Providence Mayor Angel Taveras is lending another boost to House Speaker Gordon Fox in the closing stretch before Election Day. The popular mayor, who used to share a Dorrance Street law office with Fox, sent this email this morning:
Dear Providence Friends and Neighbors:
When our great city of Providence needed Gordon Fox’s support to avoid fiscal collapse, he was there for us.
He enacted a fair and equitable school funding formula which has resulted in $18 million in additional funding for Providence schools in the past two years. He made sure that Providence received substantially more aid through the PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) program and helped me in negotiating with our non-profit institutions to increase their contributions to our city. He was instrumental in making certain that Providence had a strong voice in the development of the I-195 Knowledge District. We asked for state relief and he worked with us to close a $110 million structural deficit.
Gordon has risen through the ranks in the House of Representatives because of his reputation as a fair and thorough leader whose top priority is to do what is best for the people he serves. As a well-respected veteran legislator Gordon advocates strongly for the city he loves, without his leadership our work to move Providence forward undoubtedly would have stalled.
On Tuesday, November 6th, please stand with me and vote to send my good friend and fellow Democrat, Gordon Fox, back to the State House to continue fighting for Providence. Working together with Gordon, we will continue toward brighter days.
Binder, meanwhile, used the news of yesterday’s lawsuit over 38 Studios to take another swing at Fox on the issue (via news release):
I welcome the Governor’s action in seeking financial restitution as a means of protecting Rhode Island taxpayers who are facing the loss of $100M as a result of the 38 Studios debacle.
The 38 Studios deal was, as the Governor stated, “a grave injustice put upon the people of Rhode Island.”
This lawsuit focuses on what took place after the EDC bestowed $75M in loans to 38 Studios. But the injustice started much earlier—when that $75 million was mysteriously dropped into a long-dormant EDC bill and rushed through the legislative process in a last-minute deal arranged by Speaker Gordon Fox. This injustice would never have happened if the legislature, under Speaker Fox’s direction, had not made public monies available to EDC in such a careless manner.
The 38 Studios deal allowed for no public input and little time for legislators to object. Several people named in the lawsuit took part in a private meeting with the Speaker, which predated that reckless legislative action. Apparently, Gordon Fox got all the input he needed at that meeting.
Fox has tried to distance humself from responsibility for the 38 Studios debacle. His campaign has also filed another state Board of Elections complaint against Binder, charging that Binder ally Spencer Dickinson has exceeded the maximum allowable donations in support of Binder’s campaign.