It's April Fools Day… and so far this year Rhode Island has seen a good share of "fools." I decided to highlight four April "fools" we have seen in the last month.
Rhode Island GOP Squabble
After a week long debacle the Republican Party chose a new leader, Mark Smiley. While Smiley is certainly committed and ready to hit the ground running the party did itself no favors airing its dirty laundry in the blogosphere and on talk radio. The letter that was released by what seems to be a "Harrop" supporter accusing Smiley and his supporters of being bigots hurt everyone that carries an "R" next to their name including Harrop who is now hinting that he will run for mayor of Providence.
Well, glad it all worked out but next time to avoid looking silly the GOP should try to resolve things a bit more quietly.
Here is a piece of advice: to avoid a debacle all together the party should reconsider the way it does elections. I was there on the night of the election, it was chaos. Why not have delegates who are voting sign next to their names when checking in to prove they are there?
Coventry Fire: A game of chicken
It was a game of chicken between the Central Coventry Fire Fighters and the taxpayers. Would the taxpayers take a 34% tax increase to save the financially ailing fire department or would they risk being without fire services? Coventry Fire officials said the station needed to be saved to ensure public safety but it looks like voters called their bluff. The voters rejected the budget and now the district has been order dissolved by a district court judge.
So who really got fooled here? The Governor and the General Assembly because a district court judge says it is now up to them to figure this mess out and ensure public safety.
Loving a Lawmaker
Busted… again. I wonder how Fellela feels about the end of Saturday mail delivery?
Fellela, the husband of State Representative Deborah Fellela, was busted recently for allegedly stealing a shell gas card from a person's mailbox and using it to make fraudulent purchases.
This isn't Fellela's first arrest, State Police say he has done this in the past.. in several sates.
While the crime is incredibly foolish, the idea that he thought he would get away with it or even stay below the radar is more foolish.
Note: when your significant other is a lawmaker if you get arrested you will attract media attention.
Governor Lincoln Chafee blames the media
The hashtag Walter Cronkite was trending last week. Why? Well because Governor Chafee took to ABC6 Political Analyst Buddy Cianci's show to say that there are no Walter Cronkites in Rhode Island. He blamed the media for his low approval ratings and then he complemented Buddy.
Problem is the slight to the media is not going to help the Governor's low approval ratings. While Chafee may not care what the media has to say he created quite the stir in the blogosphere with his remarks.
Chafee said the media likes to get themselves "whipped up" and there he goes giving the media yet another reason to get "whipped" up.
Next time the Governor wants to reflect on the journalistic integrity of the Rhode Island media he may want to do it off camera.
Feel free to contact me with your April "fools" suggestions on Twitter @deedequattro.
Dee DeQuattro is the assignment desk manager and digital news coordinator for ABC6. She studied politics and communications and holds a master's degree from Providence College. Follow her on twitter @deedequattro and log on to ABC6 .com for her latest in depth coverage of politics and news.