Today’s Tarot is Blue Kali, because I don’t like bullies and sometimes righteous anger is better than misplaced forgiveness.
Maybe a change in the weather, instant Autumn with that slant in the sun and ghosts strolling around downtown. I just couldn’t settle down yesterday. Even after Friday night dinner I was revved. I was leaving a restaurant and I saw my City Councilman, Kevin Jackson, talking on his cell phone.
It was not polite, but I had to ask him. I stood in front of him until he saw me standing there and put his call on hold.
“I’m one of your constituents. I saw you in a Facebook post standing in front of a big poster of Buddy Cianci. Do you support him for mayor?”
He answered that he does. He said that the potholes were not filled, the city was not run well under David Cicilline or Angel Taveras. Buddy would get things in shape. “The people have forgiven.”
I said that the rape allegation against Cianci in 1966 had a similar pattern to the 1983 assault on Raymond DeLeo that lead to Cianci’s felony conviction. “He’s evil.” I said, “You’ll see.”
New Times newspaper reported that in 1966 Cianci used a deceptive job offer to lure a young woman to his house and then raped her at gunpoint. In 1983 he was indicted for luring Raymond DeLeo to his house and assaulting him for hours. This time he didn’t need to hold a gun, he had his personal police bodyguard.
The myth of Buddy is that he was a betrayed husband who just lost his temper. It could happen to any man. Never mind that he was charged with attempted extortion, for demanding a $500,000 payoff from DeLeo. That distracts from the romance that he had a sudden flare of passion for his estranged and soon-to-be ex-wife.
‘Any man’ couldn’t get a Providence police officer to act as his muscle. ‘Any man’ couldn’t credibly threaten to ruin his victim afterwards. This is corruption. Both Cianci I and II terms were marked by corruption, which= stealing the people’s money. Cianci is not good with money, not trustworthy or responsible.
And speaking of money- it takes money to fill potholes and keep the city going. Cicilline and Taveras inherited the debts Cianci ran up. No wonder the party is over. It was all on our credit card and we are still paying it off with interest.
How is he going to spin gold out of thin air now? We’re still in a recession. Federal grants are not as easy to get as when Cianci was a rising young Republican. He’ll have to raise taxes unless he can con his way into more loans and kicking the can down the road. Or maybe he’s hoping we are so deluded with this talk about ‘job creators’ that we really think that some magic people can create something from nothing.
The people have forgiven him a lot. He did some good things as mayor, he was a big city booster, he supported the arts. He’s got a fan base on the radio and he’s entertaining if you like his style.
But forgiveness without acknowledging the damage done is just asking to be taken again. The Bad Buddy can’t be trusted with the City of Providence. Faith-based thinking is not what is needed here. Let him be Good Buddy on the radio, but don’t give him the key to the safe again. We have a right to expect honest and competent leadership in the 21st Century.
Thanks to Mike Stanton, whose book ‘The Prince of Providence’ is source material for this post.