Best and the brightest

Departing lawmaker suggests closing Halitosis Hall for a few years
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  July 9, 2008

Phillipe + Jorge’s Roman Hruska Award, celebrating mediocrity in the General Assembly, goes to departing state Representative Joseph Scott, whose district includes parts of Charlestown, Exeter, and Richmond. 

Scott, a Democrat, a lawyer, probate judge, and bail commissioner, is also managing partner of Pinehurst Golf Course. After 10 years at Halitosis Hall, he announced he will not be running for his seat this fall. “I’m proud to say I didn’t introduce much legislation and didn’t get indicted,” he crowed to the Urinal.

Being a shy kinda guy, Scott failed to mention that he had one of the worst attendance records on Smith Hill (a tip of the beret and sombrero to old pal Joe Baker of the Newport Daily News for that tidbit).

With the wisdom gained in his laudable run-of-the-mill existence in the legislature, Scott added, “I think we’d do well if the General Assembly closed down for two or three years.” It seems ol’ Joe is way ahead of his time in embracing that thinking.

The best government money can buy
Along the same lines, it wasn’t much of a shocker that 83 percent of the respondents in a Rhode Island College poll think Little Rhody is moving in the wrong direction.

Quite rightly, General Assembly Democrats took the brunt of the blame, with 41 percent fingering the legislative leadership. Just 26 percent picked the Don, Governor Carcieri, as the cause of our woes, while 20 percent took the famed Claus von Bulow trial option, declaring everyone (the Don and the Dems) guilty.

But what the hell do you care? You are the ones who keep electing these clowns, even as they run us into a raging recession, where aid to the poor gets chopped while tax breaks for the rich are protected. Cheers!

You are going to get to live this Groundhog Day nightmare once again. As one of the Urinal’s best political analysts, Scott MacKay, pointed out Sunday (we taught Scottso everything he knows), just two of 38 state senators and nine of 75 reps are not seeking reelection this fall. Many of the incumbents will run against no one or the equivalent of no one (i.e., a Republican, with notable exceptions made for the likes of Bob Watson, Nicky Gorham, and a handful of others).

But checking on how your local legislator went along to get along way back in the spring will no doubt take far too much time from watching American Idol and similar offerings this fall. All P&J can ask when you go to vote for your neighborhood pol is, “Are you smarter than a 5th grader?” We think we already know the answer.

Tears for a clown
It’s more than a coincidence at Casa Diablo that Larry Harmon, the man who popularized and eventually bought the rights to the character of Bozo the Clown, and Jesse Helms, who served a similar function for decades in the US Senate, died within 24 hours of each other.

The difference was that Harmon spread joy and happiness while Helms spread divisiveness and fear. There is no doubt as to which one of these men appealed to the “better clowns of our nature.”

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