Bond-ing in the Booth
Bond and referenda questions on the ballot are about as boring as watching the Hallmark channel on TV. But there are three items that deserve your attention this year, so don’t bail out of the voting booth until after you have voted on this troika.
First off, Question #6, for the $35 million in Green Economy Bonds, is an absolute no-brainer for approval. It will provide funding for some already successful investments in open space and farmland preservation, historic state park development, new funds to design and construct bikeways (linking the 60 miles of existing paths with existing roads like the Blackstone Bikeway), and last but not least, money for stormwater pollution prevention and reclamation of brownfields. The latter two are also serious revenue and jobs generators for communities. Now that the business community and development communities recognize that the environment and economy are inextricably linked, they are also realizing that these programs will attract innovative new firms, creating conditions favored by young job seekers and entrepreneurs and the tech-savvy way of life they value. The environmental enhancements also help support the state’s tourism industry, which drives 40,000 jobs and generates $3.3 billion annually. Yes, oh yes, on the Green Economy Bonds, Question #6.
Second is Question #2, the “Amendment to the Constitution of the State” and despite the vague title, this is the most important one to weigh in on. The referendum will restore ethics commission jurisdiction over General Assembly. This one is big time, boys and girls, and essential to cutting out many of the blatant conflicts of interest of legislators that now exist at Halitosis Hall. If you are as fed up as P&J are with the state being run by the Mattiello and Paiva Weed crime families, let’s bring back a more powerful ethics commission, which was castrated years ago by a court ruling. When dense bullies like Speaker Nick Mattiello and complacent puppets of special interests like Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed are two of the most powerful pols in Little Rhody — both of whom have fought against ethics reform for years, despite their death bed conversions last year when they saw further opposition would cost them votes — you are in serious trouble, Batman. Mattiello still has to answer for his role in the 38 Studios scandal when he was House Majority Leader. He claims he had no knowledge of the Gordon Fox-Steve Costantino backroom deal to funnel $75 million to a clapped out Red Sox pitcher with no business acumen, and if he wasn’t aware, he was either too stupid to be trusted, or he’s lying. Take your pick. There are still some open doors that allow legislators to dodge accountability, but this is a big leap forward, so vote yes for Referenda Question 2 if you ever hope to see a glimmer of honesty and/or transparency on Smith Hill in the future.
Finally, the question you have doubtless seen and heard about due to the massive advertising buy locally to gain voters is Question 1, which is a typically bizarre Biggest Little trick question. This would authorize “state-operated casino gaming at ‘Twin River-Tiverton’ in the Town of Tiverton. Well, on the face of it this will be a winner, since everyone knows the gambling ship has already sailed in Vo Dilun, we’re never getting back our betting virginity, and what’s one more Zombieland casino out in the boondocks of Tiverton going to matter? But wait, there’s more! For Twin River to start having you put your money where their mouth is, it must also be approved by the residents of Tiverton on a local ballot referendum. And unless Phillipe & Jorge read this incredibly wrong, we believe the citizens of Tiverton will likely not choose to sell their town down the gambling river and bankrupt the future of their next generation. Newport found itself in the same state/local situation in the last election, and while casino gambling for the City-by-the-Sea passed statewide, it got its ass kicked by Newporters. Somewhat ironic, since if Tiverton voters reject the lure of the gambling palace, no matter what statewide voters say, Twin River has to go home, and the depressing “Newport Sluts” Den of the Dead will continue to limp along, slowly bleeding out the bank accounts of the deranged and deluded who go there now to forget the real world. Ain’t life a gas?
Now that “suck-up to the stars” Billy Bush has been canned by NBC’s Today show for playing organ grinder monkey to professional misogynist Donald Trump’s lovely sexual predation, it is not surprising to find that he has an excellent pedigree in such affairs. Grinning chimp “Bushie” is a graduate of St. George’s School in Middletown, now nationally renowned for horrific sexual abuse by its staff and students down through the years, largely unreported to authorities. So if it’s sordid, salacious and shameless you want, call a St. Groper’s alum.
Rock & Roll Collectors Convention