So much going on this week! Monday saw the big MPRI fundraiser featuring Supreme Court Justice and Chairman of the state Board of Regents overseeing educational policy Robert Flanders. Terrific turnout and, if the estimates I've heard are anywhere near correct, an excellent fundraising effort.
Justice Flanders talked about some of the opportunities that Rhode Island has for reforming its educational policy to manage cost and improve outcomes. Some of the issues discussed were regionalization, state-level contracting rather than individual district contracts (which would go hand in hand with some kind of district consolidation), shifting the funding burden more towards the state (and thus reducing the property tax burden in districts), and the possibility of school choice. All in all very interesting stuff, to be looked at very seriously by Moderates.
Party Chairman Ken Block introduced the Judge, and introduced Richard Rodi, currently a Democrat, who is interested in running for office as a Moderate, should the party receive recognition. I'm very excited to announce that Richard will be joining the debate here at the Moderate and will soon be writing with us!
Today we were down at 12 Basset St., in the heart of the Jewelry District, where Rich hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new Senior Center, a project his charitable foundation. Ken Block, Margaret Paynich, and Matt Lenz, party hotshots all, were canvassing the event in the presence of Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis, who was a defendant in the lawsuit that, well, now allows the MPRI to canvass!
So lots of exciting stuff going on this MPRI universe. On The Moderate this week: A piece on Thomas Paine's 'Common Sense' by new contributor Matthew Lenz, a review by yours truly of controversial documentary Happy Endings? about indoor prostitution in Rhode Island, and the third installment of my All Things in Moderation series, this time about brand-building in politics after Obama '08.