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Letter: Former State Sen. Lenihan Praises Sheehan

Former State Sen. J. Michael Lenihan praises the work of Sen. James Sheehan.

Dear editor, 

In the 40 years of my public service, I’ve served with hundreds of colleagues.  Rarely have I had the opportunity, however, to serve with one as determined and relentless in pursuit of honorable goals as Sen. James Sheehan.  Once Jim has studied a problem and selected the best options to address that problem, he will pursue his options purposefully and creatively.  

Jim and I have had the opportunity to work together on many issues affecting the community and our state such as Separation of Powers, ethics disclosure laws, Narragansett Water quality, government accountability and oversight, economic development and so on.  In working together, Jim Sheehan has shown himself to be an ardent, intelligent and effective legislator. 

As a case in point, for a number of years I labored to make government records more transparent and open to the public as a means to increase greater public accountability.  When I retired from the Senate, Jim undertook the enormous task of getting this important piece of contentious legislation approved.  Jim went straight to work, gaining a depth of understanding of both the critical issues involved as well as the very disparate stakeholder groups tugging in various directions.   Jim, working with his counterpart in the House, managed to bring all parties to the table, finding common ground where there had been little room for compromise before.  Two years later, Senator Jim Sheehan successfully won passage of landmark Access to Public Records law, setting our state head and shoulders above many other states in terms of open government. 

This issue illustrates how Jim is willing to work with his colleagues to reach the accommodations necessary for passage of good legislation.  Jim knows that compromise is one of the currencies in which representative democracy trades.  However, Jim will not compromise where his principles are involved.  In both public and private I have seen Jim stand up to the attacks, disapproval and confrontation of others because he refused to retreat from his standards of right and wrong in government.  

In conclusion, it should be said that North Kingstown and Narragansett share a senator to whom ethics is more than just a word in the dictionary, to whom hard work is no stranger and to whom service is a watchword.  I don’t write letters of endorsement very often but in Jim Sheehan’s case I do so without reservation. 

J. Michael Lenihan

East Greenwich

State Senator, Retired, District 35

Govstench October 18, 2012 at 07:13 PM
@Lotta Krapp - your comments fits your blog name. Just go back to the 2011 Senate journal when the Senate pushed that bill through for the teachers. Sheehan likes to tout his position on ethics but then violates his own position by voting on that bill. Any Senator who is a teacher and was confronted with that bill should have recused themselves. That is ethical behavior! It's that simple. Making smart remarks about the facts, which are accurate if you would take the time to enlighten yourself, just indicates to me how biased your really are. I am fully aware who the people are on this website. They are entitled to their opinions on the issues but I choose to ignore the negative comments as it only underscores their ignorance or their choice to accept the facts. They may also have a hidden agenda which is of no interest to me.
magician October 19, 2012 at 12:05 AM
Mr. Lenihan had an excellent record as senator. He is a stand-up guy who has never been into the bs. He carved out a place for himself on smith hill that few can even attempt to follow. When he retired we all lost and he has not been replaced. He understood the need to move the needle even if it was not a popular position. Many of today's so called leaders would do well to follow his lead. As for you govstench--you are simply a republican shill who doesn't even live in NK. You are so typical of the nut balls that have infested the political landscape. Whether it be the right or left it doesn't matter, it's still political pollution. You do a disservice which only fuels your self importance.
Catherine Powers October 19, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Hey Govstench, how are you going to defend your girl Tina now? I read in the paper today that she flat out LIED about filing her campaign finance report. She claimed she turned it in before it was even due, but her story was not corroborated by the campaign finance director who reiterated that she never turned it in. So much for transparency, huh? Guess she might turn out to be a crooked politician after all...if she were more skilled she would have come up with a good excuse why she never filed, but no, a bold faced lie...can you smell the stink 'Stench?
CompassCarrier October 19, 2012 at 12:54 PM
And take a look at who's contributing to Ms McKendall: CHARLIE STAMM, Judy (wife of Jim) Mcguire, Will King, Sharon Gamba..........
Catherine Powers October 19, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Very astute comment Compass - you did forget one name however, the illustrious Gov. Donald Carcieri, the unequivocal architect of the 38 Studios fiasco and chairman of the EDC board when the EDC BOARD approved the $75 mil to 38. It's funny how he quickly went into hiding and has yet to answer questions; however glad to see he was able to emerge for Ms. McKendall's fundraiser! I guess you can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep :-)

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