I wasn't able to attend last night's annual RIPEC dinner, an event that draws a lot of the state's business and government leaders. I have read the ProJo's account of the dinner, however (Leaders looking to revive state's economy, page 1). What is striking about the reporting is the weak, politics-as-usual comments made by House Speaker Bill Murphy and Senate Majority Leader Teresa Paiva Weed...(more)
They just don't seem to have a clue about the state's dire financial shape or what to do about it, although Paiva Weed did state that "a dramatic intervention is required." What is she talking about: more tobacco money or federal stimulus funds? Murphy emphasized the need to stay competitive with neighboring states, which is a real tired yawner. Again, no policy recommendations forthcoming on how to do that. The Governor, now a lame duck, keeps saying some of the right things and is willing to try them, but the General Assembly led by turkeys like Murphy-Paiva Weed won't push for any of them.
It took Al Verrechia of Hasbro to lay on some sound and fury, like "stop being hesitant...stop being satisfied with incremental change...stop thinking that just being competitive with the neighboring states...is good enough." More forcefully and directed right at Murphy-Paiva Weed-Fox et al. was his statement that he's "not convinced the collective leadership of the state is willing to make the tough decisions."
Right on, Al. These folks have helped to create the mess we're in. Why should we think they will demonstrate true leadership now? As he also said: 'They've not been willing to look to the greater good. Too often, it's 'all about me.'"