Wednesday, June 18, 2008


On Saturday, May 10th, at the University of Rhode Island's Independence Hall (good location for this event in my opinion), Operation Clean Government (OCG) held its second annual corruption forum, focusing this year on the legacy of corruption at the Rhode Island General Assembly.

OCG assembled an extraordinary panel of experienced government watchdogs, critics, and reporters (list below) for the 90-minute forum. Edited for television, the one-hour program will air on WSBE Rhode Island PBS on Thursday, June 19 at 10 PM. Cox and Comcast subscribers can watch a re-broadcast on Saturday, June 21 at 2:30 AM.

Former Providence news anchor and political commentator Dave Layman moderates the discussion, targeting each panelist with tough, provocative questions focusing on legislative corruption, its history, the massing of power, how bad the problem is and, most importantly, what needs to be done about it. The audience also poses questions directly to the panelists.

Although at times the camera placement leaves something to be desired, the content is as real as it gets - putting you right in one of those lecture hall seats. Candid opinions, keen insights, astonishing facts, and useful information mark the program as "must watch."

In alphabetical order, panelists are:

Edward Achorn - The Providence Journal deputy editorial editor

Arthur "Chuck" Barton - President of Operation Clean Government

Ross Cheit - Associate Professor of Political Science at Brown University and Rhode Island Ethics Commissioner

John DePetro - NewsTalk 630 WPRO-AM talk show host

Kenneth Payne - Former senior policy advisor to the Rhode Island State Senate and former director of the League of Cities and Towns

Bill Rappleye - NBC10 News legislative and political reporter

Arlene Violet - Veteran radio talk show host, political columnist, TV commentator, and former R.I. Attorney General

We welcome your views about the program, and what's discussed.