I saw my ideological nemesis and neighbor John DePetro on Main Street here in East Greenwich the other day. “What’s going on, John?” I said to him. To which he replied, “I have nothing to say to you.”
Then he added as he walked away, “I’ll see you in court.”
I’m assuming he means for the sexual harassment suit our former colleague Dee DeQuattro has filed against him, but who knows. Experience tells me the truth is usually the opposite of what John DePetro says it is, so perhaps I won’t see him in court. Though I do know he appeared before the state Human Rights Commission for the allegation recently. So on the other hand, maybe I will see him in court.
Either way, I plan to see him tonight night when he hosts a panel discussion with former governor Don Carcieri, Catholic priest and State House lobbyist Bernard Healey and former GOP state senator and Alix and Ani CEO John Feroci at the Odeum Theater, also on Main Street in East Greenwich.
This is a pretty tight-knit group. The evening is being sponsored by Besos, a new local restaurant. The owners are very good friends with both Feroce and the Carcieri family (in fact, they bought the former governor’s downtown mcmansion from him). All of participants belong to the local Catholic church, where Healey is the priest.
Coincidentally, these conservative Catholics were booked by a liberal Jew. Frank Prosnitz, former ProJo and Providence Business News editor, has been leading the local effort to revitalize the Odeum for years. He’s managed to get the doors open, but with renovation bills now due he’s turned to this conservative cabal to help bring in some revenue. It will certainly be interesting to see what kind of crowd this group attracts.
I don’t know Feroce too well, though I did meet him years ago when I was in college and he was in the state senate. Bernie Healey is best known for lobbying State House leaders against marriage equality. Carcieri used his two terms as governor to advocate against immigrants, equality, poor people and the public sector. Few Republicans have been willing to defend him since he left office and his infamously failed scheme to give his friend Curt Schilling public money to make a video game has rendered him one of the least popular local politicians in recent memory. DePetro is widely regarded as the most mean-spirited and dishonest person in Rhode Island politics and/or media.
Alex and Ani aside, it’d be hard to put together a trio that has done more damage to Rhode Island than Carcieri, DePetro and Healey. I wish the local theater much luck, but this seems like more evidence things aren’t going well for the Odeum.