38 Studios Loan Deal Serves as Political Fodder in RI Attorney General Race

The fallout from the $75 million loan given to 38 Studios is continuing to be a hot-button issue in the state of Rhode Island. In the race for Rhode Island Attorney General, one candidate is using the deal in his attack ads against incumbent Attorney General Peter Kilmartin. In a new 60 second attack ad airing on radio in the state, Republican state senator and attorney general candidate Dawson Hodgson's campaign highlights Peter Kilmartin’s 2010 vote for the legislation that allowed the 38 Studios loan guarantee.

His first attack ad in the campaign begins with the line, "38 Studios. What a disaster. You’d think that Attorney General Peter Kilmartin would tell us which insiders got us into this mess and how much money they made."

"But Kilmartin can’t do that — because he’s been part of the problem from the beginning," the ad continues. "Peter Kilmartin even voted for the 75-million-dollar handout that made it all possible. Even worse, as next in command to Gordon Fox, his job at the State House was to get his cronies in the back room, then twist their arms to vote for deals like this…"

"So don’t wait for answers on 38 Studios from the attorney general — because they’re not coming," the ad closes. "And us? Well — we’re just holding the bag, for millions and millions of dollars. Not just this year … Every year. For years. It’s just unbelievable."

Kilmartin campaign manager Matt Lenz has accused Hodgson of playing loose with "the facts" in the ad.

"Senator Hodgson can continue his smear campaign as long as he’d like, but Rhode Islanders know that, over the last three-plus years, Attorney General Kilmartin has worked tirelessly to keep our families safe, to secure our neighborhoods, and to restore Rhode Islanders’ faith in state government," Lenz said.

"If he was serious about serving the public, he should focus on doing his job — not skipping important votes to appear on talk radio," Lenz said of Hodgson.

Hodgson has sponsored two 38 Studios-related bills: one calls for creation of a special nine-member commission with subpoena powers to investigate the 38 Studios loan and other defaulted loans by the EDC. His other bill would ban the issuance of any more "moral obligation bonds."

Source: Providence Journal

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