Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 10-18-2018

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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14 OPINION OCTOBER 18-24, 2018 | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER | SMITHFIELD SCITUATE FOSTER GLOCESTER What do you get when you have a top-notch moderator team of Tim White and Ted Nesi, both of WPRI-TV, who insist that two candidates who are intelligent and at the top of their game answer their well-crafted questions? You get a U.S. Senate debate which is a textbook example of how debates ought to be conducted. So, did Incumbent Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse or his Republican challenger, Bob Flanders, win? The edge goes to Mr. Flanders. Here's why: • Judge Kavanaugh hearings: While Sen. Whitehouse made a plausible argument that Kavanaugh's yearbook entries were con- temporaneous with the allega- tion of attempted rape hence probative of the activities of the Supreme Court nominee, Mr. Flanders adequately explained his theoretical vote of "yes" for now-Justice Kavanagh. Citing his adher- ence to the "rule of law" and the presumption of innocence that governed his tenure as a R.I. Supreme Court judge he defended his position by cit- ing the lack of corroboration. Edge, Flanders. • Trump's Performance During Kavanaugh Hearings: Whitehouse scored points by developing the idea of the truncated FBI investigation and the name- calling done by the President. Republican Flanders negoti- ated the "shoals" by stating that, if elected, he would "call balls and strikes on the President." He weakened his argument by going a step further and justifying why there is a statute of limita- tions, thereby showing a lack of understanding of trauma, particularly for women (and altar boys) who have been raped. Brain science studies have confirmed that details as to time and location can blur and sometimes are blocked out by the underlying trauma. Edge, Whitehouse. • Opioids: Mr. Flanders went on the attack by not- ing that Mr. Whitehouse sponsored a bill that gutted the authority of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to prosecute drug companies that flooded the market with opioids far in excess of the population. Whitehouse coun- tered that nobody from DEA opposed the bill. Flanders topped off his argument by noting the campaign contribu- tions received by Whitehouse from Big Pharma and his investments in drug compa- nies. Edge, Flanders. • Bipartisanship: Mr. Whitehouse touted his ability to work across the aisle by cit- ing that he had 10 bills passed in 30 days which showed his leadership. Mr. Flanders countered that he was rated by a watchdog group as the 9th most partisan senator and that he had voted 90 percent of the time as Minority leader Charles Schumer. This was a draw. • Burrillville Power Plant: Republican Flanders pointed out what he described as the deafening silence and hypocrisy by the incumbent given his moniker of being a climate change advocate. Mr. Whitehouse countered that he had a "lane" which the voters elected him to do – that is, Congress – and to leave local issues to the state authorities and siting board. This was a draw. • Health Care, Social Security, Obamacare, Medicare: Mr. Whitehouse cited the Republican budget that did have provisions to roll back Social Security and Medicare and pointed out these reductions were in there to give tax breaks to the rich. Mr. Flanders cited the grow- ing costs of Obamacare and generally stated that he would never vote for anything that did not have bipartisan sup- port. Edge, Whitehouse. The debate was about equal so why did Flanders win? When a challenger more than holds his own he gets a boost because the expectation is that an incumbent will wipe the ground with the newcomer. That didn't happen. Flanders won. Violet is an attorney and former state attorney general. Flanders does well in Senate debate It's pretty clear that Democrats Gov. Gina Raimondo and U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse are favored to win re-election Nov. 6, not necessarily because of glowing terms in office but because Rhode Islanders are so predictably Democrat. Taxes ... business climate ... both bottom of the barrel? What? Me worry? As long as state labor honchos and their friends are taken care of, all will be well for Democrats. So many fingers, so few pies. I don't believe for a moment The Providence Journal, R.I. Public Radio, Channel 6 poll, reported Oct. 10, that puts Whitehouse 24 points ahead of his GOP challenger, former Supreme Court Judge Robert Flanders. I think Whitehouse still has an advantage, but I expect some of the drama – the flatu- lence questions and all that – left over in the wake of the Kavanaugh Supreme Court justice hearings, will have an impact. Even the irreverent (and profane) TV comedy "South Park" was making fun of Whitehouse last week! When Whitehouse, during last week's Channel 12 debate, said that he had received a lot of support from the people he met regarding his ques- tioning during the Judiciary Committee hearings, I thought, "You've got to get out more ..." So why not a 24-point Whitehouse lead? What has changed? Flanders did well in the debate, and made the case that he won't be a President Trump lackey. Flanders also suggested that Rhode Islanders will be well served to have a U.S. senator from each party, to always have a "place at the table" no matter which party is in charge during these polar- ized times. That is certainly true. In short, Flanders looked senatorial, and not like some right-wing hothead. I also have noticed a lot more Flanders signs. True, "signs don't vote," as we were all reminded in 2016 by the mainstream media when Trump signs covered the center of the country. Still, I was surprised to see the large number of oversized Flanders signs spring up along roads everywhere last week. And you always know a challenger like Flanders is being taken seriously when Democrats trot out the old "Republicans are going to take away your Social Security and Medicare!" Good lord, such a steaming dog pile! First, both programs are troubled and I see no leadership on either side – no courage at all – in the people we elect to fix important things. Second, Trump made it clear in his campaign, and since, that he won't touch Social Security. He has no guts, either. So the claims are all baloney. Why is it so hard to have honest debate on these critical pro- grams as they begin to fail? None is on the horizon, and certainly it will be "all hog- wash, all the time," until elec- tion day. As for Raimondo, could she possibly be luckier than to have the Joe Trillo-Allan Fung Mud Bowl in progress as her campaign winds down? Trillo, the former Republican state representative turned independent spoiler, never had a chance. His platform is "I hate Allan Fung." Now, the poll gives him 5 percent of the vote, and since it was taken, the Journal did a story on Trillo's 1975 assault on an "ill- mannered, undisciplined little brat" (according to a Cranston Police report) who would go on to become House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello 40 years later. Do you know how all this will play out? I'm pretty sure I do. Voters across the state will reject the entire Fung-Trillo- Mattiello-Cranston poop-storm and re-elect Raimondo. Why, things are so bad, she might even get 50 percent of the vote! It is reported that Raimondo has spent $5 million on her campaign so far, and still has a few million left. Why spend more? Might I suggest she instead send her leftover mil- lions to the state treasury? While $7 million for a cam- paign in our tiny state sounds like a lot, it is only 1/100th – one percent! – of the amount that taxpayers have thrown away to cover the still-rising cost of the UHIP computer fiasco, and the pain it contin- ues to exact on people in need, as well as caregivers. I expect when the campaign mercifully ends, we'll finally be told by the governor, "It's one hell of a mess, and I have no idea how to fix it." Finally, truth that even $7 million in ads can't cover up. Ward is publisher of The Valley Breeze Flanders likely closer than 24 points; Raimondo to win From the Publisher TOM WARD 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 tward@valleybreeze.com James Quinn, Deputy Publisher jquinn@valleybreeze.com Ethan Shorey, Managing Editor ethan@valleybreeze.com Doug Fabian, General Sales Manager doug@valleybreeze.com Barbara Phinney, Controller accounting@valleybreeze.com Founded in 1956 by The Burgess Family Volume LXIII, Number 33 October 18, 2018 valleybreeze.com @ Observer THE VALLEY BREEZE &

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