On Tuesday, WRNI political reporter and former Phoenix news editor and master of the Casa Diablo elbow bend, Ian Donnis, broke the news that veteran political communications specialist, Bill Fischer, head ramrod at True North Communications, had signed on as spokesman for the State Treasurer Frank Caprio's gubernatorial campaign committee. This indicates one thing for sure: the Caprio game plan is to shut this thing down early and chase Patrick Lynch out of the race. That talk radio's Dan Yorke is now whining about Caprio is also a good sign for Frank, since anyone that Yorke attacks is likely to do well. (Hear that, Betsy Dennigan! You may really have a chance.)
Caprio has the bucks and he obviously is planning to raise a pantload more. We have never understood why Lynch is running for governor and, we wait with fascination to find out how he plans to sell himself as the person to vote for. This is not to denigrate the Attorney General — we really like Patrick Lynch. He's a genuine Pawtucket mensch, which is high praise from your superior correspondents. But we want to hear him explain where he's at.
Meanwhile, the gubernatorial election is shaping up as an ideologically confusing exercise. The very impressive Liz Roberts, pulled out of the race with the sort of smooth gracefulness we have come to expect from her. Caprio, arguably the current Democratic front runner, has positions that remind us of a Republican moderate. Former GOP/current independent Linc Chafee may have a stronger claim to traditionally liberal and progressive voters than Caprio or Lynch. Joe Trillo, on the other hand, is the now-to-be expected far right-wing Republican (although if Steve Laffey decides to go, he immediately becomes the far right standard bearer since Trillo's Louis Prima-with-a-bad attitude act wouldn't even play in Johnston, let alone Vegas).
And then there's the "Moderate Party" trying to lure Ahhh-leeen into the race. Ms. Violet can see that the GOP is dead in the water, but she's way too smart to get sucked into being this year's Cool Moose model. But she's also smart enough to string along her backers and use the attention to advocate for positions she cares about to give those issues broader attention.
Ultimately we're rooting for the real Cool Moose — Bob Healey, the pride of Warren — to run a long-distance and potentially hilarious campaign, skewering everyone from an undisclosed beach location in Uruguay.
JOE LACARIA, THE ULTIMATE HIPSTER
There is much sadness at Casa Diablo this week as we note the passing of one of the truly memorable inhabitants of what we think of as "the old Providence," Joe Lacaria. The "old Providence" disappeared many years ago, but it was a place where all roads led to Leo's, and most nights there were good-sized crowds at Lupo's, the Living Room, the Met, and One Up. And door prices were so low that lots of people wandered from club to club to catch the different sounds.
Joe, who passed away July 28 at the age of 81, was of that world, but he was also a part of the New York jazz scene; rumor had it that he used to take care of Thelonious Monk's reefer needs in the early '60s. He was always the first to know if there was a good band or musician coming to town.