A year ago, during a benefit we were hosting, Phillipe & Jorge
fairly bluntly told Myrth York that we hoped she would not run for governor.
Obviously, this did not meet with a great deal of enthusiasm on her part, and
the temperature noticeably dropped in the area where we were standing.
Our reasoning was that the Biggest Little is still not ready to elect a female
governor -- due largely to the great number of elderly voters, both male and
female, who harbor old-time notions of where a women's place is. Added to this
was the fact that she would once again be betrayed by her party's good old boy
network, and that another of P&J's friends, Sherbet Whitebread, was ready
and raring to run, and he was considered essentially a shoo-in.
Well, your superior correspondents were partially right. Peppermint Patty ran
a great campaign against Sherbet, who should shoot his advisors for being so
tone-deaf, and she was immeasurably aided by Tony Pires's presence in the
primary. But this only meant that she came out of the Democratic wars with less
that half the party voters on her side. The fact that Whitebread and Pires
turned their backs on her did not help a whit, since the remainder of the party
regulars still wouldn't walk across the street to pick her up if she got hit by
Once she got past the primary, the roof fell in. For some reason or another,
the very crisp, forward-looking, clear vision for the future commercials that
she had been running vanished. In their place were senseless attack ads. Myrth,
when it comes to the environment, no one in Vo Dilun gives a ding whether 15
Brazilian miners died under Don Carcieri's watch at Cookson America or that a
neighborhood in Philadelphia was polluted. They care about Narragansett Bay and
what's outside their windows. And unless you make the case that Cookson workers
suffered under an Enron Don, while he made a financial killing, there's no
story. Especially when you're a trust fund baby pumping $4 million of your own
money (just found it lying between the cushions) into your own campaign.
Why this sense of outright panic seized Peppermint Patty's advisors is
unknown, but it was palpable to the public. Don Carcieri won the governor's
chair essentially by smiling and laughing, the Big Audit notwithstanding.
Meanwhile, Myrth's demeanor took on the look of a vice principal you feared
having to face after getting caught doing something wrong in junior high, as
sympathetic and endearing as Captain Bligh.
But here's the worst part: a battle that included a deal-breaker for so many
people -- Carcieri's backwards stance against abortion -- was lost by the wrong
camp. And whether this stance will soon be comforting the more radical right,
or Carcieri's gun lobby pals, is a dangerous "remains to be seen." Do we need
an accountant in the State House to succeed the Missing Linc? You bet. Do we
need a conservative? No way.
P&J certainly wish Don Carcieri well as he takes the helm. But since we
had to hold our nose and vote for Al Gore versus Dubya the Dumb two years ago,
we found it very distasteful to once again go to the polls with a cloud of doom
hanging over our heads. Sorry, but you blew it, Myrth.
A few random thoughts from a bleary-eyed night of poll-watching:
The near-upset of Johnny Hardwood by Bruce Bayuk still wasn't enough to pull
this punk from Pawtucket from total denial. Yeah, Pucky, you're a winner. Yeah,
the grand jury "vindicated" you. Yeah, the media is smearing you. Please,
please go away, and take whatever women you choose (and you know what we're
talking about) with you.
It is always a treat to see Monsieur Pompadour, GOP bigwig John Holmes on TV
(he was a commentator for Channel 12) since, despite the white hair, he is
actually younger than P&J. But his Democratic counterpart for the evening,
our old pal Bruce Sundlun, looked like he was off in space, wondering whether
he had enough roughage in his diet that day. Oi, Bruce, liven up!
It was rare to hear Boy Patrick Kennedy tout his seat on the House
Appropriations Committee in his victory speech, essentially citing it as the
pork barrel it is for Vo Dilun. Yes, Patrick, we know it's a cash cow position,
but discretion usually demands a bit of humility, or at least a nudge nudge,
wink, wink allusion to having the combination to the safe.
The fact that Christopher Young garnered two-point-seven percent of the voters
in the Providence mayoral race indicates that not all the loonies in Our Little
Towne are safely confined.
Congrats to David Cicilline, and we offer our hope that he and Don Carcieri
can work together to continue to make Our Little Towne a showcase for the
state. Not that they could possibly have a worse relationship that the Bud-I
Finally, Mitt Romney? A Mormon? Spare us.
The independent (of thought and conscience) candidate
Catching independent Providence mayoral candidate Christopher Young on John
(The Journalist) DePetro's WHJJ-AM radio show last Friday, November 1, we got
the feeling that Young should try working out his emotional angst and mental
problems by seeking therapy, rather than running for political office. DePetro
didn't have to work too hard at baiting Young into numerous tirades against
everybody and everything.
Joe Paolino was the chief devil in the early phase of Young's wacked-out
campaign narrative. But since the primary, Young has spent his time haranguing
David Cicilline since David is openly gay and because his father has been a
successful criminal-defense lawyer. Expressing some of the most virulently
homophobic views your superior correspondents have ever heard on the local
airwaves, Young made the ludicrous claim that NBC cancelled the television show
Providence because of David's superior stature. In classic
"argumentum ex ignorata" mode, Young also suggested that gay-themed
issues have dominated Cicilline's campaign. Nothing could be further from the
truth since Cicilline has admirably presented himself as a candidate for all
the people, with special concern for those in the neighborhoods who haven't
reaped the benefits of the so-called Renaissance.
For the sake of the many legitimate independent and third party candidates who
are worthy of our respect, we hope Mr. Young will refrain in the future from
rearing his pony-tailed pudge-head and injecting his brand of ignorant hate
speech into the public polity.
Films and freedom
Want to get a crash course on what is going on around the world? The Human
Rights Watch Traveling Film Festival is taking place in Our Little Towne
through next Thursday, November 14, featuring some of the best documentaries of
You're hard-pressed to find newspapers carrying such stories from Argentina,
Chile, Indonesia, the Middle East, Rwanda, and even one from the Bronx. The
films are being screened at some of Providence's best (and most
community-minded) independent movie theaters, particularly the Columbus on
Broadway, the Cable Car on South Main, and the Castle on Chalkstone Avenue.
Discussion groups will follow some of the screenings. This is eye-opening
stuff, highly recommended by P&J. For information on films and play dates,
call festival organizer, SueEllen Kroll at (401) 861-6580 or check out the Web
site at: www.dutchmoney.com/hrwprovff.
More genius, verbatim from the #1 Eddy Street bus
"I go way back with the wrestlers. Remember Chief Jay Strongbow? You know,
wrestling was a form of judo. It started with those Sumo wrestlers -- they were
Chinese or Japanese. The Chinese wrestle around a lot . . . I go way back . . .
what about Lou Albino [sic] He used to go with that Cyndi Lauper. [long pause]
It's all fake, you know."
Tribute for a hero
Anyone familiar with the community of people who work with the poor and
disenfranchised knows Nancy Gewirtz. As the founder of the Poverty Institute
and a professor of social work at Rhode Island College, Gewirtz has been a
leading light in the fight to provide dignity and services for our most needy
friends and neighbors. She is among those chiefly responsible for crafting Vo
Dilun's welfare-to-work legislation into one of the best such programs in the
Nancy has been battling a serious illness herself for some time and her many
friends want to salute her and celebrate her work. On Thursday, November 14 at
6:30 p.m. there will be a tribute to Nancy at RIC's Donovan Dining Center.
Tickets and information can be obtained by calling the RIC School of Social
Work at (401) 456-8042. Don't miss this opportu-nity to thank one of our finest
Send vintage tuxes and Pulitzer-grade tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Issue Date: November 8 - 14, 2002