Gigi’s Catering Service
It seems every time Governor Gigi Raimondo is involved in an enormous deal by the state that involves big corporations, she, to put it politely, soils the bed. That is because, as Phillipe and Jorge have said countless times in this space, she always thinks she is the smartest person in the room (you’re not, honey), and caters to Big Money (just not ours).
Let us just detail her massive errors: the “Cooler and Warmer” top-to-bottom shambolic clown show; the UHIP debacle that negatively affected the lives of thousands of Vo Dilunders because Gigi wanted it rolled out before it was ready (which The Feds clearly pointed out beforehand); and throwing money to big financial boys Deloitte for the faulty DMV computer system, extending their contract of incompetence when, in fact, they were responsible for the original cock-up.
Now our Gigi has stepped in a hip-high pile of manure by proposing to give International Game Technology (IGT) a 20-year, $1 billion no-bid contract with the R.I. Lottery that is a wet dream for IGT. You can bet with those stakes, Gigi’s emissaries to the legislature, whose approval it needs, will be as busy on Smith Street and off (with the legislature out of session for the summer) as IGT’s hired guns. (And, may we add, Twin River lobbyists, as Twin River vehemently opposes the contract, taking out a full-page ad in The Urinal on July 7 to urge state senators and reps to veto Gigi’s new scam.)
The dollar amounts we are talking about make P&J’s heads spin, as it is a glaring example of bad governance and trying to sidestep public scrutiny while catering to a thriving member of the Big Biz tribe, whose hooks already are sunk deep into the Biggest Little flesh. But Gigi loves those high-stakes players.
The most appalling part is the “no bid” aspect. Having worked for state agencies in the past, P&J know that even with the cheapest of state contracts — say $10K for 100 glossy printed publications — you have to send out a “request for proposals” (RFP) to any number of competent businesses in that field, and then, usually but not always due to technicalities or inexperienced firms getting involved, you award the contract to the lowest bidder in order to be as diligent as possible with state (read: taxpayers’) monies.
Now the governor is trying to shove this contract, negotiated in secret with IGT, down Little Rhody’s throat. One billion bucks? Twenty years? No-bid? You have to be shitting us (and the public).
So we don’t put our readers into a coma with details, think of it this way: IGT is the international big brother who supplies the hardware for gambling; TR is the local little brother who also gets a piece of the pie via their two casinos (Lincoln and Tiverton). Raimondo and that no-bid contract is being handed to IGT on a gold plate, sort of like giving big brother his own car and access to the family bank account, while little brother is working for a living. And now IGT is accusing TR of trying to muscle its way into their profits, which is likely true. IGT striking a secret deal with Gigi is blatantly true, because as a former capital investor, she loves Wall Street and any Big Biz members. This despite the fact that all capital investment bankers and hedge fund managers should be horsewhipped to within an inch of their lives on the steps of the New York Stock Exchange.
That said, Twin Rivr has flipped IGT and Gigi the bird and come in with counter offers, despite Raimondo wanting this IGT deal to breeze through. Most of it comes down to up-front money and number of people who would be employed. And if she actually put out an RFP, at least one big-time out-of-state gambling firm, as well as Twin River, has indicated would be more than interested in going for it.
This is going to be fun to watch as Gigi goes to the legislature, and IGT and Twin River end up with both professional and personal insults in the media becoming the order of the day. P&J can’t wait. Stay tuned.
Planet Stupider Drive-in
Just when you think that you have been Vo Dilun-ized to the point that you barely lift an eyebrow when something bizarre or impossible to explain (except for it occurring in our state) occurs here in Little Rhody, our fellow citizens find a way to get our attention.
This latest item from the Planet Stupider case file comes from the Fourth of July fireworks celebration in Providence, when hundreds of motorists on Routes 195 and 95 decided it would be a good idea to pull over and watch the capital’s pyrotechnics from these major highways. No doubt they had some of the best seats in the house, even if it was sitting on the roof of a parked car in many instances. And astoundingly, some cars were actually parked in the 55 mph travel lanes.
These idiots — and our apologies to standard-issue idiots everywhere, because these folks have you beaten by a mile — are the type who celebrate the 4th with fireworks in their backyards, and see how long they can hold onto an M-80 before throwing it. The odd missing fingers(s) are a dead giveaway.
There aren’t words enough to explain how these people set up a potentially life-threatening scenario and trapped innocent victims of their self-centered egos to go ooh and aah for 30 minutes. Instead of merely issuing tickets, the staties should have banged all of the offenders into the ACI so they can see what kind of fireworks go on in there.
Ten years ago, P&J would say they wouldn’t watch a women’s soccer match if you paid us. This last women’s World Cup, P&J watched all the US team matches and others of importance, and they were exciting. As you know by now, the women won the World Cup, and with it, the bully pulpit they need in pursuit of gender equality and equal pay. Go get ‘em, say P&J.
Besides the ticker tape parade in New York and appearances on talk shows by women’s soccer queen Megan Rapinoe and equally outspoken face of the team Alex Morgan, what is helping them in their demands is the fact that the overpaid men’s national team sucks, and is boring while they try to figure out if the ball moves because there’s a frog inside it or for some other reaso. World Cup won by women versus the men barely beating Curacao, a country smaller and with less than populace of Philadelphia, 1-0.
Dealing with the US Soccer Federation and the world governing body, FIFA, both of which are stocked to the gills with incompetent, lying, greedy bastards, Megan, Alex and company have a long row to hoe. But they now have the public on their side in a big way, and if you don’t think there are many politicians looking to ride that wave and become their champions, just wait.
Congrats on an impressive display on the field, and the ability and guts to speak truth to power, ladies.
Criswell Didn’t See Facebook Coming
As always, P&J continue to read a variety of publications and, while we will look at what is posted online, we prefer having a hard copy of the more reliable news publications. What we have noticed in the past few years is the incredible amount of misinformation posted on social media. Twitter (which we rarely look at) and Facebook seem to be full of fighting, hatred and nostalgia for past times (we will not use the hackneyed phrase, “back in the day.”
From what we can tell, there appear to be an awful lot of people spending far too much of their time on social media. Good luck to all of us in the future because in the immortal words of Criswell in the final scene of Plan 9 from Outer Space, that is where we will spend the rest of our lives.