Phillipe and Jorge’s Cool, Cool World: Gordo Golightly, a Hill of Scandals, and Some Local Talent

Bribes and Bullshit

There are bribes and then there are “contributions,” the latter of which won’t pass the laugh test when you pull them off at a political scale that makes Wall Street investment bankers and brokers whiny.

Disgraced former RI House Speaker Gordon Fox proved himself to be an arrogant, power-broking wannabe piece of crap by taking bribes, committing wire fraud and filing false tax returns. For those transgressions he was convicted and now will spend three years at the government’s pleasure in some yet-unnamed prison, because he was too stupid to cover his tracks. He simply looted his campaign fund to the tune of $108,000 for personal use (P&J loved the part about some of the stolen cash going to purchases at Tiffany’s – was Gordo Golightly dressed up as Audrey Hepburn when he cruised the jewelry cases?) and also took a blatant $52,000 backhander from the owners of the Shark Bar and Grille on Thayer Street to get them a liquor license while on the Providence Board of Licenses.  This one’s on us, Gordo.


And let us not even get into what deeper role he played in giving $75 million of a new state economic development loan fund of $125 million to business neophyte Curt “Bloody Sock” Schilling for his absurd 38 Studios company. Yeah, good thinking, Gordo. Certainly don’t want to risk giving a million each to 125 emerging business or start-ups in Little Rhody, right? But when you’re skimming left, right and sideways off the deal, why not spend three-fifths of the loan fund on a rookie for his venture into one of the most volatile industries you can find?

But that just shows how having power can overcome the self-realization that you have become a moron. Only former Gov. Ed DiPrete’s Dumpster-diving at a Walt’s Roast Beef after a paper bag filled with a $10,000 kickback he threw out with his lunch trash could be more in tune with Biggest Little corruption legends.

But for a long time, the media treated Gordon Fox as a glorious God on Smith Hill. The first African-American and gay Speaker of the House, up from the bootstraps of scooping ice cream on North Main, who championed gay marriage in Vo Dilun in the face of adversity. And all the while he was running scams worthy of former Federal Hill wiseguys. Nice work in building Little Rhody’s image, a-hole.

Dead Brokerage

That image of Fox brings us to Hillary Clinton, and how shakedowns should be done. Until recently, she has been ass-kissed and adored by the media as the “presumptive” Democratic candidate for president in 2016.

Forget Benghazi and the emails. Although the latter “scandal,” in which she publicly embarrassed herself at a press conference by saying she used a personal email server for classified and sensitive government correspondence because she didn’t want to carry two phones, was swallowed only by AARP members who are still trying to figure out how to turn on the Blackberrys their children gave them at Christmas.

The story that will dog Ms. Pantsuit until the 2016 presidential election (yeah, she’s gonna be the Dems’ horse in the race no matter what) will be how much money the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation (which admittedly does do great work around the world) has and is receiving from big-time political donors and worse, foreign governments. Screw the PACs, we got a foundation. And we are talking millions from such female-friendly places like the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Saudi Arabia, the home of public stonings, women treated like dogs, and in the latter’s case, home of the 9-11 mass murderers. Hey, just make sure that contribution is in US dollars; we don’t want your stinking riyals and dirhams.

While not in the campaign coffers, it certainly keeps Hillary from being “dead broke.” And if you think for a second that those contributions aren’t made with the intent that a possible president will have a good memory of whose money is helping burnish her image, call your doctor for an MRI appointment. (Side note: This is similar to NBC not planning on being first in line for a White House leak if Hill wins after paying Chelsea $300,000 for a year’s journalistic work in which she produced practically nothing newsworthy.)

P&J hope the media keep picking at the Clinton Foundation scab, because the wound will definitely bleed at some point. And if the media won’t do it, we are sure the GOP opposition info offices will, and they may just be holding fire until it will be a bigger bombshell, say in September or October of 2016.

In the long run, P&J’s question is: How bad or obvious did things have to get before the media, or even upright people around both Gordo and Hill, pulled those two charlatans’ masks off in public? Fox was always dodgy, and a creep to boot. Hillary has all the charm of a cobra, is always on the defensive, and may be even oilier than her husband, which deserves some applause, since Bubba’s “I did not have sex with that woman” and “What is ‘is’?” set the bar extremely high in the unctuous and duplicitous categories.

Gordo is already in tears, and no doubt considering which Tiffany accessories he should bring to the can. We can’t imagine Hillary ever crying, unless she intentionally slices an onion into her hankie and holds it under her eyes, but wethinks those “contributions” may contribute to her downfall somewhere down the road.

Dan Von Bargen

There was much sadness in the Vo Dilun theater/acting community when word spread that Dan Von Bargen, the wonderful actor and truly nice man, had passed away in his hometown of Cincinnati on March 1. Dan had been ill and suffering for a few years so the community’s emotions were expressed best by the actor/director Bob Colonna who was quoted by the UPI. “I feel a huge wave of of sorrow and relief at the passing of this remarkable man, Dan Von Bargen. I treasure the years when I worked with him at Trinity Rep and in a couple of TV films. I admire his excellent body of work in the movies. And I mourn for the darkness and pain that were his final years. God bless him. He was a hell of a guy.”

Indeed he was. A beloved member of the extended Trinity Repertory Company, Dan was a mainstay in many stage productions at Trinity. He was probably best known by the general public as “Mr. Kruger,” George Costanza’s boss on Seinfeld. He performed in many films and had a starring role in the little-seen but powerful film Lord of Illusions and a major part in the local cult classic, Jim Wolpaw’s Complex World

Interestingly enough, Phillipe & Jorge met Dan the day he moved to Providence and wandered into Leo’s, the artists’ watering hole on Chestnut Street, immediately asking Phillipe (who was tending bar there at the time) to tell him all about the city. All who knew Dan loved him for his kind and gentle nature and he was widely admired for his great talent. We will miss this special man.

Sarah Steps Up
While your superior correspondents rarely watch the music competition shows on television, we are all abuzz about Sarah Potenza’s performances on “The Voice.” If the name “Potenza” rings a bell, that’s because it comes from one of the Biggest Little’s premier musical clans (Frank Potenza is a top flight jazz guitarist who has been based on the West Coast for some time now and, of course, Joe Potenza is one of the busiest bass players around). We gave a shout to Joe to find out what the family relation was and he told us that Sarah was his cousin Bob’s daughter, adding that “ironically, Sarah is my daughter’s name too, but she’s not a singer.” So, go get ’em, Sarah.