Local conservatives are trying to deflect blame for their wounded warrior former Gov. Don Carcieri by wondering aloud just what current Gov. Linc Chafee has done to rectify the situation with the loan to 38 Studios that he campaigned against. Well, he made sure such a big gamble would never be made again, for one.
Call it the Crony Capitalism Protection Reform.
In April of 2011 the governor proposed and the EDC board approved a modification to the loan guaranty program capping it at $10 million per project.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our state’s economy, and providing them with easier access to working capital is critical to the strengthening of our economy the creation of new jobs for Rhode Islanders,” Chafee said, according to an EDC press release after the change was made.
In other words, as he said at Friday’s press conference, “Never, never. Not on my watch.”
Even Keith Stokes, the former EDC director who resigned over the 38 Studios debacle, said the change would make the program more “effective.” According to the same press release, he said:
“By modifying the Job Creation Guaranty Program to enhance SBA loan guarantees, we can strengthen the program’s effectiveness and make it possible for private lenders to provide greater access to financing for small businesses.”