One’s Playing Checkers, the Other is Playing Chess

Come on now. When you are the incumbent, shouldn’t you usually have the better team and the better responses available? Today’s response and then response to the response posted on the RI NPR OnPolitics Blog, between Brendan Doherty and David Cicilline’s spokeswoman wasn’t even close. If this was a boxing match, it’d easily have been a 10-8 round.
Am I biased? Yes, of course I am, I’m able to admit that. However just about anyone could read these two releases and see it wasn’t Nicole Kayner’s finest hour.
For starters, the Doherty response to Cicilline’s attempt at an apology was concise and very much on point. He continued to reinforce the points that the whole issue isn’t as much about the fiscal situation in Providence. I think everyone is fully aware that the problem was not solely caused by David Cicciline. The issue here is how Cicilline handled it, possibly against the by-laws of the city, then concealed those actions, and then told us everything was fine. Worse yet, he tries to tell us that he’s taking full responsibility while also telling us that he did not intentionally mislead us on the financial status of the city.
The Cicilline campaign chose to respond to the response. Fortunately, it’s short enough to include here.

David Cicilline has accepted responsibility for decisions he made, including the decision to avoid a tax increase during a recession. He explained that he had been hopeful that the Carcieri administration would accept its responsibility to the cities and towns of the district rather than cut 40 million from the Providence budget. Mr. Doherty was Governor Carcieri’s protégé. His desire to defend the Republican administration is understandable if wrongheaded. These drastic cuts really hurt cities and towns all across Rhode Island. While Doherty is busy attacking David, he is silent on the leaders of his party, who are obstructing the passage of a bipartisan transportation bill that passed the Senate with 74 votes which would bring 9,000 jobs to Rhode Island.

Let’s take a close look at this. I’ll leave aside the semantics of whether it was due to being a recession or an election year that Cicilline chose to not increase taxes. Then it’s all attack mode. Put all the blame on Carcieri. What’d Carcieri do? He submitted a budget that could have been the Sunday comics for all the power he had to go along with it. It is the state’s General Assembly that controls the budget. The same General Assembly that ripped the current Governor’s budget proposal to shreds last year. The Assembly can do whatever they want with the budget, the Governor is virtually powerless to do anything about it. If you want to blame anyone for cuts in state aid, the Speaker (who just happens to be from Providence) and the then-Finance Committee Chairman Steven Costantino, also from Providence, would be a great place to start.
Lastly, I had to laugh at the mention of Doherty not criticizing Congressional Republicans. That is laughable since Doherty isn’t even a member of Congress yet, but Cicilline thought it appropriate to lump Doherty in with them. To even suggest that Doherty should be critical of members of his own party is in itself hypocritical. Have we seen a single instance recently where Cicilline has criticized the Obama administration? He can’t even bring himself to criticize the Democrat-led Rhode Island General Assembly!
Read both releases and I’m guessing you might agree that this wasn’t Kayner’s best day as it includes quite a bit of reaching for straws. However, with Sunday night fast approaching, this might be their last chance to pay any attention to Doherty for a few months.

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