Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 09-20-2018

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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18 OPINION SEPTEMBER 20-26, 2018 | VALLEY BREEZE | CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION So the primary election votes have been cast and the chatter begins as we navigate our way through the blood sport of politics. It's been "blood sport" forever, but in the age of social media, it seems much worse. Here is my short list of observations: • Results for the race for mayor in Cumberland were interesting, in that it appeared both candidates were com- pletely surprised. Jeff Mutter told us he didn't expect to win, while Mayor Bill Murray was proud of his four-year record and didn't expect to lose. I guess you just never know what's going on in voters' heads. • Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt of Woonsocket is in trouble. She may indeed survive Nov. 6 in the final non-partisan elec- tion against Al Brien (both are Democrats), but the bloom is clearly off the rose for her. She'll likely have very few friends when the new City Council convenes. Baldelli- Hunt won by only 27 votes over the combined totals of Brien and Al Beauparlant, who dropped out a month ago but still received 293 votes. Yes, the general election will have many more voters, and I think Brien still faces an uphill battle. But her enemies list is large. • The race for Scituate Town Council should be exciting, with seven Republicans look- ing to take back control from the four "Independent Men" who seized leadership two years ago. The "men" have been active, to say the least. One challenge to Council President John Mahoney may be the timing of his Chopmist Hill Estates condo proposal, which will be front and center on the minds of voters this fall. • I am amazed that indepen- dent candidate for governor Joe Trillo is now putting a bit of distance between him- self and President Trump. Considering that he was his Rhode Island campaign man- ager, it seems odd. Even more odd is the political calculation. I hap- pen to think (as do many) that Trillo is little more than a spoiler. He will take con- servative Republican votes from Republican nominee Mayor Allan Fung, and give Democrat Gina Raimondo an easy path to victory with only about 40 percent of the vote ... or less. Trillo, I suppose, wants to be in "the club" of Trump opponents, but in doing so, he'll vanish. Were I Trillo, I'd be holding the pro-Trump banner high, warts and all, and talking about the cost of illegal immi- gration in Rhode Island and the real price of our "sanctu- ary state" status, job growth that comes as much or more from Trump, our high cost of electricity forced on families by Raimondo's "climate" poli- cies, her coming "carbon tax" to crush middle class families ... all of it. Yes, he'd still prob- ably lose (as would Fung), but what the heck? He chose the battle. By distancing himself from Trump he looks weak and feckless, his campaign little more than "I hate Fung, and you should, too!" What, exactly, is the point of that, except the assurance of a sec- ond Raimondo term? • Speaking of the governor, I was correct last week. She got crushed in Burrillville, with less than 30 percent of the vote from Democrats. People there hate her support of the proposed Invenergy power plant, and many assume it will be jammed down their throats after she wins re-election. One thing is for sure ... she'll have to be forced to talk about it in debates. Otherwise, you'll hear nothing. • Progressives made some progress in the General Assembly last week, but not as much as hoped. Aaron Regunberg, candidate for lieutenant governor, came up just short of his far more experienced opponent, incum- bent Dan McKee. Still it was close. Progressives remain on the rise, a warning to all small business owners in the state. There will be more poorly crafted policy disguised with good intentions in the years ahead, and foot soldiers of the busybody left will be going through small business own- ers' records as referees of "fair- ness." It's not like they have ever been entrepreneurial or run a business or anything ... they just want to tinker with the work of others while rais- ing taxes to pay for their no- risk government paychecks. Can the People's Republic of Rhode Island be ranked 51st in business friendliness? Voters apparently want to find out. Ward is publisher of The Valley Breeze From the Publisher TOM WARD Mattiello challenged from both sides While the focus on elections last week was primarily on the guber- natorial races (and lesser so, the race for lieutenant governor) an interesting story was developing on the legislative front that may change the leadership structure in the R.I. House of Representatives. Speaker Nick Mattiello is in the race of his life with strong challenger Steve Frias. If the speaker emerges vic- torious in November, his bid to retain the speaker- ship and its inherent power won't be the same. Here are the reasons why: • The March of the Progressives – With the successful wins by progressive candidates against the more centrist Democrats backed by Mr. Mattiello, the speaker will have a difficult time woo- ing the newcomers who will join other unchal- lenged progressives in the House. Two of the pro- gressive candidates in the East Bay still have to best their respective Libertarian opponents, yet any victory by the Libertarians in those races will also, of neces- sity, make the Wanna Be Speaker yield concessions in exchange for their sup- port. Either way, Speaker Mattiello may have to be a contestant in his own brand of "Let's Make A Deal." One progressive vic- tor, Sam Bell, who defeated an incumbent, is not exact- ly a "shrinking violet." This scientist by profession was a moving force and former leader of the progressive Democrats. He successfully challenged the NRA PAC spending at the Board of Elections. Look for him to make his own mark on Smith Hill. • Democrat Women – The speaker is in the dog house with some of the females in his own party. He backed a sup- porter of Donald Trump against Rep. Moira Walsh, an incumbent who bested the Mattiello pick. It is virtually without precedent for a speaker to choose a challenger over an incum- bent. Doing so, Speaker Mattiello irked women in his own party. He already was on shaky ground when he refused to allow a vote on the legislation which would make Roe vs. Wade the operative law in Rhode island regardless of what the U.S. Supreme Court did to alter that precedent. Further, his dilly-dallying about extending the statute of limitations for lawsuits of those who were sexu- ally abused by clerics and others aggravated the Democrat women espous- ing the extension of time. With more women heading to the Statehouse he may very well have to accede to their agenda if he wants to remain in his post. • The Republicans – Because they are few in number the Republicans don't make much of an impact on legislation espoused by the minor- ity party. Yet, in the past, the public has seen how a speaker had to make concessions with the Republicans. Years ago, Russ Bramley, a repre- sentative from Warwick had 49 (out of 100) votes to become speaker. John Harwood snatched the role from him by mak- ing a compact with the Republicans. Speaker Mattiello, if returned to the House by his district, may have to shake some hands on the Republican side to stay in power. The legislature is where most of the policy making and governing occurs in the state. A mini revolu- tion is brewing. Following the primary election Mr. Mattiello's hold on the speakership became much more tenuous. He, no doubt, is fastening his seat- belt since it is going to be a bumpy ride. Violet is an attorney and for- mer state attorney general. Primary surprises Poli-Ticks ARLENE VIOLET ABOUT US The Valley Breeze Newspapers are a locally owned and operated group of free weekly newspa- pers serving the people of Cumberland, Lincoln, North Smithfield, Woonsocket, Smithfield, Scituate, Foster, Glocester, North Providence, Pawtucket, R.I., and Blackstone, Mass. Each Thursday, 60,000+ copies are distributed to retailers, banks, offices, and restaurants and other busy spots. Circulation is audited by the Circulation Verification Council of St. Louis, Mo. and has earned its "Gold Standard Award." OUR MISSION It is the Mission of The Valley Breeze to facilitate a positive sense of community among the res- idents of Northern Rhode Island by providing a forum for the free exchange of ideas, and to provide information of local events and neighbors. It is our further Mission to provide the highest quality advertising at the lowest possible cost to retailers, professionals, tradespersons, and other service providers in order to enhance the economic well-being of our community. Thomas V. Ward, Publisher James Quinn, Deputy Publisher Ethan Shorey, Managing Editor Doug Fabian, General Sales Manager Barbara Phinney, Controller Volume XXIII, Number 26 September 20, 2018 @ Breeze THE VALLEY

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