Sunday, January 18, 2015

TGIF: 19 Things to Know About Rhode Island Politics


Ian Donnis writes:

The left side of Rhode Island's political ecosystem hasn't been too happy with House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello. To some, Mattiello was pulling a Grover Norquist when he said during a recent poverty vigil that 'the focus has to on eradicating the safety net, and not bolstering the safety net.' Writing at RIFuture.org -- in a piece headlined, "Speaker Mattiello upfront about his economic vision," Steve Ahlquist said, "It’s not often a conservative Republican goes that far." Sam Bell, state coordinator of the RI Progressive Democrats, used a ProJo op-ed to repeat the claim that Mattiello is intent on "eradicating the safety net." (Bell also faulted the 11 House Republicans for contributing to legislative hegemony by joining the symbolic vote for Mattiello earlier this month.) But although he's signaled his willingness to cut spending on social programs, the speaker's "safety net" comment has been taken out of context. A replay of the tape included at RIFuture.org shows that Mattiello was talking about eliminating the need for safety net programs. And though the speaker will never be confused with a liberal Democrat, his mind-meld with House Republicans stems mostly from a shared pro-business/tax-cutting worldview.

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