Blackballing a legit candidate for office is obscene and offensive. This is not providing the community service stations are supposed to provide in exchange for a bit of the broadcast spectrum, and we hope all of Abel Collins's supporters will deluge Channel 12 with phone calls and emails.

We also hope our pals, WPRI reporters Sean Daly and Tim White, work on this from within, because it reflects horribly on their station.

And if either Langevin or Riley had any guts, or a true passion for democracy — prerequisites, we would hope, for any candidate for Congress — he would boycott any Channel 12 debate that doesn't include Collins.

Back to you, Susie, for the latest on a fatal car crash in North Dakota. Pictures at 11.


RIP, BARRY COMMONER

Dr. Barry Commoner passed away on Sunday at the age of 95. While his name may not resonate with younger people, it should. Dr. Commoner was a scientist, political activist and, as The New York Times called him, "a founder of modern ecology." Indeed, Dr. Commoner was featured on the cover of Time magazine the week of the first Earth Day in 1970.

This was a courageous and very uncommon man. He founded the Citizen's Party in 1979 and ran as its first presidential candidate the next year (LaDonna Harris of Oklahoma, a legendary Comanche political activist and wife of US Senator Fred Harris, was the vice-presidential candidate that year). In 1984 (and here's where the big Vo Dilun hook comes in) Richard J. Walton was the Citizen's Party nominee for vice president. Yes, our own Richard Walton — the longtime activist and eminence grise of Stone Soup Coffeehouse.

Dr. Commoner was a great American and a act all around.


MORE ELECTION NEWS

Joe Fleming, the pollster for WPRI, has Senator Weldon Shithouse up 56 percent to 30 percent over his GOP challenger, Barry Hinckley.

That Weldon has a commanding lead should be no surprise to anyone. Like most in Congress, Senator Shithouse has poor job approval numbers. But for quite a few Rhode Island voters, he is an important progressive voice in our nation's capital. And Hinckley — a virtual unknown, who, according to his TV ads, started his own lobster business at the age of nine — appears to be a standard-issue Republican in a very blue state.

Hinckley boasts that, as a business owner, he's a "job creator," while Weldon — whose career has been in public service — is not. Now if Hinckley can show that he was creating jobs at the age of nine, this could be a game changer. Somehow, your superior correspondents doubt it.

Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, there was a big televised debate Monday evening between US Senator Scott Brown and his Democratic opponent, Elizabeth Warren. Lots of heat and very little fire in this meeting, although P&J's eyebrows did go up when Brown, who positions himself as a "moderate," told Meet the Press host and debate moderator David Gregory that Justice Antonin Scalia is his idea of a "model" Supreme Court Justice.

Anyone who pays attention to the news knows that Scalia is the most rabid right-wing voice on the court. We see a new Elizabeth Warren campaign ad coming.


NICK'S CASE

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