Democratic Attorney General Peter Kilmartin and his Republican challenger, state Senator Dawson Hodgson (R-North Kingstown), are sparring over Hodgson’s first campaign commercial. Hodgson’s radio ad uses 38 Studios to criticize Kilmartin.
The spot states in part: “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.”
Kilmartin was a state rep when the General Assembly voted in 2010 to create the program later used to attract 38 Studios to Rhode Island. Hodgson’s radio spot says Kilmartin bears some responsibility for how the company’s collapse left taxpayers on the hook for tens of millions of dollars.
Kilmartin’s campaign manager, Matthew Lenz, calls Hodgon’s ad misleading. Lenz notes how the $75 million loan guarantee for 38 Studios was approved by what was then known as the state Economic Development Commission, not the General Assembly.
Hodgson has pressed in vain for an independent commission to investigate the state’s losing investment in 38 Studios. He says taxpayers shouldn’t expect answers from Kilmartin. But Lenz says the rules governing potential criminal investigations preclude Kilmartin from discussing details of the 38 Studios issue.