38 Studios

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment, The Bottom Line.

After the passing of former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci, Mark and Dave discuss his legacy from a business perspective. 

Cianci was known as a great champion for Providence, who oversaw major improvements in the economy, but Murphy says he also created a culture of fear among business owners.

When to listen:

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Testimony is slated to be heard during a session Friday, related to the state’s lawsuit over 38 Studios.

One of the defendants being sued by the state, Wells Fargo Securities, is trying to obtain the SEC testimony of Michael Saul. Saul is a former deputy director of the state’s economic development agency.

Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. There's lots going on, so we'll get right to it.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The key sponsor of the bill later used to attract 38 Studios to Rhode Island returned to the Statehouse from his current out-of-state job Thursday evening, distancing himself from responsibility in an hours-long meeting that was rich in theatrics yet thin on fresh details.

Former House Finance Committee chairman Steven Costantino said he set the $125 million size of the job creation guarantee program passed in 2010, and then applied to 38 Studios, with the idea of helping a number of businesses.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Former Rhode Island House Finance Chairman Steven Costantino is scheduled to meet Thursday with the House Oversight Committee probing the 38 Studios disaster.

House spokesman Larry Berman says Costantino, who now works in state government in Vermont, will meet with the committee to discuss his role in shaping the program that gave the doomed 38 Studios video game company a $75 million taxpayer-guaranteed subsidy.

The committee is slated to meet after the House floor session ends Thursday. The confab is scheduled for room 101 at the Statehouse.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello sat down in his State House office last week to discuss his priorities for 2016 and his year as speaker.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said he supports the basic premise of Governor Raimondo’s plan to pay for bridge improvements through truck tolls, during his wide-ranging end-of-year interview with Rhode Island Public Radio.

The governor’s infrastructure plan died in the 2015 legislative session when it did not get a vote in the House.

Michael Stenhouse, CEO of the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity, joins Political Roundtable to discuss Governor Gina Raimondo's performance on the economy; the governor's truck-toll proposal; and the latest developments involving the House Oversight Committee and 38 Studios.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Former House Finance chairman Steve Costantino said through his lawyer Wednesday that he's willing to return to Rhode Island to answer questions about the state's ill-fated investment in the video game company 38 Studios.

"Mr. Costantino is aware of the intent of the committee you chair to have him appear for testimony on January 14, 2016," lawyer Marc DeSisto writes in a letter to Oversight Chairwoman Karen MacBeth. "I have been authorized by Mr. Costantino to advise you that he is willing to appear and testify before your committee without the need to utilize a subpoena."

RIPR FILE

The House Oversight Committee is expected to issue more subpoenas Tuesday in connection with 38 Studios, the video game company that went bankrupt, leaving Rhode Island with millions to pay from a state-backed loan. The committee is trying to review how the loan deal got approved.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has signed a subpoena calling on Curt Schilling to appear for a December 15th meeting of the House Oversight Committee.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

On a 9-0 margin, the House Oversight Committee voted Thursday to seek a subpoena meant to spur State House testimony by Curt Schilling about his ill-fated video game company, 38 Studios. Yet the committee's counsel, Charles Knowles, told the panel that a court in Massachusetts, where Schilling resides, is unlikely to recognize the subpoena.

State Rep. Karen MacBeth (D-Cumberland), who chairs the committee, said there's value in issuing the subpoena, even if it doesn't succeed in the short-term in causing testimony by Schilling.

Nothing like spring weather to usher in November, but that's going to change, right? Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual your tips and thoughts are welcome via email (along with suggestions for "Coming & Going"), and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

  

The gloomy cloud of the 38 Studios debacle still hangs over Rhode Island. RIPR political analyst  Scott MacKay parses the latest General Assembly probe of the failed video game company.

State Rep. Blake Filippi (I-New Shoreham) joins Political Roundtable to discuss Governor Raimondo's infrastructure plan; House Oversight's examination of 38 Studios; and his role as the only independent among 75 members of the Rhode Island House of Representatives.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Karen MacBeth said Tuesday she believes Michael Corso never registered as a lobbyist because a so-called "success fee" in his arrangement with 38 Studios would have violated state lobbying law. 

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