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Congressman David Cicilline offered a public apology and expressed regret Tuesday for saying during his 2010 campaign that Providence was in “excellent financial condition.”
“I should not have used that word,” Cicilline said in a wide-ranging interview with WPRI 12. “It obviously doesn’t describe the condition the city is in [and] it was never my intention to mislead people intentionally.”
The first part of that second paragraph is quite obviously true: given that the new (Democratic) mayor of Providence has discovered that the city is flat-out broke because of pension mandates and may need to go bankrupt (whether or not Mayor Angel Taveras is ready to face that yet), yes, Cicilline shouldn’t have used the term ‘excellent financial condition.’ Of course, if David Cicilline had instead said that Providence was ‘swirling the drain’ or ‘approaching a fiscal brick wall while I’m flooring the accelerator’ then the next question might have then been why the voters of RI-01 would want to reward him for that by sending Cicilline to Congress. Which is a roundabout way of me saying that I do not believe that David Cicilline did not mean to ‘mislead people intentionally.’ In fact, I believe that the ‘intentionally’ part was well and truly baked into that particular cake.
But it’s not always helpful to just highlight problems; it’s nice to have solutions, too. In this particular case, one good solution would be to make David Cicilline regretful as a private citizen instead of as a sitting Member of Congress. If I understand this correctly, the field’s been more or less cleared for Brendan Doherty. Bit of a Northeastern Republican on a few issues… but then, it’s Rhode Island. One step at a time.
Moe Lane (crosspost)