Bob Plain is the editor/publisher of Rhode Island's Future. Previously, he's worked as a reporter for several different news organizations both in Rhode Island and across the country.

12 responses to “Firefighters Plan to Protest All Raimondo Fundraisers”

  1. DogDiesel

    “It isn’t the money, it’s the way she went about it,” he said. “You haven’t heard one labor person say leave the pensions the way they are. We all said we understand there is a problem let’s come to the table and fix it.”
    Of course not. Someone should ask Valletta how those ‘cooked books’ are tasting now that the progressives over here are raking Ms. Raimondo over the hot coals for poor returns. He does realize that both the Legislative and Executive Branches of the State of Rhode Island had to sign onto this…right??? Does he now realize she was the only Democrat NOT lying to him and his brethren. How come they weren’t protesting Mr. Fox or Ms. Paiva-Weed’s fundraisers? Is he planning to protest against Governor ‘I was for it now I’m against it’ Chafee’s campaign? Unfortunately for the rank and file, it’s usually the loudest mouth and not the brightest bulb that take union leadership positions.

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  2. Jonathan Jacobs

    I can’t speak for Valletta. But Ican certainly speak on the backlash Chafee has, is and will be receiving for his about face he pulled on the small percentage by which he won the gubernatorial election that could be attributed to labor support based on broken promises.

    Labor is not happy with Fox. Labor is not happy with Paiva-Weed. But, when fighting multiple assailants, a savvy fighter takes down the strongest attcker first. Once the example is made, the rest tend to surrender quickly. 

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  3. PinkHatLib

    What’s confusing to me is the idea that the general treasurer would be negotiating with the unions. Isn’t that the job of the governor? Raimondo simply proposed a plan.

    Granted, she’s against renegotiating now that the issue is in the courts. Isn’t that what this is really about?

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  4. Jonathan Jacobs

    Yes. I see your point. But Chafee has lost his credibility with labor due to his spinelessness when folding to Gina (and Fox, and Paiva-Weed and DaPonte … etc.). Gina is the National Dems hot hand in RI right now. She is the force with whom to be reckoned, so to speak. Raimonodo didn’t just propose the plan. Rather, she pushed, sold, bullied, threatened and coerced her plan into fruition, bypassing any semblance of negotiation with the ffected parties. She built a faction within the GA. She steamrolled it through. Make an example of her early and brand her for what she is. This will clear an easier path for true progressive change come the next electoral cycle.

    This is my humble and, obviously biased, opinion. But it is based on facts and personal experience. We all have an agenda. We all have obstacles. She is one of mine. And my educated, ambitious, Irish derrier is not about to back down in the face of this particular dragon.  

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    1. PinkHatLib

      Sorry, but who specifically did she bully and threaten? Those helpless members of the GA? I don’t remember any of that. The treasurer travelled all over the state talking to people about the plan and garning support from voters. Is that bullying now?

      *** quote ***
      Before the General Assembly passed this historic legislation they had dozens of hours of hearings and give and take and a lot of back and forth and negotiation at the time that led to the final passage of the bill,” she said. “Having said that, at some point as part of this process if the courts asks the parties to sit down and mediate we will do that in good faith.”

      “I don’t know if [lawmakers] have ever spent more time on any other piece of legislation,” Raimondo added. “They held a special session. They looked at every possible scenario. The labor leaders were present for every part of the discussion.”
      *** end quote ***

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  5. DogDiesel

    “This is my humble and, obviously biased, opinion. But it is based on facts and personal experience. We all have an agenda. We all have obstacles. She is one of mine. And my educated, ambitious, Irish derrier is not about to back down in the face of this particular dragon.” 
    You and Mr. Valletta seem to be cut from this same cloth. You both are blinded by emotion and apparently can’t see the forest beyond the trees. I’m not a real fan of Raimondo but PinkHatLib already pointed out, she just authored a plan. The only plan proposed by labor was to oppose the plan. The plan didn’t even cut anyone’s pension a la Central Falls.

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  6. leftyrite

    There was a huge front page story in the New York Times about Raimondo and these pension issues, the general tenor of which was, “As goes Rhode Island, Raimondo, and her plan, so goes the rest of the nation. They seem to love Central Falls and Raimondo as topics.

    The article, written more like an op-ed than a news piece, stated that five trillion dollars of pension benefits nationwide would be potentially impacted by a judicial response favorable to the pensioners.

    Who likes being a test case? Isn’t justice supposed to apply to the merits of a case? Isn’t a front page “analysis” in the Times a power play in itself?

    The fact that Raimondo ramrodded her plan through and that the projo and the rightwing populist radio jocks supported it doesn’t make it infallible and not subject to review and revision.

    Review and revision are what started this whole power play. 
    Power won that round. Now, negotiations, the peaceful tool of the people, should start.

    Obama didn’t have enough of a coalition to govern, so he took on the Clinton crew with their Wall Street neoliberal agenda. That’s just a fact.

    It’s also a fact that David Boies is the Clintobama’s high-profile Lincolnesque lawyer. He is the neoliberal man on the scene.
    But, he can be beaten, and so can the tottering Clinton/Rubin agenda.

    The firemen are leading the way. Maybe, teachers and other public employees will start picketing with them. Maybe hiding is not enough.

    Obama said that he would put on his sneakers and march with labor.  Right after the basketball game with Rahm Emmanuel and Arne Duncan.

    The handwriting is on the wall.

    You can try to please the implacable, or you can do cultural and political battle with them.

    We’re slated to lose. The powerful are depending upon it.

    But the powerful are also pushing us around. Pushing us around.

    Why not fight back? 

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    1. PinkHatLib

      “The fact that Raimondo ramrodded her plan through”

      How specifically did she do that? I recall months of community meetings. Here she is in action in September 2011, “ramrodding” her plan.

      Gina Raimondo, left, Rhode Island’s general treasurer, listened to Ernest Gibbons, a retired employee of the University of Rhode Island, after a meeting on pension reform last month in Newport.

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  7. BocaRIFutureUser

    “True Democrats don’t cross picket lines.”

    Mr. Valletta knows full-well the difference between a protest and a Section 7 strike. Crossing that “picket line” was functionally no different than walking in front of a big crowd.

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  8. joann fonseca

    There were public hearings but those were people’s opinions…
    thoughts…commentaries…those were not hours of negotiations.
    You need to get your facts straight..Public hearings don’t change anything. They just give poeple a place to vent. At a public hearing
    you can say whatever you want.
    It was definitely meaningless to the finance Gen ASSembly members especially Helio Melo, who was the chief architect of the pension bill. They are the ones who supported and put together Raimondo’s piece of illegal legislation and the law says you have to have public hearings where people can vent but there was NO NEGOTIATIONS during those weeks of public hearings. There was no real back and forth pension discussions among the principal parties involved and who would be affected.  Finance already made up their mind they were going to pass this Raimondo pension plan. And guess what? Millionaire Raimondo will have to negotiate
    after all  because the court had recommended it. So all of this politicking on her part and on Fox’s part of their stance on “No Negotiating”  was just politics..It will blow up in their faces. In fact it has already started,  and hypocrite Raimondo has already started to change her tune. She is now saying that she will negotiate if the court strongly recommends it. And they have been but she was too arrogant to little Miss Defiance can balk all she wants but she will be sitting at the table discussing the pension law against her own wishes..Miss High & Mighty will come to realize she is not so high and mighty after all. And that with her support from Engage RI, Republicans, Union haters, and Raimondo wannabes she will find out that she is like everyone else and can fall off that self created pedestal.
    She is a legend in her own mind and traveling around the country to get the money and support required for her to be governor in 2014 may just be wishful thinking on her part!
    Voters don’t like hypocrites, deceipt, arrogance, aggressiveness and condescending behavior. And Ms Overconfidence is all of the above

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    1. DogDiesel

      I ask again, where was your ire when Fox and Paiva-Weed were running for election. The pension system is written into state law. If anyone was going to negotiate, it had to be done in the GA. Your GA members are the ones who failed you. Where were all these people your union spent cash on when the bill was introduced. Judging by your bitterness, you are either intentionally failing to acknowledge that it was a collaborative effort or you really don’t understand what happened. Meanwhile, Chafee, Fox, and Paiva-Weed seem to escape your condemnation.

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  9. Sully

    § 36-11-12. Retirement system matters excluded from collective bargaining

    Any and all matters relating to the employees’ retirement system of the state of Rhode Island are excluded as negotiable items in the collective bargaining process.

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