly into his own personal cash cow, like Celona, Irons, etc.
Kudos to Jan Malik, even though revealing what goes on beyond behind the GA’s green curtain means no more pork for his district. This is the kind of guy we should be sending to Smith Hill instead of bullying jackals like Alves and his crew. Doesn’t speak well of West Warwick that it sends hos like Alves and Murphy to the House.

John
John
13 years ago

I hope they fry this SOB!

WJFelkner
13 years ago

I wouldn’t grant Malek saintly status just yet. The liquor import laws tagged onto the budget look pretty shady as well.

Ben
Ben
13 years ago

You guys better shut up about Steve. He’ll sue you ya know. He’s a really important guy up there in the statehouse and he will get you for talking bad stuff about him. You better watch out, I’m just tellin’ ya. He’s a big guy! He’s gonna sue you like he did the other guy taht tried to talk bad about him. Watch out!

Monique
Editor
13 years ago

“I’m So Powerful, I Can Kill Any Finance Provision for Any Reason, So Who’s to Say I Did It for Corrupt Ones”
lol
Near absolute power can cover up a lot of sins. Great post, Andrew.

Justin Katz
13 years ago

Rhody,
Perhaps you should consider what’s currently going on with the teachers’ union in West Warwick (musing on the candidate whom it likely backs).

Anthony
Anthony
13 years ago

A few thoughts-
1. Like Montalbano, it appears that Alves is the only person in the state who doesn’t think he did anything wrong. Oh wait, I’m wrong. I guess Montalbano doesn’t think Alves did anything wrong and vice versa. Once again, we have a case of over-sized egos leading to corruption.
2. You have to give Britt credit. If Alves is taken out, he removes not only the person who opposed the Pyle bill, but also effectively a competitor from the financial services sector. Didn’t Britt leave the state investment commission to work for an investment firm that competed for the same type of business as Alves?
3. Maybe one of these days, Jan Malik will be allowed into a meeting. It says something when the Senate leadership doesn’t trust itself, much less other members of the Senate, or heaven forbid, the public.

Anthony
Anthony
13 years ago

A few thoughts-
1. Like Montalbano, it appears that Alves is the only person in the state who doesn’t think he did anything wrong. Oh wait, I’m wrong. I guess Montalbano doesn’t think Alves did anything wrong and vice versa. Once again, we have a case of over-sized egos leading to corruption.
2. You have to give Britt credit. If Alves is taken out, he removes not only the person who opposed the Pyle bill, but also effectively a competitor from the financial services sector. Didn’t Britt leave the state investment commission to work for an investment firm that competed for the same type of business as Alves?
3. Maybe one of these days, Jan Malik will be allowed into a meeting. It says something when the Senate leadership doesn’t trust itself, much less other members of the Senate, or heaven forbid, the public.

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