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Edward Achorn: How does George Nee intend to ‘back’ us ‘off’?
projo.com ^

Posted on 06/15/2011 3:44:30 AM PDT by CT Hillbilly

Senate leaders and labor officials have made it painfully clear they do not want you to know about the sweet deals given to college dropout Stephen Iannazzi, the taxpayer-funded $88,112-a-year “special assistant” to Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio.

Indeed, it appears they may be engaged in some kind of sub-rosa program to silence questions.

Stephen is the son of Donald Iannazzi, the business manager for Local 1033, the Laborers International Union affiliate that employs 30-year-old lawyer Charles Ruggerio. Charles is the son of Senator Ruggerio.

Donald received an annual salary of $212,658, plus $53,212 in “other compensation,” in 2009, according to the local’s 990-page filing with the IRS as an organization exempt from paying federal tax. (Senator Ruggerio enjoys a $190,246-a-year compensation package from an arm of the Laborers International Union.)

I asked the Senate’s leaders, President Teresa Paiva Weed and Senator Ruggerio, some basic questions: Is there a job description for the position of “special assistant” to Senator Ruggerio? Was the job posted? How many people applied?

What qualifications did the 25-year-old Mr. Iannazzi bring to the job? Where did he go to school, etc.? May I see his cover letter? His résumé? Why was he the best person to fill this job?

Ms. Paiva Weed and Mr. Ruggerio still have not replied to those questions.

I did receive an anonymous letter on April 15 alleging that my questions had angered the two senators, and containing a personal threat.

I also asked repeatedly about the scholarship(s) Stephen received through the Rhode Island Institute for Labor Studies, a tax-exempt nonprofit run by members of the labor unions that receives large grants of taxpayer dollars. (Donald is on the board of directors.)

The institute’s executive director, Robert Delaney (who received in 2009 an annual salary of $102,713 plus $11,109 in “other compensation,” according to the nonprofit’s 990 filing), was supposedly out of the country and unable to answer questions. But two months later, he is still refusing to answer.

Each time I called over there, the phone was answered by Carolina Bernal — just appointed by Governor Chafee to oversee our children’s education as a member of the Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education.

Another member of that Board of Regents is Colleen Callahan, the “director of professional issues” for the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals, at $134,276 a year plus $49,695 in “other compensation,” in 2009 — and married to Mr. Delaney (their combined annual compensation: $297,783).

Since Mr. Delaney refused to respond to the public’s questions, I went over his head to the chairman of his board, George Nee, president of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO, who had previously behaved professionally in my conversations with him.

I sent him this:

Dear George,

I’m trying to get some information about the Institute for Labor Studies, whose board of directors you chair. Thus far, your executive director, Robert Delaney, has not returned my repeated telephone calls or answered my repeated e-mails.

Pretty basic stuff:

How many scholarships did Stephen Iannazzi receive through the Institute for Labor Studies and Research, and what was the dollar amount for each of those scholarships?

What role did the Board of Directors play in the awarding of those scholarships? Does the board approve those? If so, may I see the record of the votes?

Many thanks for your help.

Later in the day, I got this response from Mr. Nee, apparently intended for another recipient and sent to me by mistake:

“the man has little to do with his time, i will not reply or speak to him, you can send this to marl if it helps but it doesn’t appear that they can back him off, great reporter he just figured out i am the chair of the baord”

I asked Mr. Nee who “marl” is and how “they” are trying to “back” me “off,” but he did not respond.

This is America, not the Third World. Under our Constitution and rule of law, political power may not be used to try to silence or intimidate the press and punish those who might ask questions of public officials.

I don’t know if that is happening here, but Mr. Nee’s e-mail “fail” suggests a brand of politics that seems to be not only accepted but, in certain circles, celebrated in Rhode Island. Troubled developer Patrick Conley is honoring Mr. Nee this week by inducting him into his Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame.

What in the world is Mr. Nee hiding about Stephen Iannazzi? Why not just answer the questions, and move on?


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events; US: Rhode Island
KEYWORDS: aflcio; nee; rhodeisland; unions

1 posted on 06/15/2011 3:44:36 AM PDT by CT Hillbilly
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To: CT Hillbilly

The party designation must be taken for granted in RI?


2 posted on 06/15/2011 3:54:18 AM PDT by gusopol3
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To: gusopol3

No, I’m pretty sure the entire state of Rhode Island was purchased by the mob some time ago...


3 posted on 06/15/2011 4:08:23 AM PDT by PieterCasparzen (PC's Tavern...)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks CT Hillbilly.
Senate leaders and labor officials have made it painfully clear they do not want you to know about the sweet deals given to college dropout Stephen Iannazzi, the taxpayer-funded $88,112-a-year "special assistant" to Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio... Stephen is the son of Donald Iannazzi, the business manager for Local 1033, the Laborers International Union affiliate that employs 30-year-old lawyer Charles Ruggerio. Charles is the son of Senator Ruggerio.

4 posted on 06/15/2011 4:27:02 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Thanks Cincinna for this link -- http://www.friendsofitamar.org)
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To: CT Hillbilly

This is why union thugs support gun control and liberal pol’s support unions...

You think police unions don’t support labor unions?

Why do you suppose the mob is effective?


5 posted on 06/15/2011 5:08:39 AM PDT by G Larry (I dream of a day when a man is judged by the content of his character)
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To: CT Hillbilly

“the man has little to do with his time, i will not reply or speak to him, you can send this to marl if it helps but it doesn’t appear that they can back him off, great reporter he just figured out i am the chair of the baord”

This internal email reminds me of the internals at East Anglia Center, U.K.. This guy has knowledge of corrupt practices but can’t be sure of others who might read the email.


6 posted on 06/15/2011 5:08:50 AM PDT by widdle_wabbit
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To: gusopol3

all Kennedy-Democrat-Catholics or RISD/Brown elite...anyone else has to move...

;)


7 posted on 06/15/2011 7:24:24 AM PDT by CT Hillbilly
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