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Friday, July 15, 2011

RISC claims it has no ties to OSPRI

Harry Staley, chair of the RI Statewide Coalition (RISC), left a strongly worded comment on my article about false information in the latest report by the Ocean State Policy Research Institute (OSPRI).

Rather than go back and forth in the comment section, I felt Mr. Staley’s remarks – and my reply to them - deserved more prominent space.

Here’s what Mr. Staley wrote:


Unfortunately, Mr. Collette has made the same serious mistake he accuses OSPRI of: he has failed to check out his "facts" and, in the process has concocted a falsehood and spread it liberally throughout his writing.

FACT: OSPRI AND THE RHODE ISLAND STATEWIDE COALITION (RISC)ARE INDEPENDENT ORGANIZATIONS WITH NO TIES TO EACH OTHER. THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A TIE BETWEEN THE ORGANIZATIONS; RISC OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS ARE NOT ASSOCIATED WITH OSPRI.
[emphasis added]

Accusations of collaboration such as made by Mr. Collette are beyond the pale, particularly when, as he so gleefully points out: RISC is headquarted
[SIC] in Charlestown. The very least he could have done was to give us a call to verify the facts, or take the time to visit our office and get the truth.

If anyone's "pants are on fire" it's Mr. Collette. May I suggest, sir, that a formal retraction of your allegation of a relationship betwsen
[SIC] OSPRI and RISC is in order. However, pardon me if I fail to hold my breath waiting for it. You do not seem to be one who admits an error, let alone a deliberate attempt to defame another. Which one is it? The ball is in your court, we'll see how you "man up" or "weasel out".

Harry L. Staley, Chairman
Rhode Island Statewide Coalition (RISC)

Well, Harry, as you say, “the ball is in my court.”

FACT:
The RISC and OSPRI boards have been interlocked from the start. William Felkner, OSPRI’s director, served on the RISC board. Lloyd Monroe has served on both boards. Attorney Thomas Wigand, a RISC and RISC Foundation officer, has served continuously on the RISC, RISC Foundation and OSPRI boards since OSPRI was founded.

SOURCES: IRS 990 reports and Annual Reports filed with the state of Rhode Island by RISC, the RISC Foundation and OSPRI.

Would you like some water for that fire in your pants, Harry?

Author: Will Collette