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Disengenuous State House whiners

June 30, 2010

It is always fun to watch the State House outs complain about legislative leaders. And it is even better when the irony is as thick as the rhetoric during a state budget debate.
So it was with great interest that we read the Projo’s Randy Edgar story this morning, as state reps on the skids  with the leadership of Speaker Gordon Fox, D-Providence bemoaned their fate when it comes to getting state grants and goodies for their districts.
Now that Cranston’s Charlene Lima is in the legislative version of Siberia, she is upset that she isn’t getting grants for her district. When Lima was in the leadership, she went after every grant she could put her hands on. She has been around the State House forever and she surely knows why she isn’t getting these favors. Anyone who has come up through the old  Silver Lake machine _ as did Lima_ understands the rules.
The fact is, we have a representative democracy with elected leaders. To the victor belongs the spoils. At some level, political leadership demands some modicum of loyalty and meting out grants is one lever that legislative leaders have.
So Lima and the others should not act as if they are “shocked, shocked”  to find politics being played under McKim, Mead and White’s dome.  She supported Rep. Gregory Schadone for speaker. He lost.  (Schadone was also one of the complainers in the ProJo piece.)
It has never failed to amaze long-time legislative observers of the disconnect between the way state and federal lawmakers are treated by the media and others. There is a serious double-standard.

Rhode Islanders canonize federal lawmakers who bring the bacon back to the state. We revered Sen.  Claiborne Pell for his eponymous grants to college students and named buildings after John Chafee for the federal largess he brought to the state when he was in the U.S. Senate. But a state rep who gets a few bucks for a senior center in his or her community to buy new bingo cards is somehow doing something bad.
Reminds one of that old adage about how one can tell a reformer in Rhode Island: A legislator who is out of power.

One Comment leave one →
  1. PIAProv permalink
    July 1, 2010 11:30 am

    Nicely done, Scotty. Don’t forget the “gang of six” Republicans!

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