Napolitano is Done Being Mayor

The Projo blog is reporting that Mayor Napolitano will not be seeking re-election. Apparently his family is missing him too much, particularly his wife and children. So now what?

I had contacted the Mayor’s office about two weeks ago, asking for an interview with the Mayor on his re-election plans. I was asked to please be patient as I await a reply. I guess I can see who else wants to interview now. From the Projo:

[…] Now, the focus is on who will replace Napolitano at the top of the city’s Democratic ticket. City Council Vice President Paula B. McFarland and state Reps. Peter G. Palumbo and Charlene Lima voiced interest in interviews this afternoon.

And the question has to be asked: will Laffey “rescue” Cranston again? By the way, it’s time for to revisit the Laffey interview picture taken 6 years ago. I recently discovered this picture posted on Facebook for a club called “Students for Laffey” headed by a Barrington high school student going by the handle of “Wolf Dude.” Apparently Laffey’s minions are trying to show him cozying up to the liberals.


57 thoughts on “Napolitano is Done Being Mayor

  1. I actually was surprised by the news, since the Mayor was doing a phone poll of Cranston residents less than 2 weeks ago (perhaps testing the waters?) and was speaking of seeking reelection before. I have a few questions, just in general.

    1. What will happen to the money he has raised thus far? Does it go to the party or sit in an account in case he decides to run again someday in the future?

    2. What power does a “lame duck” mayor have with the council, etc.? Does his influence wane because he’s already announced he’s not seeking reelection?

  2. I have to say I’m surprised but not stunned. He hasn’t looked like he ever enjoyed the job. Just the way he carried himself, his body language, his tone suggested that perhaps he wasn’t as comfortable as he could have/should have been.

    But now, who steps up to the proverbial plate? Of those mentioned as “interested” I’d have to say that Lima seems the less likely to go for it. She’d be giving up a solid leadership position in the House, pretty much a sure re-election in the fall for a race that promises to be expensive and tough for a job that promises to be – on a good day – challenging.

    Paula probably benefits the most because she doesn’t have to push for a “legal” ruling as to whether she can remain on the council. The financing of a campaign might work out better now that she doesn’t have to run against an incumbent. That having been said, it doesn’t appear that there’s any love lost between the Mayor and Council Vice-President, which might pose other problems.

    I don’t know where that leaves Peter Palumbo. He’s expressed interest and apparently there was some interest in him – as long as he ran against Napolitano. I wonder how the Mayor’s self-removal from the race impacts Palumbo’s chances?

    I’m sure that there are others kicking around various scenarios so I’d bet that we haven’t seen or heard the end of all the speculation and maneuvering.

    Let the games begin…

  3. Rachel,

    To answer your first question, the following was obtained from page 44 of the 2008 RI Campaign Finance Manual published by the Board of Elections:

    9.9 Unused Campaign Funds
    Any campaign funds not used for gaining or holding public office may be:
    1. maintained in a campaign account;
    2. donated to another candidate for public office, to a political action committee, or political organization, subject to the limitations of §17-25-10.1;
    3. transferred into a newly established political action committee or ballot question advocate;
    4. donated to charity;
    5. donated to the state of Rhode Island; or
    6. returned to the donor. [See §17-25-7.2]

    In short, he can pretty much do whatever he wants as long as he doesn’t keep it for his own personal use.

    As far as the “lame duck” question, I’m not sure how much political power the Mayor actually has/had. But clearly whatever influence he had will wane over the coming months because he’s taken himself out of the game.

  4. After hearing the poll results at the beginning of my weekend ~ I reveled in the fact that we would not be going through another 2 years of this leadership. If the Mayor had not done this poll, he may have wasted much of his time and money.

    I feel his physical image has always been lacking in confidence and although he would always taunt me in saying “I’ll be the next Mayor again Suzanne!” I always felt he was too smug (smugness: a trait that often blindly misses the reality. I can’t believe he actually asked folks based on the settlement of Cullion and handling of Mulligan’s would you cast a vote for him. Unfortunately, the brutal reality showed the reality of what I have been telling him – No one is happy with buying a swampland for 1.9 and no one is happy with an obsession to walk door to door and not be able to do more with the City.

    There are some really hard choices for the next Mayor to face, and one of the biggest (which Nap couldn’t do) is to follow future visions that will save the City money and generate future “monies” for our City such as Solar, or viable crops of Bamboo which is in high demand. The point it is we need to do a business plan for this City and find a Mayor that is not about doing ‘favors’ for buddies or playing golf, but putting 130% and has high expectations.

    I really would like to see the Mayor finish with some positive positioning for our future. I would have more respect for him to do so.

    I agree with Geoff on Lima not challenging and leaving her seat.

  5. Geoff,
    Thanks for the info, I’ve always wondered what happens to campaign monies after a candidate steps out of the public service arena.

    I also agree with the Mayor never being quite comfortable in his role, but I don’t know him outside of that, so I cannot say if that was a result of the job or more of a personality trait.

    I’m not familiar enough with Lima to throw my two cents in, but I believe we have a little under a month to find out who will be running. With the Mayoral and 2 council seats up for grabs, it could mean some changes are coming for the City.

  6. Geoff, can he use it to re-pay outstanding loans? I think that’s where it will end up.

    As for replacements, I do not think Laffey will return as he is focusing on bigger problems at the state level and to ’10 gubernatorial campaign.

    Let’s not forget Allan Fung. He now has a bit of an upper hand in the campaign and he is a very well-liked candidate, to boot.

    Lastly, I find it incredibly disingenuous for Nappy to say that his decision was not based on poll results. Every other person I’ve talked received a polling call – AND, their responses were the same as mine: very unfavorable.

  7. A friend said that he felt “Napolitano’s heart was not in it,” and I would have to agree with that assessment of Nap’s short tenure as Mayor. But even so, the Democrats in Cranston favored him over Cindy Fogarty, I think largely due to his money. I think Cindy would have hung in there for two terms at least, and I don’t think she would have angered the schools the way Napolitano did. I wouldn’t be surprised if another factor influencing Nap’s decision to call it a day is the pending Caruolo action. It’s just hard to win on that one.

  8. I read the article and am fixated on his sentence: To the contrary, the mayor said, he was well-positioned to win reelection. “I had name recognition, I had the finances, I had the exposure and I had the good record,” he said. “I was confident I would win”.

    This states it all. Up until the Pawtuxet River Cleanup on Earth Day he smugly told me “I will win”. I know the results of the poll and unfortunately in the Mayor’s mind he did right by the people on Cullion and Mulligan’s, Union Contracts, Riveria deal and Valley. I do not see all the creative things he did, and the dice this time it must have been a hard pill for him to swallow.

    I still think he could leave the City on a better note with a legacy of approving an Open Space Bond which will benefit all of Cranston….my family and his. There are a couple of things he could still implement that would impact us all. I do agree it was tough on his family and I am glad for his kids…I am learning politicking can be really thankless.

  9. I would otherwise say I’m skeptical of the “spending more time with my family” line, except in this case, it’s true. The timing is a bit of a surprise, though, given Nap’s sense of political opportunity.

    Oh, and don’t be surprised if you hear that Peter Palumbo is not, after all, running for mayor.

    I think Paula’s prospects just got a whole lot brighter.

  10. Oskar,

    Yes, he can use the balance to pay off any loans to his campaign. In fact, they are a liability to the campaign fund and would have to be settled before distribution is made. Thus, for example, if he loaned his campaign $ 20k and there was only $ 10k in the fund, he could take the full amount, but if he then closes the account the balance is treated as a gift and not a loan and therefore not recoverable if he were to receive future money.

    I hope that’s responsive.

  11. Kiersten,
    re: your comment “Apparently Laffey’s minions are trying to show him cozying up to the liberals.”

    I was involved in Laffey’s first campaign for Mayor. What struck me was those from all sides, but particularly the left, trying to “latch on” to the Laffey train. One thing even they knew – this was a guy with a future. These “leeches” as I called them were not at all in sync with Laffey’s MO, particularly the leftists. They were clearly in it for something, and it was always themselves. What was so comical about them was that they thought they were fooling him as they groveled for an in, a job, or something they wouldn’t have to work too hard for, or to earn. These people were under the mistaken idea that Laffey was like all their Democratic friends in politics, who, once elected, would give away the store. After Laffey’s election, they were stunned when he actually did what he said he was going to do, if elected. I laugh at the conversations afterward, with one in particular who said, with a straight face,”I didn’t think he meant that.”

    Another said “I’m trying to get some people some jobs. He’s not coming through.”

    As you would imagine, with reality setting in, and nothing in it for them, these leeches turned against him, and went back to the union/welfare/slacker Democratic hole where they came from.
    It was quite a lesson in politics for me. Very few have the guts to do what is right for the general public. The operative word there is “general, as in not “special.”

    Whether you like him or not, Laffey is one of them.

  12. I’m sure that the Mayor’s family will benefit from him spending more time at home, I doubt his kids enjoyed having to attend city functions and meetings.

    According to today’s ProJo, Michael Sepe says Peter Palumbo is out–Palumbo says he’ll make an announcement tomorrow. It also says that Cindy Fogarty is contemplating another run (if she gets the Dem endorsement). Wouldn’t that be interesting if there were 3 women running for the Democratic nomination?

  13. I bet “Jesse” was surprised Napolitano dropped since on 3/26/08 on this blog he predicted that Napolitano will “win, by something like 54-46.” Most objective observers knew that Napolitano was in terrible shape even before these recent internal polls were done. Napolitano finally took a poll after Fung annouced and found out the truth, which was that he was losing badly and that is why he dropped out. If anyone of these other Democrats take the time and spend the money to do a poll before running for mayor they will drop from the race as well.

  14. Troll:

    Yes, I did make that prediction. Turns out I was wrong based on unforeseen events. I’ve gotten more than a few right, too. Also, whether you want to accept them or not, the Mayor’s own statements about knowing he would win belie the whole “he took a poll that showed he was going to lose” argument.

    A poll six months before the election would have been meaningless except for the results the Mayor cited: name recognition, exposure and record. He was also raising lots of campaign money. So, I still think he would have won handily. We won’t know for sure, obviously.


    Here’s the telling line from the ProJo story on Cindy:
    “Fogarty, who ran without the endorsement two years ago, said she would not take that step again.”

    Result: No campaign. She won’t get the endorsement over either Paula or Charlene.

    I say, Lima runs against Fung in November after no Dem primary. Paula’s statement about setting aside egos is telling, plus she has the school board possibility. Charlene’s main negative is that Fung could hang the General Assembly on her neck and turn it into a referendum on the state situation.

  15. “Charlene’s main negative is that Fung could hang the General Assembly on her neck…” Ain’t that just an understatement(?)

    I wouldn’t even know where to begin with “negatives” about Charlene “The Sheep” Lima. But her reputation as just another follow-the-leader Murphy wannabe could most certainly be a liability. See Jerry’s description of “the leeches” (above) to get a glimpse of exactly the type Lima attracts in spades.

    Oh, and of course there could be that pesky little issue of that criminal of a husband of hers (former Rep. Fiorenzano). Look what damage such things caused Kathy Connell — and it certainly would seem, at least on the surface, that her husband’s offense was not nearly as despicable as Fiorenzano’s.

  16. “Jessse” is fun to read. The only “unforseen events” is that Napolitano had enough brains to take a poll before running for reelection. The timing is so obvious. Fung announces, Napolitano did a poll, the reuslts were bad, within two weeks of Fung annoucing Napolitnao drops out. A number of people heard about the poor poll results or took the poll. Obviously, Napolitano’s consultants did not think a poll done six months before an election was uselss. If it was irrleevant why would campaigns do polls at this time. It does not matter how much money or name ID Napolitano had, what mattered was how much voters disapproved of him….overwhelmingly. As for beleiving what Napolitano says as to why he dropped out, that is the funniest comment of all. Yes, believe the same guy who said that he would provide tax relief and more money for the schools in 2006, and did the exact opposite.

    PS If House Speaker Tempore/Napolitano Transition Co-Chair Lima runs it will be quite funny watching how she gets demolished outside of her heavily Democratic rep. district. Do a poll and find out.

  17. I’m thinking that despite JFC’s representation that Peter Palumbo is out of the race, he’s still in. Has he publicly said he’s out. Lets wait and see.

    Maybe there’s 5 or 6 democrats interested. Charlene Lima is definitely in, although her hubby’s conviction for embezzling money might scare the taxpayers having him close to their dollars. And what about Dan Beardsley of “The League of Cities and Townsâ€?. Maybe some interest there. And lets not forget about Frank Lombardi. Then there’s Cindy Fogarty if she gets the party appropriate support.

  18. and let’s not forget about former Councilman Mario Carlino or the soon to be former Paula. Sure getting crowded.

  19. This morning on Helen Glover (920 Talk Radio) Palumbo was on saying he gave a personal deadline to respond being last week, however…he’s seeing it’s not so clear cut and he needs more time. So I see him as still a potential.

    As far as Lima, I also listened to her the other day saying the difference is she would have all the power versus being at the Gen. Assembly. Her background/husband is new to me, as I have not been here long enough. Clearly, this state/town has a morality problem with convicted felons running for office and the like, but it seems to be fair…it’s Lima and not her husband at issue. My husband forget’s everything – – but I should not be categorized with him as being the “same”. I think people should tread lightly on making her to be the same.

    Clearly, the Mayor is trying to save face for his few fans that he wants them to think it’s for family reasons. I know the truth and don’t feel the need to perpetuate either way. Let’s just get on with it and make some serious changes.

  20. “PS If House Speaker Tempore/Napolitano Transition Co-Chair Lima runs it will be quite funny watching how she gets demolished outside of her heavily Democratic rep. district.” Fun indeed, Troll!!! Sounds like you might just be a Dan Yorke fan(?)

    Suzanne, your point is well taken re: Lima (not her husband) being at issue. But as the old idiom goes, “If you lie down with dogs, you shall rise with fleas.”

    No question she certainly is the epitome of a “puppet politician.” And it is no secret that she has been a mouthpiece (and a very loud and obnoxious mouthpiece at that) for her husband in the past. I can only speak for myself, but having our law-making process tainted and/or influenced by a felon in any way, even although indirectly by and through her, would not make her my candidate of choice.

    O.K. So now that I know who I would not support, time to start focusing on whom I would.

    This should be very interesting…

  21. Well Joe, guess that would be Fung, although Fogarty aint’t bad either.

  22. “If you lie down with dogs, you shall rise with fleas.�

    LOVE THAT! I do agree with some of your points Joe, that one is influenced a great deal by their environment. What about jacovony?

  23. I don’t know much about Lima, but the news about her husband certainly isn’t going to be an asset to her campaign. I do know that of the names tossed around on both sides, she is the only one that has never responded to any of my emails regarding Cranston issues…

    Is Randy Jackvony planning on running against Fung?

    It’s going to be an interesting month leading up to the deadline until we know who is actually going to enter the race.

  24. Troll:

    Try to actually read this time:

    “…whether you want to accept them or not, the Mayor’s own statements about knowing he would win belie the whole ‘he took a poll that showed he was going to lose’ argument.”

    Your “proof” for disbelieving the Mayor is lacking, at best, and colored by partisanship at worst. Tax relief? No increase this year. More money for schools? This year, an increase was proposed by Nap. So, even taking your blinders-on view, Nap actually met his promises in his 2-year term.

    Sorry, that’s not “the exact opposite.”

    But please, keep trying to say that night is day; quite entertaining.

  25. Jerry: You might want to temper your “union/welfare
    slacker” rant just a tad… according to our former mayor and the object of your undying admiration, Steve Laffey, “my father was a union member, big union guy.”
    Keep touting your “guy with a future” and maybe once the “leeches” have been removed you’ll find yourself in line for one of several cushy gigs: 1) filling the gas tank of “The Rhody Reformer” Winnebago, 2) running to Borders to purchase the unsold copies of Laffey’s schizoid, meglomania driven non-best seller, 3) planning get togethers with other politically unemployed or soon to be politically unemployed Republicans across America.
    Judging from your comment, your pre-historic views on unions and the underpriviledged will surely strike a chord with Mr. “are there no poor houses” Laffey.

  26. haha. To “Jesse”, tax relief means a 5 tax hike in 07 and a phoney tax freeze in 08. I thought tax relief meant Reducing taxes. More money for schools to “Jesse” means proposing to level fund the schools in 07 and only increasing aid to schools by $1 million in 08 to offset the the cut in state aid so the schools overall budget is the same as last year. Keep it up the spin, too bad the voters don’t buy it…do a poll.

  27. Troll:

    “Phony tax freeze” — ?! The approved budget (that means it’s settled) includes no call for increased tax revenues. Now, you might be thinking about the potential for a Caruolo ruling. That would impact the current budget (if it happens) — not next year’s.

    And the schools are getting more city money, but because the “overall budget is the same” (wrong on that count, by the way — more below), suddenly it’s not “more money.”

    Here’s the adopted budget for the schools:

    See where it says the 2008-09 budget is $132.8 million, while the 2007-08 spending plan was $126.4 million? That’s a $6.4 million increase. Yes, the school board is going to have to cut the budget — but not $6.4 million, thanks to the additional $1 million.

    So, even setting aside your mockery of these facts as “spin,” the school budget is increasing. And unless the state adds more money to Cranston’s school aid (not likely), that increase will be due solely to the additional city money.

    Sorry to bother you with facts. Thanks, though, for giving me another shot at crumbling your arguments into so much dust.

    Oh, and the “poll” stuff is getting old. You’re filling the complete lack of details about the poll with your own spin.

  28. Richard:

    *pat on the back*

    I could almost dance to the tune you just did on this latest Laffey sycophant. Thanks.

  29. Wow, “Jesse” can’t even get his numbers straight for his spin. I will keep it simple- on page 23 of the budget just approved ( its on on the city website) it says the total for the schools is $125.3 million for FY 09 while the amount for FY 08 for the schools was 126.3 million. Now, in the math classes I took that is a DECREASE, not an increase. Now, the numbers “Jesse” is throwing out there are school’s proposed numbers- NOT the budget signed by Napolitano.

    Also, the tax freeze is phoney because the schools will file a Caruolo not only for this fiscal year but the for the next fiscal year, it’s only a matter of time.

    Everybody knows Napolitano is a liar ( that’s why his numbers were so bad in the poll)- Aram probably knows about the poll results. Ok time for “Jesse” to make up more spin…but I grow bored with this line fo discussion.

  30. Rachel:

    No change of heart, actually. Since you asked, I think Nap’s term has been that of a placeholder until the next person gets in — nothing too spectacular, but no major meltdown, either.

    And, you know, I remember him dedicating his victory to his deceased father. So there’s definitely an emotional/family component to his decision to run in the first place, just like there was in his decision not to seek another term. I can’t discount that, even though he clearly acted out of political expedience in most cases.


    You’re using what you have called the city’s “phony” budget — by the way, use your spell check every now and again — to “prove” the school funding point? And I’m the one spinning?!

    The schools are getting $1 million more in the upcoming year than the current year. Taxes are not going up.

    Try as you might, those facts aren’t going to change.

    And, really, “everybody knows Napolitano is a liar”? Sounds like you’re carting around a big crate of sour grapes. I mean, he’s out of the race now — why are you still campaigning against him?

    I can’t say what Aram may or may not know about this phantom poll you’re obsessing over — again, Nap’s out of the race; why does there have to be some dark conspiracy theory about it?

  31. “jesse” so worked up, so funny…I don’t use spell check, but I can count the numbers in a budget, and I do tell the truth…unlike others. Keep the laughs coming.

  32. Troll,

    What would one not want to be? A Laffey “sycophant” or a Napolitano “flunky”? I’ll go with the latter.

    Sycophant: noun: a self-seeking, servile flatterer; fawning parasite.

    Synonyms: toady, yes man, flunky, fawner, flatterer.

  33. former means first of a pair, latter means last of a pair

    “what would one not want to be” sycophant or flunky , you would “go with the latter” I guess you mean you would NOT want to go with the latter- a Napolitano flunky

    I wouldn’t want to be a flunky either, since I don’t yes anybody or flatter people I am not the former either…a sychophant

    grammer can be a hard topic

  34. GCF:

    Actually, I thought you were perfectly clear — just like it’s clear that our self-appointed English professor will just argue with whatever s/he sees written here (just watch).

    Aside from that, I’d only offer the thought that there are more types of people in the city than Pro-Laffeys and Pro-Nappies.

    So, maybe we can starve this troll as we have so many others — ?

  35. We’ve seen this Damar (Universal Demonology) before under many alias….I agree with Jesse. Troll deserves no acknowledgement to perpetuate.

    I will admit, I stunk at Spelling, and rarely spell check. I have improved at re-reading my blog (60%) before I post…it just shows care.

    I was in the Garden City Management today to get gift certificates and the bathrooms and offices and it had lighting sensors. Really, how expensive can this be – versus how long before you break even?

    Bamboo grows in 3 months to full maturity of 75 feet – oh boy, could we do well with the Cullion wetlands and make a profit.

    I am happy to report that the Open Space Bond Referendum for $6M passed yesterday and goes to the General Assembly for passage before going on the ballot in November. We need to work on educating folks what this could mean. GEE, do you think the Mayor will be proactive here….or play golf.

    I am still choked up on his claim to me that the Astro Turf was a necessity because of the contaminated soil. That’s the day he sealed his claim to honesty, integrity and leadership!

  36. It sounds to me like a few people here might just have been some of those “leeches”, as Jerry described them, ie. Jesse, Richard Brown…???

  37. Did anyone read the article in today’s ProJo about the purported “deal” between Napolitano and Barone?

    Hopefully the Mayor will continue his walking, this time in support of the Open Space bond.

  38. Bryan,
    In response to your question/accusation dated June 3rd:
    I never cozied up to former Mayor Laffey in search of any kind of political favor. My only conversations with Mr. Laffey took place in the Post Office in Rolfe Square, where he did most of his personal mailing. It started when he made a quip about the proposed price increase by the Postal Service several rate changes ago, and how these rate changes would make for a “nice raise” for the service’s employees. I replied that the service and my union had negotiated an agreement and that “a contract is a contract”. I certainly agree that the crossing guard deal was not a good deal for the city, BUT
    that a “contract is a contract”. There were several sets of verbal tennis between us over the next few months.
    I took issue with Jerry’s “union/welfare/slacker” rant because I support organized labor. Because as a dues paying member and Union Representative of the American Postal Workers Union, I do take issue with those who attack unions and their membership. The middle class in this country is vanishing before our eyes…jobs are being outsourced, sent overseas… factories are closing…policemen, firemen, teachers,etc, etc… are being forced to do more with less.
    Apparently you,Jerry, and Mr. Laffey have different views on the role of labor in the survival of America’s middle class than I do, and you certainly have a right to your opinions… I however do not subscribe to those views.

  39. Rachel:

    I just read the ProJo piece. Not sure why this would even merit so much ink, honestly.

    The most telling aspect of the story (buried near the end) was David Exter essentially begging Barone to announce so the party can “consider supporting him.”

    Right. As if Barone needs their “help.” I’m sure he’d agree that the party was worthless to him in 06.

    Beyond that, Exter is either ignoring or forgetting that his party may very well need Barone to stay if it intends to have any Repubs on the Council next year — a very scary thought, by the way.

    So if I were the GOP chairman, I wouldn’t go around acting like a king maker just yet.

    Oh, and here’s the link:

  40. “denied making any overtures to the mayor” denied “back-room deal with Democrats”….

    He can deny all he wants … he tried to switch parties, I have heard it also from several sources. He should switch Ward’s too, because 6 is sick of his arrogance and dismissiveness….but mostly lies.

    This elephant has met many whom share a consensus re: Mr. Barone and I can’t squeeze my elephant tookas into a slithering rattlers body! Barone and Fung violated our Glen Hills meeting when we asked the now Mayor Napolitano to the table and was screamed at by Barone and Fung to get off the table. Mr. Melikian who ran the meeting was shocked and had many complaints after the meeting that Barone and Fung were completely out of line. They will never be asked to attend another community meeting in our area.

    We need new leadership. While Barone might have had some points I have agreed with in the past, he stinks at delivery and is very disrespectful. And of course he and the Mayor are chummy buddies now. Stripes certainly do change with some….not with me and this doesn’t fly.

  41. Jesse-

    I think you missed that Exter is very upset with the fire contract, it actually appears the City GOP is extremely upset with Ms Arena’s ‘favorite councilman’ about this deal with Democrats issue and the contract vote. I think they are letting him know not to expect their unqualified support. If you are in the know Jesse, you realize this story is very accurate and on target. Napolitano through Carlucci had alienated alot of people with this. From my Democratic sources, this is right on.

  42. Oblomov:

    No, I got those points.

    What I’m driving at is, I don’t think Barone necessarily needs any support from the Cranston Republicans these days. I also don’t think Exter’s whining would stop a Fung-Barone “partnership,” since Fung clearly needs Ward 6 to win — so, at the very least, a strictly political calculation demands cooperation.

    Exter is acting as if Repub infighting won’t spell their doom in November — or, alternately, that Barone can’t win Ward 6 again on his own. Both of these suppositions are wrong and potentially fatal to his party.

    In the scheme of things, I think the fire contract falls somewhere below street paving (and far below taxes, the school budget, taxes, and taxes) as a main issue in this year’s election. So Exter is also choosing the wrong issue for his litmus test of who’s a “good Republican.”

    If you asked me, a “good Republican” would be anyone who could stand 12 minutes in a room with Allan Fung and Jeff Barone without switching parties, anyway.


  43. I don’t think Fung needs Barone to win Ward 6 since Fung lives in Ward 6 and has many connections there. Barone didn’t help Fung there last election anyway. Exter leads that party right, wrong or indifferent and he should expect his candidates not to be negotiating deals with the opposition. I think that is what has him steamed. The fire contract is an issue to throw out there to cement the break. You should know Jesse, it’s all about image, would you rather dump a candidate for an ideological difference or because he has worked with and tried to switch to the opposition. It looks better to pick the ideological reason, but the real reason was apparent today.

  44. Oblomov:

    It took some looking to find the info and to cross-reference the state numbers with local maps, but here’s the results 2 voting sites in Ward 6:

    Glen Hills — Fung, 514; Barone, 496. Both won.
    Garden City School — Fung, 484; Barone, 445. Fung lost by 6, Barone won.

    Barone’s “help” to Fung was actually mixed, at least from this representative sample.

    I’d argue that 2 years out of the Council for Fung is going to hurt him — and that he needs Barone more this year, even though Fung lives in Ward 6.

    Also, I agree that it’s about image — but what image would Exter have if he caused another GOP loss over a falling out with the only incumbent official in the city from his party? And, as much as I agree that Exter’s apparent problem is Barone decided to “negotiate a deal” with the Dem majority, it’s a petty and divisive stance that will only add to the chances of a Repub loss this fall.

  45. I agree with Oblomov about his take on Dave Exter’s comments. It seems that the Repubs aren’t happy that Barone essentially voted “against” the party on the fire contract.

    On the other hand, I haven’t heard of any Republicans that have stepped forward to run for Barone’s (possible) vacant seat or anywhere else in the City. I definitely don’t think that having 1 party only on the Council or any board is a good idea, regardless of what side they represent.

  46. A southern gal, Republican has been asked to run on the City wide ticket. What I know of her is to be a person of logic and comprehends the big picture.

    I can’t say I disagree with Barone on his taking a stand against the contract. Which is why I vote the best person and I leave myself to being an Independent to making such choices. Similarly, I would only agree with him that you need to do what is the right thing …no matter what your party feels because on a City level you represent the people not your special interests or delagates.

    The next Mayor is screwed and in a way, I think it’s fitting it will be Fung. He’s taken a great deal of money from his parents which is known by the politicians and he got to do Government reform in the City and CUT CUT CUT. Implement CHANGE to the extreme and raise Taxes. I do think he will play less golf and do more than Nap did….I just don’t trust him…but who is the worse of the two evils.

    Don’t forget, December is when Cullion land is supposed to be paid out on. Will we be ready to pay him, or not have the funding, further infuriating Cullion from collecting on his lotto ticket and suing us for breach of contract.

  47. Correction. Barone voted FOR the firefighters’ contract, and the Cranston GOP oppossed it.

  48. Jesse-

    At Garden City – Fung lost by 4 votes and Baron lost by 62 votes. Glen Hills area has a history of a high Republican turnout reviewing past numbers.

    The reality is that he got caught playing both sides against each other and there are ramifications for that.

  49. Yes of course, sorry.

    We need only people in there whose only agenda is to do better for the community and be a voice for the people. I will be sure to quote Mr. Barone in my editorial that “I can forget calling on him and thinking he would help me…..nice guy! Then there is Lanni …hey, it’s not big deal [the Carlucci truck thing]….and there’s others. See if you remember this one [reference to Natick Bridge], Hey be careful what you wish for if we fix your road…it will be busier. Or Mr. Sylvia, the Camera we currently own is too good for us and we need another camera.

    My opinion, probably only 2% of those that serve are really serving for the purpose of us. This Mayor has been no different than Laffey’s in lying, with one exception, Laffey didn’t give the contracts away and he got us in slightly better financial shape. We have to pick which is the best of the worst to choose from!

  50. Oblomov:

    Oops. Even 5:45 p.m. can be late for some of us (my new job starts at the ungodly hour of 6:30 a.m.); sorry for the error. I’ve posted the actual numbers and the link below.

    As for the ramifications, my central question remains, how much can Exter conceivably hurt Barone — i.e., running someone else against him in a primary or trying to halt party support — without killing the party’s chances in the fall?

    Sure, it’s an academic question — I’d like your insight on it, is all.

    The totals in Garden City were:
    Nap: 490, Fung: 484.
    McDonough: 537, Barone: 475.

    I probably should have just posted the link and, um, read it more closely.

    Here’s where I found it:

  51. Rachel:

    It makes the most difference in a primary — which goes back to the question of whether Exter will encourage someone from the GOP to run against Barone in a primary.

    (By the way, in 06, Nap and Navarro won their Dem primaries. Both had been endorsed by the City Committee.)

    The fact is, though, that the Republican party in RI, as a whole, has a lot of difficulty recruiting candidates — never mind setting up primaries. Locally, I think that means it’s going to be near-impossible to find another Repub to run for Ward 6, particularly one who might have a shot at beating Barone.

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