Smith Hill Turf War Over Stadium Proposal

The 2018 session of the general assembly is off to a shaky start with Senate leadership threatening to seek an injunction against House Speaker Mattiello, “Senate leaders threaten Mattiello with court action.”

In a highly unusual move, the leadership of the state Senate threatened on Friday to seek an injunction from Superior Court to stop House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello from “routinely” obstructing the operations of the Senate, including the hiring of a new Senate policy adviser.

By day’s end, however, Mattiello had accused Senate President Dominick Ruggerio of coming after him with “meritless” charges in retaliation for his comments in The Journal on Friday about the potential merits of letting the public vote on public dollars for the proposed new Pawtucket Red Sox stadium.

Speaker Mattiello is undoubtedly feeling the pressure from voters opposed to buying a stadium for these out-of-state billionaires. Last October he knocked on doors in his district and to discover that “the overwhelming majority of people are telling him ‘no public money’ for the project.” Stadium opponents like to remind Mattiello that his margin of victory in the last election was a mere 85 votes. (Let him know how you feel. Speaker Mattiello can be reached at 401.461.5800.)

Assigned reading! There is a terrific new argument in today’s ProJo as to why the billionaire PawSox owners will no longer be needing taxpayer assistance: Providence resident, and senior lecturer at Brown University, Nina Tannenwald turns the tables on these tax reform beneficiaries in “Use Trump tax cuts for stadium.”

Given the windfall provided by the Trump tax cuts, which channel significant savings to millionaires and billionaires, it is now even less plausible that Pawtucket Red Sox Chairman Larry Lucchino and the PawSox owners should need any public subsidy from Rhode Island taxpayers for their new stadium.

Ms. Tannenwald is my new favorite person.

(The T-shirts pictures here are available at the RISD Bookstore.)


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