Basic Government Functions

Workers clear 9/5/22 flood waters

Politics This Week with John DePetro: Clearing the State’s Drains

By Justin Katz | September 7, 2022 |

John DePetro and Justin Katz discuss the many ways government is failing in Rhode Island and beyond.

Tidewater Landing design

Is anybody surprised the cost of the soccer stadium is going up?

By Justin Katz | May 31, 2022 |

When government officials allow a business to shift its risks onto taxpayers, the people can never be certain about how the costs will be “unexpectedly” driven up, but news like this is a near certainty: The cost of building a professional soccer stadium in Pawtucket has risen to $124 million, the city said Friday, $40 million…

A Nipyata

Do we want to be defined by nanny-state bans?

By Justin Katz | January 19, 2022 |

Democrat state representative from Warwick David Bennett continues his long streak of bad legislation with an effort to ban nips — those little bottles of alcohol that have been a fixture of liquor stores for decades: Rep. David Bennett, D-Warwick, is tired of spotting discarded nips strewn along the side of the road whenever he…

A Zoom meeting

Open meetings law is the cutting edge of state government’s failure.

By Justin Katz | January 7, 2022 |

What a joke this all is: The open government coalition ACCESS/RI and a number of municipal officials had urged McKee to provide the authorization for remote meetings as COVID-19 cases soar across Rhode Island. The East Providence City Council was among the entities forced to cancel a scheduled meeting this week after members tested positive…


Consider it good news when the police are doing satisfying work.

By Justin Katz | December 29, 2021 |

A while back, I saw a short article about an incident in which the Providence police saved a woman from suicide. Police went to the scene at 9:26 a.m. Some officers tried to calm her down and coax her off the ledge, Verdi said. But at one point the woman became despondent and a crisis negotiator thought…

A skull screams amidst hands

Politics This Week with John DePetro: Shouting into the Echo Chamber

By Justin Katz | December 20, 2021 |

John and Justin marvel at the inability of RI insiders to address the obvious problems facing the people they say they represent.

A hooded man in shadows

Providence murder mysteries can be solved if you use the word, “gangs.”

By Justin Katz | December 13, 2021 |

Nobody should feel encouraged by statements from Democrat Mayor Jorge Elorza or the other Democrats who run the city after another shooting in Providence on Saturday night.  Elorza may claim to “understand that our community needs and deserves to feel safe,” but that isn’t possible when authorities refuse to be clear about what’s going on.…

Casual office planning meeting

Politics This Week with John DePetro: PR Bumbling All Around

By Justin Katz | November 30, 2021 |

John and Justin discuss local, state, and national stories with which the messaging is going all wrong.

A water drop and ripples

Here’s the detail that shows how badly Providence government is managed.

By Justin Katz | November 29, 2021 |

Businesses on Hope Street in Providence were all prepared for one of their biggest days for sales: small business Saturday.  Oops: Providence Water crews closed a portion of the street early Saturday morning and part of the afternoon for utility work. The construction has been happening for some time, but business owners, like Asher Schofield…

Cash, cuffs, and the American flag

The COPS Hiring Program is yet another way government spends tax dollars to force the spending of more tax dollars.

By Justin Katz | November 20, 2021 |

It adds up, of course, but when government is trillions of dollars in debt, a hundred million here and there seems hardly to count.  That may be part of the reason that news of grants like the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program doesn’t typically question where the…