Evolving Corruption

Part 2 of Kenneth Payne’s series on the evolution of political corruption in Rhode Island is worth a read (emphasis added):

The forms of government were familiar. For those in control, the system worked. The Yankee establishment held the reins of power.
The State House was an expression of that power — political and economic. Rhode Island was urbanizing, industrializing and generating wealth. Cities were burgeoning with immigrants. Together Providence, Pawtucket, Central Falls, and Woonsocket held more than half of the people in Rhode Island. Yet in 1901, political power was consolidated and effectively placed beyond popular control.
Three sections at the end of Chapter 809 became infamous and merit a full reading. While their tone is matter of fact and lawyerly, their effect was a stark fixing of undemocratic power.

It might be interesting also to keep an eye on the Projo’s advice columns for submissions by despairing readers of Payne’s series.

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mt
mt
13 years ago

Interesting stuff here–another reason to support Mike Huckabee for president Scott Haltzman: Rhode Island should support marriage education 01:00 AM EST on Friday, February 15, 2008 SCOTT HALTZMAN IN THE LAST FEW WEEKS, Governor Carcieri has proposed a dizzying number of plans to respond to Rhode Island’s current budget crisis, and folks are worried, rightfully, that some entitlements will be taken away. But if you pay close attention, you’ll see that the governor recommends adding one new service for the citizens of Rhode Island: marriage education. In his Jan 30 news conference, he spoke of discouraging out-of-wedlock births while encouraging two-parent families to have healthy relationships, stating: “You can set a tone and you try to teach people as to what’s best.” Those simple words of common sense should be great news for the people of Rhode Island. When the state supports healthy marriages, everyone benefits. There’s a good reason why marriage support is suddenly on the agenda in Rhode Island: because the Feds will pay for it. A decade ago, when President Bill Clinton (and a Republican Congress) passed welfare reform, the law sought to move control of money from the federal government to the states. This change in policy was a good thing for most states; they were given the funds that the Feds would have used to pay for welfare, along with guidelines about what was to be done with the money. Most people knew about the “welfare-to-work” demands of the federal grants to the states, but few people paid much attention to one of the other goals of this law: improving the health of marriages. In the first half decade since the welfare-reform act was passed, only one state, Oklahoma — which had the highest divorce rate in the nation — channeled this money into marriage… Read more »

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