Hundred dollar bills

How many variations of Frank Montanaro exist in and around state government?

By Justin Katz | May 19, 2021 |

Katherine Gregg reports for the Providence Journal the labor-union scion’s latest play to get everything he can out of Rhode Island taxpayers.  Putting things chronologically might help to make it clear: Montanaro was elected to the General Assembly in 1986, at the age of 24 or 25.  Under the rules existing at the time, he could…

Providence students disembark for school

A play for more money in RI education distracts from the real problems.

By Justin Katz | May 17, 2021 |

As, essentially, the chief lobbyist for Rhode Island’s school committees, Timothy Duffy has an obvious angle he’ll take on behalf of his members.  In a recent op-ed in the Providence Journal, for example, he calls for Rhode Islanders to amend our state constitution to make “equal education” a constitutional right.  Readers can get a sense of…

Mike Stenhouse and Gayle Corrigan on In the Dugout

Gayle Corrigan explains the roots of the Warwick firefighter overtime scandal.

By Justin Katz | May 14, 2021 |

She was the first guest on Mike Stenhouse’s In the Dugout show, yesterday, followed by Andrew Bostom on RI Department of Health, saying that the data suggests Rhode Island should be wide open, right now. As a little bit of an editorial comment, having spent a few days looking at vaccine data, I do wonder if…

John Edwards and Warwick Fire Department

Rep. Edwards did real harm to Rhode Island municipalities and wants to walk away from responsibility.

By Justin Katz | May 14, 2021 |

When Rhode Islanders hear about some government abuse or other — like firefighters alternating time off so that they are always paid overtime when they actually work, thus earning multiple times their salaries even if they only work a standard week — they shake their heads and marvel that things go so badly around here. …

Mike Stenhouse and Ken Block

There’s a direct connection between unreasonable costs for government and unreasonable taxation.

By Justin Katz | May 13, 2021 |

On his In the Dugout show, yesterday, Mike Stenhouse implicitly made that connection.  On the one hand, Ken Block was on the show to talk about firefighter overtime abuse in Warwick, while on the other hand, pollster Jim Eltringham addressed public opinion on a proposed Transportation & Climate Initiative gas tax.  Stenhouse also leveraged his baseball connections…

A page of the RI House GOP casino infographic

Give some thought to whom advocates are representing, whether government unions or House Republicans.

By Justin Katz | May 11, 2021 |

When you get one of the regular giant mailers from a cabal of government labor unions advocating for higher taxes, it’s pretty obvious what’s going on.  They want government to collect more money so they can arrange with elected officials to transfer more of it to them, with the promise that the unions will feed…

Aerial image of Bessemer, AL, Amazon

The Amazon union vote is another flashpoint worthy of study.

By Justin Katz | May 5, 2021 |

In the end, it wasn’t even close.  Of 5,800 warehouse workers at the Amazon facility in Bessemer, Alabama, 3,215 (55%) voted in the union election, 2,536 ballots were considered valid, and 1,798 (71% of the valid ballots) were against unionization.  Yet, judging from media reports before the election, this couldn’t possibly have been the case.…

The RI Convention Center

These are the acts of a government that is no longer a representative of the people.

By Justin Katz | May 4, 2021 |

It’s funny how obviously incentives play a role in people’s actions, such that you get the same response to the same incentive even though the issues at hand are completely distinct.  Consider Katherine Gregg’s recent article in the Providence Journal after the attorney general confirmed that the RI Convention Center can no longer hide its payroll…

Income tax rate map

Clarity is the beauty of the income tax: you earned it, and they want to take it.

By Justin Katz | April 29, 2021 |

Yet another giant postcard arrived from Rhode Island’s special-interest labor unions promoting the government’s taking more money from the pockets of Rhode Islanders.  This one is to promote the results of a poll that the group Revenue for Rhode Island apparently paid Fleming and Associates to conduct (although naturally, that point isn’t clear on the…

Image of Police Line tape.

Identity politics is a distraction from uncomfortable reality.

By Justin Katz | April 19, 2021 |

The Providence Journal’s headline on a Katherine Gregg story draws attention to an important point about what is hidden: “RI lawmakers ask: Should police face stricter discipline?”  Put simply, the bright spotlight on race makes conspicuous what the politicians, unions, and activists are trying to keep off to the side, in the dark. International Brotherhood of Police…