East Greenwich state representative Bob Watson, who's had nothing but bad press in recent months, suddenly looks like the smartest guy in the room, having cast the only "no" vote in 2010 on the deal to give Curt Schillings' 38 Studios video game company at $75 million guaranteed loan.
The company missed a $1 million loan payment earlier this month. The issue has claimed one political victim so far — Economic Development Commission head Keith Stokes resigned on Wednesday.
Watson, a guest on NPRI's Political Roundtable Friday morning, recalled saying the deal was "too loose, too fast, and a scandal waiting to happen."
He continued, "Back on April 13, 2010, I warned our house colleagues that thier vote that day could set in motion things that could play out as a legitimate scandal...."
"When you provide guaranteed loans, it's a giveaway," Watson said in an interview with EG Patch Friday.
While he would not beat up on longtime East Greenwich resident (now of Narragansett), former Gov. Don Carcieiri, he said the loan plan was never a good idea.
"Any governor, where they are Republican, Democrat or independent, needs a willing dance partner [in the state legislature]," he said. "Regrettably, and as much as I like Don Carcieri personally, politically, we do not elect Republican governors to deliver this sort of deal."
Other East Greenwich residents have not been so forgiving. RI Future's Bob Plain has written for months about how Carcieri's cuts to cities and towns were the source of massive municipal budget problems now. On Friday, he took Carcieri to task for claiming the businessman mantle but delivering instead the pending 38 Studios debacle.
As for Watson, he's looking for more information on the company. "We need to continue, to do a forensic audit," he said.