No one was ever going to confuse the General Assembly with the Mensa Society, but even long-suffering Vo Dilunduhs would prefer that it not become a haven for penny ante thugs, if only for appearances sake. And yes, we are talking to you, Senators Ruggiero and Ciccone.

It was always appalling to P&J that someone like Rubbers Ruggerio could be named Senate Majority Leader. Shoplifting condoms would no doubt disqualify even a Louisiana solon from becoming a number two in that state's Senate, never mind a blatant and arrogant, in-your-face abuse of power like the Stephen Iannazzi hiring scandal. So do you think he gives a tinker's damn about a DUI?

Even his purported boss, Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, said she didn't think it would "distract" him from his duties. (It would doubtless take something more to distract: loud noises, perhaps, or the bits of colored paper or shiny objects you would use to catch the attention of a cocker spaniel or an equally high-intellect breed.)

Well Rubbers almost pulled it off, until another knuckle-dragger, his Senate and union colleague Frank Ciccone, got involved in what is becoming a Barrington crime scene investigation ready for prime time TV.

While Rubbers was evidently quite the gentleman while failing his field sobriety tests, Ciccone proved a different can of beans. Evidently Frank made quite a few mistakes when he arrived to defend Ruggerio's honor (which is more than Rubbers has ever done — ba-boom!, thank you, Groucho). First, he reportedly went well beyond the now almost comic, guaranteed loser line of "Do you know who I am?" to "You think you got pension problems now, wait 'til this [expletive] is all done. This guy voted against you last time, it ain't gonna get any better now." Frank's quite the orator, needless to say.

This came after another boffo line — suggesting the arresting officers "Call John," referring to their police chief, John LaCross. According to the police report, Ciccone then tried to call a state police major — always an effective tactic when dealing with local officers of the law, who so welcome the staties intruding on their turf. Suffice it to say, the pension threats and law enforcement name-dropping proved a real treat with the officers on the scene.

Now before we have to call in the gang from Criminal Minds, how about our own authorities get a few questions answered:

• If, as Rubbers said, he was following a friend to a woman's house, who was the friend and who was the mystery woman?

• Ciccone miraculously appeared on the scene on foot, it seems, and said he witnessed all the events leading to the DUI charge. Was he jogging out in front of Rubbers's car to get into fighting shape for upcoming pension and budget battles at the State House? Or, as some might ask — but certainly not P&J, who have total faith in our state legislators — had he ditched his car because he was hammered as well? Might he have stowed it at the mystery woman's house?

• What would lead Ciccone to believe Chief LaCross or a top gun at the state police would be more than willing to come to his aid during a friend's early morning DUI? Perhaps someone should ask LaCross and the staties how they feel about being referred to as if they were on the pad of a state legislator or the unions.

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