Caprios on the rise

By IAN DONNIS  |  March 2, 2006

Asked whether the governor is recruiting candidates for treasurer, and whether he would view Caprio as a member of his team, Carcieri spokesman Jeff Neal limited his comment to this: “The governor is recruiting candidates for every state office that is open this year, but at this time he is not prepared to discuss individual candidacies.”

To critics, Judge Caprio’s decision to move his family from Providence to Narragansett several decades back, as well as the judge’s friendly relations with the governor, raise the specter of a pronounced drift toward Republicanism. In January 2003, the judge and his wife attended a Carcieri fundraiser at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick — Bakst described them at the time as “Caricieri pals” — and Joyce Caprio and Marissa Caprio, Frank and David’s sister, have made campaign contributions to the governor, according to the state Board of Elections. Frank and David Caprio are also both said to be quite friendly with Jeff Britt, the governor’s liaison to House Democrats.

Considering all this, Frank Caprio’s early lock on the treasurer’s job “is a very scary proposition to a lot of progressive Democrats,” says one Democratic observer. Having someone sympathetic to the GOP side would represent a coup for Carcieri, the source says. Citing how David Caprio has been part of efforts to unseat Murphy, this Democrat adds, “They’re not true Democrats. They’re more in touch with the Carcieri clan than the Democratic Party.”

This view, however, is hardly uniform in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party.

Patrick J. Quinn, director of the state council of the Rhode Island Service Employees International Union, for example, says the contrasting stances of the Caprio brothers — with Frank being more supportive of labor, and David less so — may mostly be a reflection of their different constituencies. Referring to his attendance at a Frank Caprio event in Narragansett last fall, Quinn says, “There were no Republicans there. I didn’t see anyone from the governor’s office or anything like that.”

Asked about suggestions that he’s aligned outside the Democratic Party, Frank Caprio says, “I don’t think that’s based on the reality at all.” He dismisses his family’s move to Narragansett as any indication of a Republican drift, noting that Providence Mayor David N. Cicilline was among his classmates and that the South County of 30 years ago was a far different place. Caprio freely describes having introduced Britt, who went to school with his brother John, around the State House for a few months in 2001 when Britt developed an interest in politics after a career in banking and finance. He adds, however, “Against my wishes, he’s been really involved with the current Republican administration. He’s a Republican; I’m a Democrat.”

All in the family
When Tucker Carlson and James Carville appeared February 21 at Rhode Island College, the ProJo described how Judge Frank Caprio was in the front row, alongside his two sons who serve in the General Assembly. “We work together, so we see each other every day,” says Frank T. Caprio. “That’s more the norm than the exception,” although Joyce Caprio is usually along for the outings as well.

< prev  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |   next >
  Topics: News Features , U.S. Government, U.S. State Government, Political Dissent,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY IAN DONNIS
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   RHODY'S LOCAL FOOD MOVEMENT FINDS ITS GROOVE  |  February 23, 2009
    Five years ago, when Farm Fresh Rhode Island (FFRI) launched its mission of promoting Ocean State-produced food, co-founder Noah Fulmer discovered a curious disconnection in the local food chain.
  •   TICKET TO RIDE  |  February 11, 2009
    In April 1999, two weeks after I started on the job at the Providence Phoenix , the FBI raided City Hall, formally unveiling the federal investigation that would land Vincent A. "Buddy" Cianci Jr., Rhode Island's rascal king, behind bars.
  •   ADVOCATES RENEW PUSH FOR PUBLICLY-FINANCED RI ELECTIONS  |  February 04, 2009
    During a news conference Tuesday afternoon in the State House rotunda, proponents of significantly expanding publicly financed elections in Rhode Island — a concept they call "Fair Elections" — cited a litany of reasons for why it would be good for the Ocean State and its citizens.
  •   THE UPSIDE OF HOPE IN RHODE ISLAND  |  January 29, 2009
    Everywhere one turns these days, there's seemingly more bad news about Rhode Island: the unemployment rate, one of the highest in the nation, tops 10 percent — and the state's running out of unemployment assistance.
  •   BROGAN TAKES ON TEENS, SOCIAL NETWORKING IN TEASER  |  January 28, 2009
    Former Providence Journal reporter Jan Brogan is out with her fourth mystery, Teaser .

 See all articles by: IAN DONNIS