Whose Line Is It, Anyway?

Providence Journal Deputy Editorial-Pages Editor Ed Achorn has dubbed me a “critics” (emphasis added):

RHODE ISLAND is facing massive deficits. Rather than slash spending, large numbers of legislators last week proposed $340 million in new and increased taxes, under a bill that critics have aptly dubbed the 2008 Economic Death and Dismemberment Act. These pols want to keep money gushing into state coffers at the expense of those working families who have the miserable misfortune to be part of the private sector.

Unless the line is catching on, which would been cool. Of course, Achorn’s got some humorous chops, himself:

The state GOP could not be in worse shape if Mr. Bean had run it for the last 20 years.

That’s an episode of Mr. Bean that I’d like to see. But on a serious note:

Part of that is innate to the state’s culture. Though Rhode Islanders are independent-minded enough to vote for people from both parties for governor, the public-employee unions and welfare industry now control large voting blocks, and have the money and storm troopers to swing legislative elections fairly reliably to their hand-picked candidates. …
A challenge even by a political unknown with little chance of winning does much good. It means an incumbent no longer has the luxury of running unopposed.
And the defeat of even a handful of the most arrogant incumbents might have a profound effect, sending tremors through the entire General Assembly, forcing politicians to start caring about the working taxpayers who provide all the goodies that government dispenses.

Maybe we need a Buckley reprise, with a Rhode Island Conservative Party.

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16 years ago

Nice to see that Ed gets some information from non-traditional media sources — which the other folks at the Projo seem to ridicule on a near daily basis.
If we had an electoral system like New York, people like myself would probably be for it. However, since it would require a change in state law, and I don’t expect the Democrats in charge to go for the bait, we’re stuck with what we have for now.
In New York, a candidate can run under the banner of both the Republican and Conservative parties at the same time, and on election day, the votes are added together. Therefore, you don’t run the risk of unintentionally splitting the center-right vote and electing the person you least want in there. If you just started up a party (like what the Cool Moose folks did), and that’s all you do, then you skim off votes from one party or the other, and you’ve just shot yourself in the foot.
PS The problem is that Mr. Bean’s friends basically were running the party for the last 20 years. Gio, to his credit, has been working to change much of that. Speaking of Mr. Bean, I heard he has a new book out. Destined to be a bestseller or a doorstop, I’m sure.

16 years ago

Huh and here I’ve been under the impression Mr. Bean is the Executive Editor of the Providence Journal. lol
For a guy with a rep of being all about good government Ed Achorn is oddly silent in confronting many of the power players and important issues facing our state.
Next column Achorn writes where he rips on the most powerful pol in Rhode Island who happens to be the most ineffective and impotent House speaker seen around here in years one Mr William Murphy will be the first column Achorn will have written on that subject. The next column Achorn writes on that outrageous roadblock at true government reform the anti-privatization legislation passed in the dark of night will be the first column Ed’s written on that subject. When looking at the totality of his writing there’s actually very little meat on the government bones Achorn chooses to pick at.
Ed talks the talk with his predictably old and stale one to two columns (gov bad/murphy costantino good/voters apathetic/heaven is a container port) he rolls out with nauseating frequency. To find out what Ed Achorn is really all about make note of who Ed never goes after and subjects Ed never touches in this target rich environment. Achorn is amazingly narrow and quite generic in his subject matter. Why is that you ask? Achorn’s an insider who rubs and tugs with the best of them.
Only thing more amusing than OCG inviting Achorn to sit on their government corruption panel discussion is the invite extended to Bill Rappleye. Perhaps the topic should be corrupt media and its’ role in facilitating bad Rhode Island government? lol
Sorry for the rant but I don’t like frauds and Ed Achorn is one of the bigger ones around.

16 years ago

Tim, I actually agree with you here. Many people who criticize General Assembly Democrats hand a free pass to Murphy and Montalbano – they’re the guys who actually run the joint! I suspect it’s because they’re social conservatives.
It’s the classic Rhode Island mentality where voters in these guys’ districts moan “Oh, they’re all corrupt on Smith Hill – but not MY guy!” Ah, the power of legislative grants and boxes of doughnuts at election time.

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