Alahverdian tells P&J that, “I’ve had these ideas since I was 15. I wanted to capitalize on them then, but didn’t have the necessary freedom and technology to do so. It amazed me that DCYF bureaucrats had the ability to overpower the state reps and senators. Now we’ll be able to connect foster kids with their reps and senators directly so DCYF’s power will be undermined and lawmakers can directly confront the stories they hear from kids in state care.
“As a Harvard-educated activist,” he continued, “I became DCYF’s worst enemy when I started actively lobbying for reform. And look at how many changes have been made. I never wanted credit. I wanted change. And for once in my life, they gave me what I wanted — and what the state needed.”
We wish our friend Nick the best in his quest to improve conditions for the Biggest Little’s foster children.
Fung Tosses His Hat In
P&J have a great deal of respect for Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, the honest and intelligent politico who has a legitimate shot at being not just the Republican gubernatorial flag-bearer, but a force to be reckoned with in the actual November election, after he announced his gubernatorial campaign on Monday. This means, of course, we believe he will handily win the GOP nod over party carpetbagger Ken Block.
Fung, with whom P&J have had very pleasant dealings over the years (and Jorge is a constituent, it should be noted), got himself elected and re-elected in a city not known for its “big tent” approach to politics. Nevertheless, he has consistently stood up to press his points with Governor Chafee and others for what is best for his city. Phillipe also remembers Mayor Fung calling him back late at night after the city’s budget was released to answer questions, which led to P. having a state trooper pull up behind him on Route 95 where he had pulled over to do the interview. When he mentioned he was interviewing Fung, the statie gave him a thumbs-up, which means he probably doesn’t have a problem with Biggest Little law enforcers.
This all leads us to what may be his problem running as a Republican: Ken Block, founder and recent deserter of the Moderate Party in Little Rhody, is running against Fung in the primary. Block recently defended his defection to the GOP in The Urinal by saying “My experience is that [the third party] is not viable.”
Full points to Block for trying to get a third party up and running, but what he doesn’t realize is the that state’s Republican party is a third party. To wit, here are the characteristics of hopeless third parties: 1) no money; 2) no viable candidates running for the legislature; and 3) less clout in the General Assembly than a tourist in the visitors’ gallery. Sound familiar?
Though the Dems rule the legislature, the one place the GOP has left its mark has been in their ability to win the governorship with DiPrete, Almond, and Carcieri. But those guys did that with their own dollars and GOP national funds, not the help of the clowns at the barely breathing state GOP.