WSJ publishes love letter to Raimondo in Saturday newspaper

It seems safe to say the financial press has a bit of a crush on Treasurer Gina Raimondo.

Fresh off her CNBC appearance Friday morning, Raimondo is the subject of The Wall Street Journal’s Weekend Interview feature on Saturday. The headline (stop me if you’ve heard this one): “The Democrat Who Took on the Unions.”

WSJ assistant opinion editor Allysia Finley, who wrote about Central Falls last year, wrote the 1,600-word profile, which pours on the Raimondomania pretty thick. “So this is Gina Raimondo?” Finley asks at the start. “The state treasurer who single-handedly overhauled Rhode Island’s pension system and has unions screaming bloody murder? I had imagined her a bit, well, bigger.”

The only discordant note is sounded by Paul Valletta of the Cranston firefighters union, who gets two sentences to dismiss last year’s pension overhaul as “just a steppingstone for her to run for higher office.”

“Ms. Raimondo poses a greater threat to the labor movement than any Republican, because she undercuts its narrative that pension reform is merely a cause célèbre for conservatives who want to stick it to unions” – which, of course, is part of why she’s now the subject of a 1,600-word profile on the WSJ’s editorial page.

One glaring omission in the story is the municipal pension crisis, which is as bad as ever. Raimondo maintains that the situation with the 36 locally run plans is too messy to have been addressed in last November’s law, but it’s fair to say Governor Chafee, Mayor Taveras and others think that was a huge missed opportunity.

• Related: Raimondo opposes Chafee move to cut pension-fund deposits (March 21)

  • Reality check

    I guess the Wall Street Journal isn’t as smart as they think they are. Raimondo is a disaster to everyone but Raimondo. See how well everyone likes her in a year or two. Ask Anne Nolan; ask all the restaurants in Newport that supported her. You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time — I guess the Wall Street Journal is among the fools.

    • Mr. fish

      Everyone but the democrats love her. Oh wait, who are the majority of voters in is state …

      Damn I hate it when reality meets the Projo editorial page…….

  • Albert

    Peak to high, to soon.

  • Tough Love

    Quoting …”One glaring omission in the story is the municipal pension crisis, which is as bad as ever. Raimondo maintains that the situation with the 36 locally run plans is too messy to have been addressed in last November’s law, but it’s fair to say Governor Chafee, Mayor Taveras and others think that was a huge missed opportunity.

    A “missed opportunity” is putting it mildly. I quite sure many Union officials think the “won” by not suffering the same fate s the State Plans.

    Oh how wrong they are. In the not-too-distant future they membership is going to want to tar & feather them.

  • Al Moncrief



    “The case law does not preclude but rather supports this Court’s holding that Plaintiffs, as ten-year veterans of the State, possess a contractual relationship with the State pertaining to retirement allowances and COLA benefits which are not subject to collective bargaining.”

    • Tough Love

      “Keep plucking that chicken”

      • Al Moncrief

        Hi TL, the chicken and his buddies are contemplating where to roost next . . . it looks like the consensus is “home”.

  • Jana

    The comments from what appears to be union bosses and members are so one note and self serving as to be laughable. Both here and in the WSJ comments. Ms. Raimondo is the first treasurer to address the problem of pensions. She has the backbone to push for change that is so badly needed in the area of pensions. Her approval rating is justly deserved. If she does run for Governor she has my vote. Wake up Mr. Valletta….this state is in trouble.

    • Al Moncrief

      Silly, insisting that the terms of a contract to which you are a party be honored is “self-serving”, obviously. Happy that you find amusement in contract law, it’s healthy to laugh.

  • Common Sense RI

    Al, Al, Al… Or perhaps we might call you Cecily?

    You really need to get better at this game. Maybe your union bosses just don’t pay you enough to sit out in Colorado and troll the internet all day. I guess better talent couldn’t be found for the price. If you are going to spread propaganda at least do it in a way that isn’t so transparent. No one buys what you are selling. Even if it had merit no one would buy it because you’re so over the top about it. You’re not fooling anyone.

  • Al Moncrief

    Hi Common,

    If you would read my post you would see that I have been hammering the unions for their collusion in the Colorado pension theft. “No one buys what you are selling.” Really? A Florida District Court and the Florida Court of Appeals have just made a major purchase!

    The Florida Legislature attempted pension reforms that were not nearly as aggressive, in terms of risk of unconstitutionality, as those adopted by the Colorado General Assembly. Nevertheless, the Florida Legislature has been smacked down by the courts.
    Here are some noteworthy portions of the Florida ruling:
    “This court cannot set aside its constitutional obligations because a budget crisis exists in the state of Florida. To do so would be in direct contravention of this court’s oath to follow the law.”
    “To find otherwise would mean that a contract with our state government has no meaning.”
    “There was certainly a lawful means by which they could have achieved the same result.”
    “Florida law is clear that a legislature can, as part of its power to contract, authorize a contract that grants vested rights which a future legislature cannot impair.”
    “The elimination of the future COLA adjustment alone will result in a 4 to 24% reduction in the plaintiffs total retirement income. These costs are substantial as a matter of law.”
    “Where the state violates its own contract, complete deference to a legislative assessment of reasonableness and necessity is not appropriate because the state’s self-interest is at stake.”
    “All indications are that the Florida Legislature chose to effectuate the challenged provisions of SB 2100 in order to make funds available for other purposes.”
    “If a state could reduce its financial obligations whenever it wanted to spend the money for what it regarded as an important public purpose, the Contract Clause would provide no protection at all.”
    “The Takings Clause is intended to prevent the government from forcing some people alone to bear public burdens, which in all fairness and justice should be borne by the public as a whole.”
    “Defendants are further ordered to reimburse with interest the funds deducted or withheld . . . from the compensation or cost-of-living adjustments of employees who were members of the FRS prior to July 1, 2011.”
    Here’s a link to the decision in Florida:

  • oreo

    Ms. Raimondo should watch Mr. Obama’s reaction this week when Obamacare gets the ax. She will then know how to act when her “reform” gets the very same ax by the courts.

    • Tough Love

      And “when her reforms get the axe” …. leading to a run-out of the Plan funds, what will you do then ?

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