Sorry, Speaker Fox, You Cannot Plead Ignorance About the 38 Studios Loan Guarantee

Kudos, by the way, to Anchor Rising Readers Poll winner Newsmakers (WPRI 12) for landing this interview.

“Did I know Curt Schilling was interested in coming to Rhode Island? Absolutely,” Fox said Friday during a taping of WPRI 12’s Newsmakers. “Did we mandate that he get $75 million? Never! Never, never, never. Did we vet any of his financials? I wouldn’t know if Curt Schilling would have qualified for a dime, for nothing, or for $125 million.”

As prescribed by the state’s Constitution, the Speaker of the Rhode Island House is an enormously powerful position legislatively. The result is that, with rare exception, a bill simply does not become law in Rhode Island without the Speaker’s consent.
Making law can, in some ways, be compared to diving into a pool or body of water. The big difference is that if the water diver misjudges, it is almost always he alone who suffers the consequences. When the RI Speaker dives into a legislative pool, however, he is often taking (sometimes dragging) one million people along with him.
Speaker Fox’s choice of verb – did not “mandate” that Schilling get $75 million – is interestingly inaccurate. No, the legislature did not mandate the $75 million loan guarantee to 38 Studios. But the legislature, with Gordon Fox at the helm, most certainly authorized it, facilitated it and turned a blank check over to the Executive Branch for taxpayer-backed loan guarantees up to $125 million.
As with almost every other bill that has become law in RI, the 38 studios loan guarantee would not have happened without the consent of the most powerful person, politically, in the state. To invoke and amplify a legal adage, ignorance of the law is not an excuse, not when you break a law and especially not when you make the laws. That Speaker Fox failed to properly apprise himself of the depth and the danger before diving into this particular legislative pool only amplifies his responsibility, it does not mitigate it.

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Sammy in Arizona
Sammy in Arizona
9 years ago

I just can’t imagine how Monique can post a comment about the 38 studios fiasco, and not mention the guy with the veto-pen Don Carcieri
“I commend the RIEDC Board for its EXTENSIVE DUE DILIGENCE (emphasis mine) and for taking this significant step to bring jobs to Rhode Island,” Carcieri said the night the agency approved the loan to Schilling. “I welcome 38 Studios and am confident Rhode Island will provide the environment and workforce to make the company a leader in the interactive entertainment and video game industry”
citation WPRI Tee-Vee
Be Well All..with love Sammy

Max D
Max D
9 years ago

Gee wiz Sammy, surprisingly the discussion was about the Gordon Fox interview. More surprisingly is that you would play up the troll act to obfuscate the fact he is lying sack of (insert slang for excrement here). Are there enough bridges in Arizona or do you find yourself amongst the homeless.

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