In Rhode Island when a constituent drops the name "38 Studios," it's probably not going to illicit warm and fuzzy feelings in anyone. So when one vocal detractor raised the specter of the 38 Studios failure to describe "Rhode Map RI," people got a little defensive.
The Rhode Island State Planning Council has voted unanimously in favor of the controversial Rhode Map RI and has adjourned the meeting. The plan is a bit complicated and includes federal grants, but there are a bunch of details on it here.
Oral arguments will be heard Tuesday in a Rhode Island Superior Court hearing to determine whether soon-to-be former Rhode Island Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis abused the judiciary system. The case revolves around Mollis involving the RI Superior Court in his administrative hearings investigating "unregistered lobbying" by attorney Michael Corso on behalf of 38 Studios prior to the company receiving a state-backed loan for $75 million loan in 2010.
Incumbent Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin (D) managed to win with confidence on Tuesday night's election, despite his Republican opponent using his 2010 vote of approval for a $75 million loan for former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's now bankrupt 38 Studios. The former Pawtucket Police Officer who later served in the state legislature and then climbed to the leadership role of House Majority Whip, won Tuesday's contest handily, though the exact vote tally was not available as of this writing.
According to the Providence Journal, a hearing set up by Rhode Island Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis hopes to get answers from former Red Sox pitcher and 38 Studios founder Curt Schilling about his lobbying efforts in the state prior to the RI government green lighting a $75 million loan deal for his company.
Target 12 News out of Providence, Rhode Island is reporting that the Rhode Island Secretary of State's office held its first hearing focusing on the alleged lobbying activities of former 38 Studios board member Thomas Zaccagnino on Thursday. Zaccagnino was not present at the hearing, according to the report.
Rhode Island Republican gubernatorial nominee Allan Fung released the first TV attack ad of the fall campaign this week taking aim at Democratic rival Gina Raimondo for supporting repayment of the 38 Studios bonds.
The ad describes Raimondo's support for paying back the bonds related to the 38 Studios deal as the taxpayers bailing out "Wall Street investors" who "took a risk and went bust." The ad also claims that Raimondo is "looking out for Wall Street, not Main Street."
The fight over attorney Michael Corso's part in allegedly lobbying Rhode Island officials is far from over, as highlight by the Providence Journal. Last week, hearing officer Louis DeSimone issued a decision giving attorney Michael Corso seven days to file lobbyist disclosure reports or pay a $2,000 fine.
According to the Providence Journal, the Rhode Island Superior Court has denied a request by Wells Fargo to stop the progress of the state’s ongoing lawsuit against those involved in the failed 38 Studios loan deal while the Rhode Island Supreme Court weighs whether a 2014 law that allows for streamlining settlements is legal under the state's constitution.
The Providence Journal reports that Cumberland, Rhode Island mayor Daniel J. McKee has won a three-way Democratic primary race for lieutenant governor against the Rhode Island secretary of state A. Ralph Mollis and a State Rep. Frank G. Ferri who represents Warwick. McKee won just over 43 percent of votes, compared with 36 percent for Mollis and about 21 percent for State Rep. Frank G. Ferri. McKee will face Republican primary winner Catherine T.
Officials for the state of Rhode Island announced this week that its first settlement payment from its ongoing lawsuit with principles involved in the failed 38 Studios $75 million loan deal has been received. According to a Providence Journal report, the state received a $4.37 million check this week from the insurance company representing two of the 14 defendants in the case. After expenses, the state will be able to bank about $3.2 million.
The Rhode Island Secretary of State’s office held a hearing this morning in a continuation on the probe into possible lobbying violations by Providence attorney Michael Corso, according to WPRI Target 12 News. Corso represented 38 Studios to state officials without registering as a lobbyist in 2010, according to Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis.
The Rhode Island Republican Party will host a presentation this evening to inform the general public about the failure of 38 Studios and its potential long-term impact on state finances. The event will be held at the GOP headquarters in Warwick, Rhode Island.
State Representative Michael Chippendale, a member of two congressional oversight committees looking into the 38 Studios deal, will give a slideshow presentation on the issue. That will be followed by an audience Q&A session.
A Rhode Island judge ruled on Friday that the state's current General Treasurer, Gina Raimondo, must submit to a deposition in the 38 Studios lawsuit filed by the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation. The lawsuit is the state's attempt at recouping money from the failed $75 million state loan guarantee given to Curt Schilling's video game company in 2010.
The Providence Journal reports that a hearing looking into 38 Studios' lobbying activities prior to securing the now-infamous $75 million loan from the state of Rhode Island, has been delayed to late-August.
Rhode Island lieutenant governor candidate Dan McKee (D) has vowed to launch an online petition later this week calling for an independent counsel to review at "arm's length" the failed 38 Studios deal.
The current Cumberland, Rhode Island mayor says this particular effort is an attempt to pressure elected officials to do more to get answers. McKee has been highly critical of current elected officials over their handling of the 38 Studios deal and subsequent investigations into it.
A hearing related to the failed $75 million loan deal for former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's video game company 38 Studios that was supposed to take place yesterday (July 17) has been rescheduled for early August. Some of the key players in the deal were asked to attend, including Curt Schilling, Michael Corso - who represented the company as its legal counsel - and Thomas Zaccagnino, one of the company’s board members.
Cumberland, Rhode Island Mayor Dan McKee showed a flair for the dramatic this week when he brought a letter to the race for lieutenant governor, according to the Providence Journal. Mollis showed up at the State House to personally hand-deliver a letter to his democratic primary opponent, current Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis.
The state of Rhode Island has settled with one of the law firms it sued as part of the lawsuit against 38 Studios and other principles for a failed $75 million loan deal. The law firm, Moses Afonso Ryan, has admitted no wrong-doing, but has agreed to pay $4.4 million to the state because it wants to put the matter behind them. The settlement agreement was filed with Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein on Friday. A hearing on the matter will take place July 7.
You can probably chalk this up to "positioning in a political year against a tough opponent," but Republican attorney general candidate Dawson Hodgson says it is time for the incumbent Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin to admit that he may be a "potential witness" in the state police’s 38 Studios investigation that he needs to "stand aside" because "the appearance of a conflict of interest … is just too strong."
The Rhode Island House passed the $8.7-billion budget early Friday morning after a lengthy and contentious floor debate. The majority of arguments were about allocating a little over $12 million to make a payment on the bonds that funded the $75 million loan to now bankrupt developer 38 Studios. Despite the lengthy debate that kept lawmakers in the chamber after midnight, the budget passed by a vote of 63-12. The budget bill will now go to the Senate for what is expected to be quick approval.
The Rhode Island House is close to voting on an $8.7 billion budget plan that cuts corporate and estate tax, gets rid of the toll on the Sakonnet Bridge (a four-lane bridge spanning the Sakonnet River in eastern Rhode Island), and allocates millions to make the next payment on the 38 Studios bond debt.
Six or so of the missing 38 Studios investor letters have surfaced, according to the Providence Journal. The documents provide new information about all of the different companies and organizations that backed the bonds that funded the $75 million loan to 38 Studios.
Cranston, Rhode Island Mayor and GOP gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung is urging state lawmakers in Providence to pass two bills to prohibit the state from making payment on the failed 38 Studios investment.
During a State House press conference earlier in the week, Fung said that no payments should be made until there is a "thorough investigation" of the issue, including an allegation by one-time GOP congressional candidate Michael Riley that insider trading occurred.
Jon Brien was surprised when Steven Costantino, the chairman of the Rhode Island House Finance Committee asked him on the House floor to if he wanted to co-sponsor a big jobs bill in 2010. Brien, who was a state representative at the time, was on the outs with leadership after voting against House Majority Leader Gordon D. Fox in the mid-session election of a new speaker that year. He was on talk radio often, lambasting House Democratic leaders and their allies for alleged "political shenanigans."
House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello received a letter from Rhode Island business organizations urging the General Assembly to budget taxpayer money to repay the roughly $90 million owed to bond holders in the 38 Studios deal. The letter was signed by ten organizations, including a number of chambers of commerce and business groups.