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Governor Chafee: Declare a State of Political Emergency

Governor Lincoln Chafee has declared a state of emergency for Rhode Island in response to national disasters. He should also declare a financial state of emergency.


EDITOR’S NOTE: This piece was originally submitted on Friday, but because of the blizzard and the ensuing muck from it, I wasn’t able to edit and post it until today. I apologize for the error. – Stephen Greenwell.

A massive snowstorm is heading toward the Ocean State. Superstorm Sandy was bad enough, but now the Northeast is taking another battering. Governor Lincoln Chafee has declared a state of emergency in Rhode Island, telling residents to stay off the roads and stay in their homes.

Mother Nature's wrath is falling white and cold across the Northeast, but a worse disaster has descended on the New England states, one worse than intolerant Puritanism or even state-sponsored statism. The fiscal crisis of underfunded and unpaid pension obligations weigh heavily on voters and state representatives, worse than a superstorm, which will not only demolish houses but undo the legacies and savings of hard-working families, both those who worked in the public as well as the private sectors.

General Treasurer Gina Raimondo has taken what precautions she can to staunch the misery of massive cuts, yet the tsunami of debt roars ever more over Rhode Island.

Beyond the fiscal fears, the demagoguery of the Democratic Party has been an unmitigated and unnatural disaster for Rhode Island. For 70 years, Democrats have dominated the state legislature, where their torrential cascade of debt, deficits and bankrupting taxes and regulations have driven away thousands of Rhode Island residents.

Only in 1983, which some have termed "The Great Fiasco," did some semblance of two-party rule return to the state, when Republicans won an unprecedented 23 seats in the General Assembly.

Today, the legislature remains dominated by the unprecedented disaster of Democratic rule. The real "fiasco," of course, has been the frightening trend of one-party partisanship (if such a dynamic is possible) in Providence, one that has unleashed an unearthly flurry of anti-growth polices.

Rhode Island has one of the worst business climates, replete with thundering regulations, hurricane-like taxes, and a snowstorm of spending which has blanketed the state in unrelenting debt. Instead of a field of powdery, gentle white, there is a thrashing sea of red ink washing along the shores and covering not just the homes, but the future of the state and its residents.

The "Red Sea of Debt" is so great that the city of Providence may have to seek the intervention of Divine Providence to part present bondholders and taxpayers (what few that remain) from the threatened bankruptcy drowning everything.

Gov. Chafee must declare another state of emergency, one of fiscal and political proportions, a formerly subtle disaster that is now erupting across the state, New England, and is even threatening larger states like Illinois and California.

Forget about global warming, and forget about gay marriage. The biggest crisis afflicting the state of Rhode Island is the ungodly dominance of the tax-and-spendthrift Democratic Party. However, it does not necessarily take an "Act of God" to end this heinous, disastrous dominance. In declaring a state of emergency, Gov. Chafee and supporters can enact the following reforms:

1. Pull the Master Lever once and for all. Get rid of this petty polling practice that permits one party to dominate every statewide office with one vote. Every resident in Rhode Island deserves to choose individually and selectively who will represent them at the city, the state, or even the national level. Not since the Gilded Age of political machines and politicized corruption have such hollow tactics existed. Boss Tweed of Tammany Hall would sprinkle perfume on the ballots that he wanted cast, and others have attributed the exhortation to him about tallying ballots: "It's not the number of votes that counts, but vote counters." He also quipped: "As long as I count the voters, what are you going to do about it?" The voters should do something all right, and end the Master Lever.

2. Initiate open primaries. Many parties should have the opportunity to participate in Rhode Island politics. Why should party have all the fun, partying on the taxpayer's dime? Republicans can coalesce with libertarians, or Democrats and Republicans who agree on anything can form their own party. More choices, more freedom, more power to the people.

3. Enact a Citizens' Commission to draw the boundaries for state legislative and Congressional representation. Instead of permitting the state legislature to gerrymander local and and statewide seats, why not permit a select group of dedicated Rhode Islanders to draw up the districts. Instead of creating safe districts for state senators and assembly members, citizens would only take into account the geographical or at least the basic cultural similarities between and within cities.

Gov. Chafee, it's time to declare another state of emergency: a fiscal and political crisis. The Capital city of Providence is going bankrupt, and aside from an "Act of Providence", the well-being of your state requires well-meaning reforms which will return the power of representation to the people instead of the politicians. End the Master Lever, open up the primaries, and let the citizens design their constituencies. These reforms will expand choice and limit the scope of government in the lives and livelihood of Rhode Islanders.  

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Naome Lixes February 15, 2013 at 10:35 PM
It's not as if this same poster hasn't generated similar opprobrium in other Patches, over the same objections. It's carpetblogging, and it's the equivalent of SPAM. Just look at the response cycle - it's not something the majority asked for, is it?
Naome Lixes February 15, 2013 at 10:42 PM
Let's get real. If someone from a Liberal, abolish guns and tax the rich viewpoint stomped in here with their Gucci Loafers on, after cashing the Trust Fund check they would be run out on a rail. It's only the most Conservative voices getting a pass. This guy is trying to use the Patch to make a National name for himself. Read some of his other submissions, he derides AA for pity's sake. I would be VERY interested to hear if Mr. Schaper has any family responsibilities. This kind of arrogance is rarely spread by peope still raising children. It's not like Mr. Schaper's generation has managed their own affairs well... http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/30/opinion/keller-the-entitled-generation.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Naome Lixes February 15, 2013 at 10:50 PM
"You do know the State has nothing to do with the Indians in SD..." For someone that claims to know something about first Nations, your grasp of reality is pretty limp. Just ask your pal Katy how she treats the Indians... g'head.
Naome Lixes February 15, 2013 at 10:55 PM
"It's a two part problem, we do need a good education system but we also need to retain the people we have educated because they pay for the next generation to get an education and that is a problem for RI." I'm in complete agreement. The fact is that America has a growing Spanish-speaking population. They are the future of industry, research and providing services. Just look at the ranks of our enlisted military.... http://wpsa.research.pdx.edu/meet/2012/gonzalezalfredo.pdf It's young people leaving Rhode Island that's the problem. When pensioners are the fastest growing segment of the population, the work has vanished. There's a misconception that the demographic has rapidly shifted, toward young Latinos - when in fact it has rapidly shifted to retired white people. That's the problem - not enough work to keep young people in state. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/44000.html
Naome Lixes February 15, 2013 at 11:02 PM
"@MC, then please fill us all in on the statistics that place Rhode Island above SD or any other state for that matter." This is a false equivalence. Rhode Island covers a land mass of 1045 square miles, and is among the most densely populated states. South Dakota covers 75,885 sq. miles and is among the most sparsely populated states. Rhode Island was here at the formation of the Republic. South Dakota came along considerably later. Rhode Island deals with a strained infrastructure that is not only among the oldest in the union, it is among the most heavily traveled as the I-95 corridor runs through the capitol. Rush hour in South Dakota's busiest metroplex looks like this... http://heckeranddecker.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/abandoned-parking-lot-01-cmp.jpg The comparison is only accurate in that they're both American states. Beyond that, it's a steaming pile of male bovine excreta.
Dark star February 15, 2013 at 11:26 PM
@NL indices, statistics, medians and means are designed to permit comparisons between states and countries. You should know, you have used them before when it suited your purpose.
Jack Baillargeron February 15, 2013 at 11:33 PM
NL, you really make me laugh lol. Now you want to tell the writer, how and what he can write lol. Ever hear of :Tip O'neil" who said "All Politics are Local" when referring to the so called National Politics of the Congress in Washington? I find it beyond credulity that you can peruse, this article and all you can come up with is argument about where "Kat Lives" and who should and should not be allowed to post on the patch. Though that is also very amusing lol.
Jack Baillargeron February 15, 2013 at 11:44 PM
At some point Artur you have to look at the reality that you cannnot change 78 years of tyranny when the masses have been so brainwashed they cannot see the value of real Government involvement by all views being on the table to be debated. After half a century of seeing this State get run over again and again with Corruption, fraud, waste and abuse, one has to wonder whats in the water here. lol The facts sadly are the Facts when it comes to this State, and sadly the fact are the vast majority of the people just don't care or are benefiting through collusion evidently in my opinion. This is from the local level on up in almost all the State.
Naome Lixes February 15, 2013 at 11:57 PM
"@NL indices, statistics, medians and means are designed to permit comparisons between states and countries." I call shenanigans. Rhode Island is roughly the size of Faulk county, SD population 2365. "People per square mile; RI 1018 SD 10.7." You don't think that having a population density 95 times that of SD invalidates the comparison? It's pretty clear that you're not serious in considering data. These two states couldn't be more different and still be in the same country. I still hold to the notion that the ONLY reason this clown gets any consideration is the common viewpoint he holds with cranks. It's barely worthy of ridicule. Note the 2005-2009 compilation data of State's GDP. Look who is #44 and #46? Surprised to see who's more productive? The difference today - OIL. It's not as if South Dakota, or any other energy producer just became more efficient in their state government - they cut services, gutted schools and got more revenue from selling off a finite resource. They weren't better at State craft - the price of oil rose. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_GDP
Naome Lixes February 15, 2013 at 11:58 PM
Source material for the wikipedia article: http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/gdp_state/gsp_newsrelease.htm
mike westman February 16, 2013 at 12:39 AM
Rhode Island does fairly well for having minimal resources.....sort of an overflow for Boston....yes it is corrupt....but it is no more corrupt than any major city (which it sort of resembles).....the phone booth for the gop is small and the only thing that is smaller is their collective ( sorry comrade) brainpower. Any "revolution" fomented in that phone booth will have an effective area the size of Dutch Island.
Dark star February 16, 2013 at 12:39 AM
So it is SD's fault they were blessed with a natural resource and have decided to take advantage of it...but NL you forget that RI has wonderful beaches, so its a "push"
Leave RI February 16, 2013 at 01:16 AM
what? The link didn't work? or not for me..
Leave RI February 16, 2013 at 01:26 AM
"There's a misconception that the demographic has rapidly shifted, toward young Latinos - when in fact it has rapidly shifted to retired white people." That's fer sher..Haband just sent me a complimentary pair of salmon colored pants that pull way up to a bad place and white, velcro shoes..can't wait to hit the VFW tonight!
Leave RI February 16, 2013 at 02:00 AM
"Any "revolution" fomented in that phone booth will have an effective area the size of Dutch Island" Yessssss...I love Curacao
Jack Baillargeron February 16, 2013 at 02:03 AM
Thanks for the belly laugh Mike! "no more corrupt than any major city ", wow you need to read the history of RI over the last 78 years alone. Be sure to check out how many times were are #1 for corruption in the Country and always in the top 5. For a State as small as this to have more evil than big States with larger populations that drawf RI, show you have no clue on this in this State. The more people in the pot the more change of Corruption. In this State we have made it a past time with less people. That something your proud of? lol You enjoy living in a State that is ruled like "Cuba" where minority rights are almost non-existent in our State House? You like living in a State where the politicians think minimum wage jobs are the only answer? Tourism dependency has destroyed this State! The State drove industry out, Companies with high paying jobs, destroyed the Fishing industry long ago all for the one industry that makes it very easy to skim money to the Corrupt system that exist in the State. There is a good reason we are the worst State for business in the nation all the time. It is called 78 years of one party control (DEM) period.
Jack Baillargeron February 16, 2013 at 02:04 AM
I'm for it lol.
katherine February 16, 2013 at 02:34 AM
The monument is coming along. Crazy horses face is nearly done, but the horse is barely started.
Naome Lixes February 16, 2013 at 02:43 AM
So it is SD's fault they were blessed with a natural resource and have decided to take advantage of it...but NL you forget that RI has wonderful beaches, so its a "push" - TNKA I don't think that anyone in South Dakota's highest offices are crowing about leaving the bottom of the BEA listings. They're busy, taking care of their own. Point is, holding up an example like this as a comparison between a successful and a failed public policy leaves out most of the important details. As is so often the case when macroeconomics is discussed by us mere mortals... "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken Only a simpleton would claim that the current good fortune of a state that is among the least populated can offer workable solutions to one that is among the most densely populated. But that's katherine, someone who CHOSE to leave.
Jack Baillargeron February 16, 2013 at 02:44 AM
Can't wait for it to be completed Kat.
katherine February 16, 2013 at 02:50 AM
...Maria asked me to compare and contrast so I did. Now it seems that no one wants to compare and contrast. Be careful what you ask for.
Arthur Christopher Schaper February 16, 2013 at 03:57 AM
I think Naomi Lixes needs a cup of cocoa! "Send in the clowns!" I would like to see more of the tax and spend clowns leaving the GA in Providence.
Leave RI February 16, 2013 at 07:46 AM
Arthur..Naomi sticks with the threads subject most of the time..disagree?then."Leave RI" on patch
Jack Baillargeron February 16, 2013 at 08:22 AM
Well Leave RI, its official, HaleBop was what crashed in Russia. No evidence of a Space ship was found lol.
mike westman February 16, 2013 at 11:57 AM
kinda orange in flavor
Naome Lixes February 16, 2013 at 02:49 PM
I believe the request was for people that actually live nearby to contribute. We don't much care what dance you do with tumbleweeds. Go Wikik aŋ tantanka ptecila, and bring a camera.
katherine February 16, 2013 at 03:38 PM
Nope. She specifically asked me.
Maria Cabral February 16, 2013 at 04:00 PM
Katherine: Since we are communicating in a medium in which our words are written and saved, it's relatively easy to nail down what I "specifically" asked you: -- Please, Katherine, tell us the state in which you now live. So, Miss Nope, please quote from the thread above where you replied to that request with a specific answer of your own. And, for the record, Miss Nope, none of us really care where you live. We just react, as most humans would, when you hold yourself out to be smarter than the rest of us (e.g., "You are just mad because I was smart enough to get the heck out of there.").
katherine February 16, 2013 at 04:16 PM
Maria Cabral 5:19 pm on Thursday, February 14, 2013 Please, Katherine, tell us the state in which you now live. It would be fun to compare and contrast.
Maria Cabral February 16, 2013 at 05:18 PM
Very good, Miss Nope. You repeated my request. See? I told you everything everyone has written is here and easy to find. I see you were also able to repeat my observation as to what might be fun after you finally answered the request. Now please, read this slowly and carefully, one more time: -- please quote from the thread above where YOU replied to my request with a -- specific answer of your own. If that's too much for you, please: 1) Type the one-word sentence "Nope" again, 2) Tell us how much smarter you are than all of us who are irrationally staying here in RI doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, and 3) Resume posting your opinions without reading/absorbing the thoughts of others.

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