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Last night, the (democratically dominated) Providence City Council,in a unanimous vote, decided to challenge the sanctity of contracts and suspend COLAs for retired municipal employees with the passage of an ordinance.  The Democratic Mayor, Angel (of death to city workers) Taveras signed it on the spot.  

Link to pic here
He not only couldn't wait until the his own (very short) timeframe for negotiating an agreement with retirees to reach a deadline before he shepherded  the ordinance into committee.

He not only couldn't ask the City Council to postpone the vote until after the negotiation deadline.

He not only couldn't wait until after that deadline to sign the ordinance.

He couldn't do it quietly in his office.

No...He had to do it right away.  With a bunch of kids and cameras surrounding him

He had to sign into law legislation that would end COLAs for retirees, cut disability pensions, and set the city up for damaging legal action as a victory celebration.  He had to show Ruth Simmons, the president of Brown U., the residents of Providence, and the rest of the world that he is not afraid.  He is not afraid to break a personal promise.  He is not afraid to move this country further to the right.  He is not afraid to make sure that the youth of today understand they should not get tangled up with unions when they grow to become the workers of tomorrow.  He is not afraid to show that the framers of our Constitution were silly dreamers when they tried to establish a system that protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority.  He is not afraid to stand with Walker in providing an example of this by pandering to the fear and hatred of "the taxpayer" in order to reign in "public sector workers".  He is not afraid to reinforce the sad reality of times that rewards politicians for framing arguments in "us" vs. "them" terms rather than displaying true leadership.  He is not afraid to challenge the very notion that contracts, as legal documents are sometimes a pain in the ass, but still binding.  He is not afraid to show the world that the protection under the rule of law may or may not apply to you in Providence, depending on the whim of the administration.  He is not afraid to abandon one of the key functions of government, which is to provide an environment where contracts can be signed in good faith with an expectation of protection.  

Originally posted to netop on Tue May 01, 2012 at 07:51 AM PDT.

Also republished by Occupy Wall Street.

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