O’Neill tells the ProJo’s Kathy Gregg that he doesn’t plan to challenge Fox in January, or support a challenge to Fox at that time. At minimum, O’Neil’s resignation seems to speak, in part, to the toxic political fallout of 38 Studios and an effort to gain some distance from that.
2. Fox’s legislative challenger, Mark Binder, continues to press a sharp rhetorical attack against the speaker, with an op-ed in the ProJo today. In short, Binder argue’s the legislature’s current leadership isn’t getting the job done, and he points in part to 38 Studios. (Fox touts his record on his campaign Web site.)
3. In case you missed it, Dan McGowan reported yesterday on how Jeff Britt, a former political associate of Don Carcieri and Frank Caprio, is piloting Binder’s campaign. An excerpt:
“I had never met Mark until I came back,” Britt said Wednesday. “But the 38 Studios debacle drew my attention to what was going on and having been in the State House, I knew there was only one person to blame. $75 million does not get tacked on to an [Economic Development Corporation] bill without the Speaker’s approval.”
Fox has tried to distance himself from the fallout from 38 Studios, asserting that the related loan program wasn’t expanded specifically for Curt Schilling’s video game company.
4. Channel 10 reported earlier this week on Binder’s charge that Fox was wrongfully running his re-election campaign out of his Statehouse office.
Fox’s spokesman, Larry Berman, attributes the situation to what he calls a miscommunication, telling me:
“As Speaker Fox’s spokesman for the past ten years, reporters contact me while I am in the State House, at my home, while I’m on vacation, at night and on weekends. My philosophy is to work with the media at all times. If a question is campaign-related and I am working during business hours, I take messages and reply on my lunch hour or after work hours.”
In sum, this should make for an interesting few months before the House reconvenes in January.