Phillipe and Jorge’s Cool, Cool World: 38 Studios, Medieval Torture, and RI Mourns

“Out, Damn Spot!” Continued

Rhode Island’s House Oversight Committee’s resumed investigation into the 38 Studios scandal is drawing much more attention than P&J ever hoped. HOC hearings formally began in 2013, discovered essentially bupkus through 2014, then decided to take a Dubya Bush Crawford Ranch vacation until recently, with the first hearing held on October 27.

The “new, improved” HOC is being chaired by Lady Macbeth (committee chair Rep. Karen MacBeth) whose charge will be to wash the hands of her legislative body of any stain that may exist from their complicity in passing the bill that led to 38 Studios getting a $75 million loan from the state. This was the equivalent of betting the house on a high school football team versus the N.E. Patriots.

Why will “Out, damn spot!” be Lady Macbeth’s HOC motto? Because she was appointed to the position by House Speaker Nick “Sgt. Schultz” Mattiello, who happened to be the House Majority Leader when Messrs. Fox, Costantino, Schilling, and players to be named later swung their backroom deal. And we fancy Sgt. Schultz may be fearful that if pressed, his “I know noss-sink!” claim may not stand up. If the House Majority Leader was not informed of this legislative swindle as it was going down by his Speaker and top-level pals, they regarded him as either too stupid or incompetent to be let in on the subterfuge. Or he’s lying and willing to look like an out-of-the-loop dope who was played by his colleagues.

Lady Macbeth is now throwing around threats of subpoenas, which may yield nothing more than the bucketfuls of Fifth Amendment pleas that have already been taken, and is now pressing Governor Raimondo to initiate an independent investigation, to which Sgt. Schultz seems averse. But Our Gina has been waiting for the state police investigation, which is underway, despite the fact they refuse to say if they will even issue a report in the foreseeable future. Fortunately, Our Gina has shown some fortitude and called out State Police head honcho Col. Steven O’Donnell and demanded he and his troopers get on the stick.

This foot-dragging and stonewalling, and Sgt. Schultz looking over Lady Macbeth’s shoulder like a Rhode Island version of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hand-managing the Tom Brady/Deflategate fiasco, does not hold the promise of any of the truly guilty parties at 38 Studios being prosecuted. Say hi, Wall Street criminals who caused the national economic collapse enjoying their annual bonuses and sipping martinis in their multi-million dollar enclaves!

The most humorous “investigative” action, if you can find a laugh anywhere in this cesspool, is the report that Lady Macbeth showed her determination to really get to the bottom of things by announcing she sent a Facebook message to Curt Schilling asking him to come forward and spill the beans to the committee. Facebook?!? How utterly professional. Bet that scared him. No doubt the next message to Mr. Bloody Sock will be sterner — a text using only emojis. With this knowledge, P&J wonder if Lady Macbeth could successfully run a bake sale, never mind an investigation into a web of corruption and scandal that has given Little Rhody yet another national black eye and cost taxpayers millions. :(

Loosen Up, Gina

An interesting story from the always reliable Kate Nagle at GoLocalProv about newly appointed Rhode Island Commerce Corporation member, Vanessa Toledo-Vickers. The announcement, put out by the governor’s office (aka Gina Central), failed to note that Toledo-Vickers owns Manchester 65 in West Warwick. Now why would the governor’s office fail to disclose that one of their appointees was the owner of a successful, legal business when Toledo-Vickers publically lists her ownership on her LinkedIn profile?

Speculation at GoLocal is that the administration may feel that Manchester 65’s regular sponsorship of such family events as “Kinkyoke” and the recent “Kink Arthur’s Faire,” might not reflect well on the image Gina is trying to project; however, the club is booked and managed not by Ms. Toledo-Vickers, but by her cantankerous husband, Jim.
Over at Casa Diablo, we regret that we missed the event featuring (according to the advertising) “a medieval rack with a stockade spanking station” where people can get their “asses spanked.” Of course, your superior correspondents’ domesticated donkeys are not in need of this sort of discipline. A recently scheduled performance at the club by a rapper known as “Chief Keef” has also been the source of some controversy. Chicago, Illinois, and Hammond, Iowa, banned the rapper on the grounds that his music “promotes violence and poses a significant public safety risk.”

After a week of this being kicked around in the media and on talk radio, Gina announced that Ms. Toledo-Vickers will remain on the Commerce Corporation, which is absolutely right. Your superior correspondents completely support allegedly “kinky” activities by consenting adults. No big deal.
Man of Granite Update
Dozens wept on Friday, October 23, when former Vo Dilun Governor, Linc Chafee, announced that he was pulling out of the Democratic Presidential race. The Man of Granite has apparently deemed his under 1% showing in recent polls to be badly undermining enthusiasm for his candidacy. On a positive note, however, was former RI First Lady Stephanie Chafee’s recent Facebook post trying to locate the owner of a wallet she and Linc found at the Washington, DC, airport. How many other candidates (or their spouses) would go to such lengths to help a fellow citizen? Not many, we suspect. So, best wishes to Linc and Stephanie. They are good people.

Princes of Rhode Island

The Biggest Little lost two fine men recently, with the passing of writer and teacher Bob Leuci, and the legendary restaurateur George Germon, the non pareil “renaissance man,” both of whom P&J regarded as friends.

Leuci, most recently a writing professor at URI, was the model for the protagonist of the book and movie, Prince of the City, portrayed on the silver screen by Treat Williams. He worked as a New York City Police Department undercover officer who exposed corruption rampant in the NYPD in the late 1960s and early ‘70s. It took brass balls and an extremely clean conscience — both fairly thin on the ground anywhere, both then and now. For that, he had our everlasting respect. And we’ll buy you a cold one in absentia at the Twillows, Bob.


Germon was one half of the couple known almost always as the single word “Georgeandjohanne,” with his wife, Johanne Killeen. They created and founded the now internationally famed eatery Al Forno, which was the catalyst for Little Rhody’s reputation as having one of the finest restaurant scenes in the country. George was a chef (who with Johanne invented the grilled pizza for all practical purposes), sculptor and just plain solid good guy, always upbeat and forever moving upward and onward. Our deepest sympathies to Johanne, and hopes that the tremendous outpouring of kind words about George comforts her.

Quote of the Week

 A comment with a telling message from the November 2 issue of Sports Illustrated in an article about the Rugby World Cup in England. In the article, an Englishman comforts an American about the U.S. team being way over their heads in the sport at this level, saying that US rugby will doubtless improve over the next 20 years. “It’s not the rugby that makes your country a laughingstock,” says the Brit. “It’s the guns.”

Always nice to hear what the rest of the world thinks about you.

2 responses to “Phillipe and Jorge’s Cool, Cool World: 38 Studios, Medieval Torture, and RI Mourns”

  1. P&J's column should be mandatory reading for every pol in Rhode Island. It makes so much more sense than they ever do.
    –Jim Taricani

  2. Pat Ford says:

    Reading dyana koelsch's contract with the I 195 commission should be mandatory reading for every voter in Rhode Island .. Because it absolutely makes no sense ….

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