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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sound and Fury at the State House

Despite our budget woes, intolerable unemployment, runaway fuel oil costs and deteriorating infrastructure, it's great to see our lawmakers in Providence have their priorities straight.

The right-wing of the General Assembly spent much of this week flailing away at two of their favorite bogeymen -
gay marriage and illegal immigration. Can you imagine how hysterical they would be if they discovered there were illegal immigrants who wanted the right to same sex marriage?
totally bogus statistic that illegal immigration costs Rhode Island $400 million a year. Even Rep. Donna Walsh's opponent jumped on the bandwagon and spouted that figure.

I'm surprised that Bill Felkner of the Ocean State Policy Research Institute didn't use that fictional statistic in his own equally fictional account of how
Rhode Island policies are scaring the rich into moving away to Florida. In fact, the rich ARE NOT moving away, but as they used to say about Ronald Reagan, "don't let the facts get in the way of a good story."

Speaking of Ronald Reagan, House Republicans are thrilled that their resolution to memorialized a fictionalized version of Ronald Reagan on his 100th centennial
passed unanimously, 61-0. Rep. Doreen Costa (R-Tea Bag) scores again!

Rep. Daniel Gordon (R-Portsmouth) also struck a blow for the Tea Party agenda with his
bill to allow Rhode Islanders to "opt out" of federal Health Care Reform. Gordon cited a favorite right-wing shibboleth, the Tenth Amendment, as the basis for his resolution.

In fairness, I should also note the noble efforts of two South County Democrats who also have their priorities straight. Take Rep. Donald Lally (D-Narragansett) who introduced
a bill to make Halloween the last Saturday of October, regardless of the actual date. He said he introduced the bill on behalf of a constituent and, even though it didn't think the bill was a great idea, would put it up for a hearing anyway. I'm sure that constituent, whoever that is, is really happy with Lally over that.

And Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy (D-Hopkinton)
introduced legislation to create a special Red Sox affinity license plate. This bill does have some merit, as the revenues from the sale of the plates would go for cancer research at the Dana Farber Institute.

Terry Gorman, RI's leading xenophobe, managed to get just about every Republican who ran in the last election to use his

Lucky for Charlestown that we are represented by Rep. Donna Walsh, a person who takes the people's business very seriously. So far this session, she has introduced bills to boost the economy by helping small business - through tax relief and preference for RI companies in state contracting, farm relief legislation and a new bill to further crack down on potential killers on the road.