With all the antics in D.C. between the Democrats and Republicans, local legends are getting an (almost) free pass with a circus of their own. Here are three L’s—Licht, Langevin and librarians—that have all recently boosted Little Rhody’s “yuck” factor. And all these wounds are self-inflicted.
Richard Licht—The current Director of Administration for Governor Lincoln Chafee now wants to be a Superior Court judge and follow in the footsteps of his uncle, Frank Licht. Back in 1974 there was a special interest piece of legislation, initially designed to benefit a republican, which applied to the then-former democrat governor, providing him special pension benefits. Now the nephew will become another beneficiary, if he is appointed to the Court and the law is left intact, ultimately earning about $128,000 per year in his pension (vs. the roughly $49,000 for which he presently qualifies.) He can also retire at age 62.
Mr. Licht has already gotten a free ticket by the Ethics Commission which has fallen all over itself to determine that he is not a “policy-maker,” meaning he doesn’t have to abide by the state’s revolving door legislation which would make him wait a year before applying for the post.
Lincoln Chafee should show us some of the “Trust Chaffee” motto he ran on and refuse to appoint him.
Alternatively, the solons on Smith Hill should repeal the law before any such appointment. The law is a piece of foolishness and a relic of a reckless time of pension giveaways.
Congressman James Langevin—Congressman Langevin has made an announcement that he unwittingly made a profit on an investment scheme that apparently preyed on terminally ill people. WJAR-TV reported that he loaned money to a relative who made the investment and paid Mr. Langevin back the money plus an $8600 return. He eschews any knowledge of the details of the loans, and refused to disclose the amount and terms of the loan or the terms. He says he has since donated the money to charity.
In other words, he got caught in an unsavory deal. It’s hard to imagine how “unwitting” his “loan” was, since the Congressman pinches the buffalo on his personal nickel until it bellows. His former republican challenger has said that the money was given to the highest campaign donor to the Congressman’s re-election campaign. More investigation is needed.
Librarians—Some Rhode Island librarians think that they have to reform the image of those in their profession by posing in a calendar adorned with their respective tattoos. Why librarians, who uniformly are about the smartest professionals on the globe, need any image change is beyond me. They are already among the “coolest people” in society—because of their brains. They need not apologize to today’s youth for being “grandmother’s” library. Granny is doing just fine, thank you, because of the renaissance women (and men) who have graced the library system.
Sometimes it’s fine to just respect tradition. What’s next, a calendar of nuns bearing tattoos? Yuck!