Virginian by birth, Rhode Islander by choice. Organizer at SEIU District 1199NE, homebrewer of beer, and haphazard gardener. The views expressed here are my own, especially the snarky ones. T: @chasbwalker

3 responses to “I Learned It By Watching You, Jon!”

  1. Pat Crowley

    Very well said, Brother Walker!

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  2. rasputinkhlyst

    I will not miss his votes, his bills, or his values. I am glad he is out of politics, at least for the moment.  Nonetheless, I wish him well.  

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  3. Thom Cahir

    There were plenty of issues that brought Rep. Brien to his downfall. One of the major things that sunk him was the fact he thought the savior for the city would be a waste-to-energy plant. If you don’t know much about Woonsocket, they already have a sludge-burning plant located there and the smell in parts of the city can be stifling at times.  Rep. Brien was working to get a waiver for Woonsocket to be the only place in the state that could operate this kind of plant. He promised it wouldn’t add to the foul smell but residents never bought into it, no matter what kind of technical data he tried to present. Not to mention, the city isn’t large, traffic is already terrible on many of the roads in the 19th-Century-planned city and having wide-load trucks clogging the roads even more with disgusting-smelling loads would add to further gridlock. There’s also the feeling that the Rep. only wanted the plant because it was more than likely going to be located on land controlled by his family. If this is true or not, I can’t say; however, the perception is there and it makes it look like he’s trying to write legislation that would directly benefit him, yet contribute to the lowering of quality of life issues for the average resident of the city.
    The 38 Studios deal certainly contributed to his downfall but it wasn’t his only miscue. Residents in the city obviously think he offered little in the way of leadership when it came to navigating the city out of its fiscal woes. He never attended a single Budget Commission hearing, even though he was invited by the chairman, Bill Sequino. He was also seen as having taken a backseat to Rep. Baldelli-Hunt when it came to defeating the supplemental tax bills. However wrong I, or others, think she may have been in leading the charge to defeat that bill, at least her constituents saw her as doing something when all they saw of Brien was him cowering in the background pursing his lips.
    There’s now talk about him running a write-in campaign. He might do well to talk to his good friend and former Rep., Doug Gablinske, to see how that worked out in Bristol-Warren two years ago.  The people of Woonsocket have seen through the Brien family, voting Jon’s wife, Stella, out of her council seat less than a year ago and now they’ve chosen to do the same to their state rep.  Rhode islanders as a whole seem to be getting wise to political family dynasties, we’ve seen several fall in recent years. It’s sad that in most cases those dynasties start with good intentions but get hijacked somewhere along the way by the quest for power.

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