John Oliver: “We Just Hit Peak Rhode Island”

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What examination of the antics of state legislatures would be complete without the Ocean State?

HBO’s journalistic comedian (or is it comedic journalist?) John Oliver took a look at the misbehavior of state legislatures across the country on Last Week Tonight last night, so naturally Rhode Island got a mention. After all, it’s not as though Rhode Island has a national reputation for corrupt politicians or anything.

Oliver piece starts by pointing out that while so much of the news media is on races for the US House and Senate, it’s unlikely that Washington’s gridlock will end anytime soon. However, at the state level, legislatures are passing all kinds of bills with little oversight and not much attention from the press and the electorate as a whole.

At the 11:44 mark, Oliver takes a look at Rhode Island’s own Senate Majority Leader Dominick J. Ruggerio, who was arrested in 1990 for stealing condoms from a CVS “at the age of 41” and then got pulled over in 2012 under suspicion of DUI in an incident which included a fellow Senator, Frank Ciccone pulling up to the scene and threatening the cops’ pensions in an situation Oliver says could only be more Rhode Island “if they were all somehow clams.”

Ruggerio and Ciccone have little to fear from this national exposure on the eve of Election Day as they are both running unopposed. In fact, Oliver took the opportunity to call the election for them early.

John Oliver Frank Ciccone Dominick Ruggerio

-Tristan Pinnock, Blast Political Correspondent

Tristan’s just this guy, ya know?