Rhode Island in Transition
Nowhere have the results of a betrayal of trust, and the unethical conduct it manifests, been more devastating than here in Rhode Island. In recent months, the very civility that in the past insured reasonable public discourse has been lost as the intensity of the anger and despair some … feel grows over their government's failure to perform its duties and keep faith with the people.
Ethics Task Force, 1991
Rhode Islanders are increasingly pleased with the way things are going in the state. Eighty-three percent of voters believe the state is headed in the right direction, while 10 percent think it is on the wrong track. That is the highest 'right track' rating Rhode Island voters have given in any Brown [University] poll in at least a decade.
Darrell West, 1999
The first day of January 1991 marked a watershed in Rhode Island politics. On that brilliantly sunny day, Democrat Bruce Sundlun was sworn in as governor, succeeding a three-term Republican, Edward DiPrete. In a state that generally votes Democratic, such an event might appear to be politics as usual. But two other events of that day signaled a critical shift in the character of Rhode Island politics and marked the beginning of a transition, the effects of which are still unfolding.
The first involved a banking crisis of massive fiscal and political proportions The pageantry of the inaugural was cut short so that the newly elected governor could hold a news conference. He declared the first “bank holiday” since 1933, closing thirty-five credit unions and ten banks. The Rhode Island Share and Deposit Indemnity Corporation (risdic), a private insurance corporation under the supervision of the Department of Business