Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Perspective, Please: Fung Better Than Fox and RI Dems

  • Following the Rhode Island State Police report criticizing Cranston Mayor Allan Fung's lack of initiative and resolve to handle corruption, malfeasance, and inappropriate behavior in the police department, the whole state media and political apparatus seem determined to crush the man and hang him in effigy as one of the worst elected officials in the state's history.

The Providence Journal argued that Rhode Island "dodged a bullet" not electing Fung: 

It is clear now that the people of Rhode Island dodged a bullet when Cranston Mayor Allan Fung narrowly lost his run for governor last November. A State Police investigation of the Cranston Police Department paints a portrait of the soft-spoken mayor as devious, willing to condone abuses of power, and basically unconcerned about the plight of at least one citizen who felt threatened by Mr. Fung's police chief.

What exactly did Fung do, or fail to do? 

 The report reveals, in its own words, “a Department in turmoil and hampered by a lack of leadership.” State Police investigators found numerous examples of officers who were “harassed and retaliated against” because they were associated with one faction in the department rather than another.

“We also found inappropriate interference, undue influence, lack of accountability, and inconsistent action from Mayor Fung, [former Chief Marco] Palombo, as well as other city officials,” the report said. “As a result of these serious issues within the Department, morale was terrible.”

Unfair and arbitrary discipline needlessly “resulted in costly litigation to the citizens of Cranston,” the report found. Some officers took to secretly recording conversations with superiors to protect themselves. “Favoritism, bullying and intimidation were common terms officers used to describe the Department’s culture.” The report offers numerous examples of all this. 

Mayor Allan Fung (R-Cranston, RI)

“The Department is run like the Mafia,” one officer told the investigators. “You are either with them or you’re doomed.”

One police officer said this -- and how is this Fung's fault? Wow, the Mafia? Really? That's right, I see Allan Fung, and there's the ghost of Raymond Patriarca whispering: "I'll make them an offer they can't refuse". (Cue "Godfather" them song)

The next opinion made me laugh out loud:

All this seems beyond Nixonian. Yet Mayor Fung instructed Chief Palombo, of all people, to investigate, and then did not follow up. “It defies logic to assign this investigation to the person who is being accused,” the report said, calling the mayor’s response “unconscionable.”

Oh, that's right. Fung had an Enemies List, and operatives recording partisan opponents in a faraway hotel. His lack of leadership meant the downfall of civilization as we know it. He was petty little man who was constantly shaking in his boots, afraid for his life and political career, ready to take down everyone and everything.

Blah, blah, blah.

No. This man came forward to the cameras in 2014 and admitted a fatal mistake. He owned it. Fung had invested a private pension plan to bring Cranston out of long-term debt, and it worked. Fung was willing to work with other mayors to fight terrorism in his city. What was Lincoln Chafee doing? Running from his deeply indebted state for a non-start "Awful Awful" Presidential campaign.

The last comment from the ProJo editorial was scurrilous and unnecessary:

  • Mayor Fung, it seems clear, betrayed those who placed their trust in him.

Let's put all of this into perspective.

I spoke with a Republican Party operative, and he does hold the mayor accountable for lack of leadership and incompetence in dealing with the bad culture within the Cranston Police Department.

Yet the idea that the state of Rhode Island "dodged a bullet" is just ridiculous, and the idea that Fung should resign in disgrace then (perhaps) sit in a jail cell just escapes me.

The Double-Standard emerges: Republican steps on a flea? Burn him at the stake. Democrat robs taxpayers blind, take bribes (and maybe even rape kids): give him a slap on the wrist then a steak dinner.

Don't stop there. Let's review the decades of malfeasance, corruption, waste, and fraud perpetrated by the Rhode Island Democratic political class. How about decades of Vincent "Buddy" Cianci, tied up in two felonies, including his purported connections to Operation Plunderdome way back in the late 1990s and early 2000s? And this guy had the chutzpah to run a third time? Third time?

Let's talk about the previous Democratic governors who took bribes and lost them in the trash. Rhode Island enjoyed sixteen years of Republican leadership, starting with Lincoln Almond, in response to the unconscionable spate of corruption from previous Democratic governors.

Rhode Islanders dodged some bullets then, and could have dodged more if the Governor had more power to override an out of control state legislature.

How about what the state has witnessed over the last two years already?

38 Studios, anyone? (Player One, Start!)

From the ideological folly of investing state dollars into a private company, to the brazen backroom corruption of the project (former Speaker and now convicted felon Gordon Fox admitted his ties to the deal), Rhode Island taxpayers are on the hook for a bad loan that went "Game Over". Mayor Fung along with civic activist Ken Block both said "No Pay", and yet the current Democratic Governor and practically the same cabal of Big Government Democrats are still in power expecting Main Street to pay.

By the way, how many taxes did Mayor Fung raise in the city of Cranston? Nothing compared to the rape and plunder of the Smith Hill statehouse. People want to live in Cranston, one of fifty cities across the country recognized as "well run".

How many Rhode Island Democratic mayors have gone to jail? Central Falls, Rhode Island didn't go bankrupt overnight, and the rampant failures to "Grand Theft Auto" David Cicilline's immoral dangerous sanctuary city policies, to GTA David and "Angel of Debt" Taveras' near-certain corruption and fraud related to the pension liabilities in Providence.

Cities going bust, and immoral lawmakers running away with millions.

Yet the ProJo editorial board loses its mind over bad leadership and oversight over the Cranston police department?

Let's take a breath and remember: no matter what failings Fung engaged in, he remains way better than any of the Democrats, from governors to mayors to state representatives who have profited at the expense of Rhode Island.

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