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    Rhode Island Tag

    Former U.S. Senator and Rhode Island Governor Linc Chafee has announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee. When Rhode Island reader and blogger Tony emailed me about it, I thought it was a joke. Chafee has a reputation of a buffoonish political character who switches political sides on a whim. On second thought, that may make him perfect as a presidential candidate. Apparenty it's true. Here is his announcement: The Providence Journal reports:
    Former U.S. Senator and Governor Lincoln Chafee, who slipped quietly out of the State House in January, made a big splash Thursday in local politics by announcing he may run for president in 2016. Chafee made his announcement on his website and in a news release in which he said he was announcing the formation of an exploratory committee to consider a run as the Democratic Party nominee. Chafee, a former Republican turned Independent turned Democrat, said he will spend the next few months in New Hampshire, Iowa and other key battleground states, asking voters whether his “independent thinking and fresh ideas for the future” are what is needed in the 2016 presidential campaign.
    GoLocalProv has more details on his background:

    My formerly home State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is keeing up its long history of corrupt politicians. In March 2014, we reported how Gordon Fox, the RI House Speaker and most powerful politician in Rhode Island was resigning after fed and state police raid. Now we know why. The FBI has issued a press release that Fox is pleading guilty to three federal charges:
    Former Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon D. Fox, 53, of East Providence, has waived federal indictment and is expected to plead guilty in federal court to a three-count Information charging him with wire fraud, bribery and filing a false tax return. The charges stem from former Speaker Fox’s theft of $108,000 donated by campaign supporters to pay for personal expenses; his acceptance of a $52,000 bribe to advocate and move for issuance of a liquor license for an East Side restaurant while serving as Vice-Chairman of the City of Providence Board of Licenses in 2008; and his failure to account for these illegal sources of income on his tax returns....
    News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England Via News 10:

    You may not fully appreciate this unless you are from my former home State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. As mentioned here before, twice-convicted former Providence Mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci not only is running for Mayor a third time (as an Independent), he is leading in the polls. Buddy's first conviction during his first term as Mayor was for beating his wife's alleged paramour with a fireplace log and assaulting him with a lit cigarette. His second conviction was for running a criminal enterprise (under the RICO statute), namely, Providence City Hall. Mike Stanton, author of the definitive chronicle of Buddy's years in office (The Prince of Providence book and later movie), has a column in The New York Times this weekend, Good Buddy, Bad Buddy:
    Stories of the Good Buddy and the Bad Buddy are legion, and legend. He moved rivers. He took bribes. He built a mall. He was accused of raping a woman at gunpoint in law school. He championed WaterFire, the festive floating bonfires on downtown rivers. He assaulted a guy and tried to jab a lit cigarette in his eye while a police bodyguard stood by. He raised a city’s self-esteem. He turned City Hall into a cesspool. The judge who sentenced him to five years in prison, for running City Hall as a criminal enterprise, called him Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. (The ever witty Buddy cracked, “He didn’t give me two [expletive] paychecks.”) He belongs to that great American pantheon of rogues whose corruption was tolerated because of their populist appeal to voters and the perception that they “got things done” — Boss Tweed, Huey Long, James Michael Curley, Edwin Edwards.... A city is like a woman you make love to, he once said. But he was an unfaithful lover.
    Yet Buddy remains a beloved figure because he was larger than life, a superb retail politician, and the man who transformed Providence from a dying industrial city into the jewel of New England.

    After the Oklahoma workplace beheading, I asked if the threat level had shifted From Going Postal to Going ISIS. Regardless of whether we see more actual beheadings in the U.S., it appears that threats of beheadings may be the latest iteration of threatening hoaxes based on news events. As ISIS beheadings are in the news, as well as the Oklahoma workplace beheading, someone who hopefully will be caught made a beheading threat directed at elementary schools in three towns in my formerly home State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. (h/t Infidel Bloggers Alliance) NBC News 10 reports:
    Police had a very visible presence Wednesday at schools in Cranston, Johnston and Warwick. Officers will be present all day after a letter threatening beheadings at the elementary schools in the three communities was received by the Johnston Police Department on Tuesday. Police said the handwritten letter was one page, and it is being analyzed at the state crime lab at the University of Rhode Island. Police departments said they would cover every school in the three communities. "When these threats come in, we take them very serious. But at the same time, we don't want these threats to disrupt our daily life, including important work that they do here educating students," Cranston Police Col. Michael Winquist said. The police presence calmed the fears of some parents.

    Oh man. Good times could be just around the corner in the Capital city of my former home State of Rhode Island and [if you don't know by now how it ends, you obviously haven't been paying attention]. Remember, I said it: Buddy Cianci running for Mayor of Providence again, and he can win:
    In his first act as Mayor of Providence, Buddy resigned in 1984 after being convicted of assaulting his wife’s alleged paramour with a fire log and lit cigarette. (Seriously.) Buddy had a comeback but in 2002 was convicted of running a criminal enterprise, namely, Providence City Hall. Cianci was found not guilty of 26 specific criminal charges. The only charge on which he was convicted was RICO conspiracy.... He can win. He absolutely can win. And that would not be a bad thing for Providence, which has been in a funk since Buddy went to the Big House.
    That prediction appears to be coming true, as a Providence Journal / News 12 poll shows Buddy in the lead running as an Independent:

    I saw this bumper sticker over Labor Day weekend in downtown Providence, in my former home State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. My wife had seen one on a different car a couple of days earlier. Former Mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci has been covered here before regarding his conviction under the Racketeer Influenced  and Corrupt Organizations Act. In his first act as Mayor of Providence, Buddy resigned in 1984 after being convicted of assaulting his wife's alleged paramour with a fire log and lit cigarette.  (Seriously.) Buddy had a comeback but in 2002 was convicted of running a criminal enterprise, namely, Providence City Hall. Cianci was found not guilty of 26 specific criminal charges. The only charge on which he was convicted was RICO conspiracy. Buddy has been out of federal prison for several years, and has a very successful radio show.  He is still adored by many, regardless of his legal problems.  He is a natural retail politician. Politics is in Buddy's soul, and he's running for Mayor again as an Independent:

    Oh, how I miss my formerly home State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. A State run by the best and the brightest -- and the indicted and the investigated and the Democrats and the Unions. Just a few days ago the feds and State Police raided the office and home of the Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives -- who has since resigned as Speaker. Among other things, there is a huge legislative push for more gun control legislation, as reported by ABC6:
    Some Rhode Island lawmakers...are again taking aim at gun control. No fewer that nine bills are now being considered - from banning assault style weapons; to boosting sales tax on ammunition; and, limiting gun clips to no more than ten rounds. "People do have the right to own a gun. I believe in that. But I think there's also a new type of responsibility that has to come with controlling a gun and the guns that go out into the street," said State Rep. Joe Almeida (D) Providence, who sponsored three of the bills. Gun owner's rights advocates are already firing back. "We're in an election year and there is an element of this that is obviously election year antics," said State Rep. Mike Chippendale (R) Foster.
    The arrogance of the politically powerful is demonstrated in this response by Democratic State Senator Josh Miller and an unidentified compatriot (added -- apparently a photographer accompanying Miller) to a question regarding the pending legislation. Miller describes himself as "[o]ne of the true "left of center" Democrats of the R.I. State Senate." The questioner, Dan Bidondi, has a radio show and is affilated with Alex Jones' InfoWars. Here's the video:

    The most powerful politician in my former home State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is not the Governor. It's the Speaker of the House. And Mr. Speaker, Gordon Fox, is stepping down as Speaker after the feds and state police raided his office and home yesterday. Projo reports:
    On the day after state and federal investigators raided his State House office and home, House Speaker Gordon D. Fox has announced his intention to resign as speaker. He issued this statement:
    “The Rhode Island House of Representatives is an institution that I deeply respect and serving my constituents has been a major part of my life for the past 22 years. I will not let yesterday’s events distract my colleagues from addressing the challenges facing Rhode Island.” “Because of the respect I have for all members of the House of Representatives, I am resigning as Speaker. The process of governing must continue and the transition of leadership must be conducted in an orderly manner.”

    Much of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is without power as the result of the Snowzilla/Snowmaggedon/Blizzapocalypse of 2013. Including my house. Pray for our water pipes. Update 2-10-2013 9 a.m. -- They're still dripping.  One of the few times a drip is a good thing. and...

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