Phillipe and Jorge got a chuckle out of the recent complaint by GOP Congressional candidate Brendan Doherty that incumbent David "Little Chi-Chi" Cicilline was misrepresenting his record.

Well, no shit, Sherlock. This is hardball politics, and if you don't expect to get attacked, right or wrong, you showed up at the wrong ballpark.

Our words of advice to challenger Doherty: you can expect that, by Election Day, the Cicilline camp will have Photoshopped you into a Nazi Waffen SS outfit, with a little Hitler mustache under your nose.

And we would expect that, if Doherty's people do their jobs to the fullest, they'll paint Cicilline as a gay Keebler elf who picks people's pockets at a local S&M bar before we see the end of October.

Hey, Brendan the boxer: ain't no such thing as a low blow in politics. It's just how low you are willing to throw it.

In the end, this race will be about Doherty pinning the Providence mess on Cicilline, former mayor of the capital, and the incumbent going on and on about those big, bad Republicans in Congress.

Those DC battles, we believe, don't matter a whit to most Vo Dilunduhs. But P&J would like more assurance from Doherty that he won't be corrupted by the unspeakable John Boehner and his zombie right-wing radicals before he even finds an apartment in Watergate.


THE DEBATE DEBATE

As Phillipe and Jorge reported here last week, there seems to be a concerted effort to exclude Abel Collins, an independent, Green Party-endorsed candidate for Congress, from upcoming debates between incumbent Democratic Congressman Jim Langevin and GOP challenger Mike "Who he?" Riley on Channels 10 and 12.

Collins is now helming a phone and petition drive to reverse these decisions, which P&J greatly hope succeeds. Local TV stations should not be the final arbiters of who is or is not a legitimate candidate.

Outsiders, like Collins, are in a Catch-22. Debate sponsors say things like, "Well, you're not polling well." Well, you think that has something to do with the fact that the lame TV outlets spouting that line don't cover the independents' candidacies? Doh!

So we end up with the hoary, entrenched Dem/GOP two-party types being the only acceptable candidates? P&J beg to differ.

Speaking to Channel 10 executive producer Suzanne Nadeau-Beever about the station's exclusion of Collins from its early November televised debate, she informs us that a candidate has to hit at least 10 percent in the polls to get an invite.

This is the dictate of Channel 10 parent company Media General, whose execs are so Biggest Little-challenged they couldn't find Haven Brothers with a GPS. Nadeau-Beever says the station is awaiting the results of a new Brown University poll, and if Abel meets the 10-percent threshold, he will be included. (Ms. Nadeau-Beever notes that the station will consider the margin of error, so eight percent should be enough for Collins to qualify; still, the system sucks.)

As for WPRI, the Mickey Mouse Club of local stations ("Here's Michelle Muscatello with the weather, Mousketeers! It's Anything Can Happen Day!"), news director Joe Abouzeid finally got back to us to explain that the exclusion of Collins is an "editorial decision."

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