Every year I spend much of my wedding anniversary checking the internet and Twitter for trade news. I share my anniversary, July 31st, with the trade deadline (and my sister — but that’s different story) and so the day is frequently consumed with “what ifs” about the Red Sox. This year, my refrain will be “what if another team could use Buchholz and we could get another starter without trading away our young guys?” Perhaps it’s too much of a fantasy, but that’s a trade move I’d like to see.
There’s a more important trade in Rhode Island that really should come to fruition this year. For only the second time since 2008, Representative John Carnevale will be opposed in an election, giving voters of “his” district the chance to trade up for a new representative. While much of the case against re-electing him involves the word alleged — he allegedly beat his wife, he allegedly raped a woman, he allegedly does not live in his district, there’s one thing that is certainly true — he is a disgrace to “his” district, the House and our state.
When the grand jury charged him with rape in 2011, Carnevale was the 4th Rhode Island lawmaker to face criminal charges that year (for those keeping score at home others were Dan Gordon, Bob Watson and Leo Medina). At that time, the House was being run by Speaker (now federal prison inmate) Gordon Fox. Speaker Mattiello seems to run a tighter ship and moved quickly to get Ray Gallison out of his chamber and off his leadership team when news broke of the investigation into Gallison’s wrongdoing. Although Mattiello waited until this week to remove Carnevale from leadership, I can’t help but think that another bad apple is making life difficult in the House and continuing the narrative of corruption and bad government that no one in Rhode Island needs to perpetuate.
More than anything else, we all deserve better. Resident of Carnevale’s district deserve to be represented by someone who lives where they live, understands their needs and doesn’t think that their neighborhood is beneath his standards. House members deserve to serve alongside someone who has a moral compass and doesn’t think of himself first. And all Rhode Islanders deserve to live in a state free from public corruption. Let’s hope the voters of District 13 make the trade this year.