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Lombardi, Gately to Debate

Frank Lombardi and Sean Gately will square off on the radio and in a public debate in the coming days as the Dist. 26 race heats up.

The Dist. 26 State Senate race has been punctuated with numerous press releases and strong words being passed between candidates Frank Lombardi and Sean Gately.

But voters will get a chance to hear both candidates tackle the issues and debate one another face to face twice in the coming weeks.

On Oct. 17, Lombardi and Gately will face off at the Santa Maria de Prata Society on Walnut Grove Avenue for a public debate. It will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Lombardi challeged Gately to attend that debate. Gately, in an e-mail message, said he was not contacted by the Lombardi campaign about the debate, although "I will gladly debate him."

Last night, Lombardi said he has also accepted Gately's challenge to debate on a business talk show on 790AM on Oct. 18 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Voters will be particularly interested to hear the two candidates go head to head in what has become one of the more contentious local races.

Gately has been aggressively attacking Lombardi in recent weeks, more recently for campaign contributions Lombardi received from the school bus driver's union and one of Lombardi's friends, Ben Scungio — a lawyer who has represented the School Committee. Before that, Gately has accused Lombardi of poor leadership for his role on the School Committee in regards to the recent ban on father-daughter dances, a review of the policy allowing Cub Scouts to recruit in the school and accusing him of trying to block any chance at privatizing the school bus fleet, which a recent report said could save the district $8.5 million over the next decade.

"Frank Lombardi talks about proven leadership. Well, it's time to prove he is a leader, and will not be controlled by special interests," Gately said in his most recent press release.

The Lombardi camp hasn't sat idly by. Last week, Lombardi's campaign issued a release accusing Gately of misrepresenting the facts and incorrectly equating Lombardi with the entire School Committee.

“Over these past few months, our campaign theme has been answers over acrimony. I do not know much about my opponent, but it appears his campaign message is all about distorting the facts," he said. "First, Mr. Gately misrepresented the issues surrounding father daughter dances in our schools. Next, he resorted to using the cub scouts as part of his political platform. In so doing, he equates me as the Cranston School Committee. He continues to attempt to distract our teachers and administrators from the important job of educating our children."

Lombardi said he in fact is not the School Committee, but just one of "seven school committee members, all of whom devote an incredible amout of time and energy in their committment to the children of Cranston."

Lombardi said Gately's call for the School Committee to "adopt privatization" at the committee's Oct. 15 meeting is a "wild statement" that has major repercussions. The act would be illegal without any negotiations without the union and would open the city up to a lawsuit for unfair labor practices. And, he said, the entire transportation issue will be taken up tonight, Lombardi said — and there will be future meetings about it, part of "our due diligence."

"Fortunatley, Mr. Gately is not an elected official," Lombardi said.

Both men said they're looking forward to the debates.

"I welcome the opportunity to talk about issues that are important to Cranston voters because I think there's a lot at stake for our community in this election and a clear difference between the two candidates," Gately said.

Mike White October 10, 2012 at 10:35 AM
When is the public debate?
Sean P Gately October 10, 2012 at 11:01 AM
Although I gladly accept the challenge. It would be helpful if my opponent actually spoke to me about the debate before he goes to the press and says I have accepted. .
Sean P Gately October 10, 2012 at 11:02 AM
No Excuses. Just Results.
Cranston Voter October 10, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Cranston Voter What is the format and who will be the moderator?
Sean P Gately October 10, 2012 at 12:43 PM
I spoke with Meg Fraser this morning from the Herald. She will be the moderator. Meg will be soliciting questions from the public before the debate. There will be 2 minute opening and closing statements. 1 Minute answers and 30 second rebuttals.
Jerry October 10, 2012 at 02:04 PM
The only thing Lombardi has "proven" is that he's adept at politcal theatrics. He'll buy this office using unioun money, but as long as he leaves the SC we all win. He'll do less direct damage to downtown.
Cranston Voter October 10, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Cranston Voter Jerry, your comment about Lombardi leaving the school committee actually addresses something I've been thinking about for a while. In my opinion with all due respect, Sean Gately should have announced for school committee and not Senator representing District 26. I'm more concerned about such issues as holding the line on/or reducing taxes, about municipal and state pension reform, about how the municipal and state unfunded pension liabiliy is going to be addressed, about having a senator that will introduce legislation that wolud make it easier and more enticing for businesses to come to Cranston and the State of R.I. about deals like the 38 Studio's fiasco and what safeguards can be introduced to see that this doesn't happen again, about what we are going to do about the loss of millions of dollars in gambling revenues that we are going to lose when Massachusetts gets their casinos up and running. Mr. Gately's focus seems to be on school/school committee related issues. Perhaps this is part of his political strategy to win the District 26 Senate seat. In my opinion, the "Father Daughter Dance" and letting the Cub Scouts use school facilities to promote their membership, while note worthy, are not at the top of my priority list. I intend to be at the debate and I hope I hear answers, ideas or possible solutions to the concerns I previously stated. Good Luck to both!
Sean P Gately October 10, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Cranston Voter. Thank you for your interest in my ideas to help reform RI. Here they are: 1. I will never vote to raise your taxes. 2. I will never support perpetual contracts 3. I will submit legislation for 0 based budgeting. 4. I will support REAL pension reform to protect our current and future retiree's from devastating cuts that happened in Central Falls. 5. I will support legislation to consolidate school districts administration and purchasing. 6. I will support legislation to repeal the Carulo Act. 7. I will vote to remove the $500 tax on small businesses 8. I will work to repeal the car tax exemption. 9. I will work to lower the corporate tax rate and regulations to make RI one of the most business friendly states in the nation. 10. I will submit and support legislation to remove as many of the unfunded mandates as possible. 11. REAL Pension reform is suspending COLA's until the system is funded and then keep them in line with the Social security. Increasing the age that you can collect your pension to 65. I would support allowing an opt out for those who wish to get out of the pension system and have everyone that is eligible for medicare move to that system and out of private insurance. Then I would support a one time bond issue that covers the remaining liability and get the state and cities out of the pension business once and for all. If you wish to contact me directly I can be reached at 401-301-1018. Respectfully Sean Gately
Sean P Gately October 10, 2012 at 07:46 PM
PS. I have been running on this same basic platform since 2008. It just so happens the other issues point out the fact that my opponent is an ineffective leader and will be just as bad if he makes it to the Senate.
Joe Jones October 11, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Sean you have worked very hard and have my family's support.
Sean P Gately October 11, 2012 at 03:39 AM
Thank you.
Fatima A Finamore November 05, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Dear friends and family, please share my thoughts with your friends in Cranston. I hope Cranston has their eyes wide open and realise this guy Frank Lombardi is a North Providence transplant with as much Mafia connections and way of thinking as the rest of them and as crooked. He would not help small business but closed them down as he tried to illegally, immorally, with LIES, CORRUPTIONS and abuse of his connections by attempting to close my 22 years successful business. He took advantage of his long time friend Joe Ferruci to a means to an end. He will close you down to give the business to his cronies. He tried with me, he did lots of damage, he failed but Cranston needs to know he is down to the core rotten!!! OMG he is running for Cranston Senate. He MUST be stopped!!! I would have been active had I known sooner. Thank you, Fatima A. Finamore
Fatima A Finamore November 05, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Dear friends and family, please share my thoughts with your friends in Cranston. I hope Cranston has their eyes wide open and realise this guy Frank Lombardi is a North Providence transplant with as much Mafia connections and way of thinking as the rest of them and as crooked. He would not help small business but closed them down as he tried to illegally, immorally, with LIES, CORRUPTIONS and abuse of his connections by attempting to close my 22 years successful business. He took advantage of his long time friend Joe Ferruci to a means to an end. He will close you down to give the business to his cronies. He tried with me, he did lots of damage, he failed but Cranston needs to know he is down to the core rotten!!! OMG he is running for Cranston Senate. He MUST be stopped!!! I would have been active had I known sooner. Thank you, Fatima A. Finamore
Cranston Voter November 05, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Cranston Voter @ Fatima Wow, these are very serious allegations and disparaging remarks. Perhaps you could be more specific about what happened. Your choice of words (guy, Mafia connections, transplant, crooked, etc) show you have a great deal of anger going on. There are always 2 sides to a story. I'm not sure we have all the facts at this time necessary to support your position.
Fatima A Finamore November 06, 2012 at 02:38 AM
Cranston voter, why are you hiding your name?? yes, there is a lot of anger when I see yet another bad want to be politician in Rhode Island. Tomorrow is a day to a clean slate and quality candidates.
Vidal Buffoon November 06, 2012 at 11:37 AM
Finamore, or Finaless ... for the record, Lombardi never lived in North Providence. Perhaps you are getting confused with the Mayor of North Providence, who shares the same last name? Perhaps you are just an old bitter lady who refuses to take responsibility for running your businesses into bankruptcy. Mr. Ferrucci was appointed by the Federal District Court as receiver of your failed business ... i doubt anyone could take advantage of him. Please, Take a Xanax,Take Responsibility, and take your BS somewhere else !
Cranston Voter November 06, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Cranston Voter @ Fatima Finamore And thats the other side of the story.
Fatima A Finamore November 06, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Vidal, on another area of patch you wrote, ":"Fatima, Yes you are a winner, no one would argue that!" Did you receive a call? what happenedin ten minutes?
Vidal Buffoon November 06, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Fatima, Sorry to disappoint you, but no one called me. Please see the definition of WINNER according to Urban Dictionary (below) Used as a sarcastic way of saying "loser". Usually directed to a person who attempts to be too cool for everyone else, while in reality being generally disliked and disrespected "Wow, look at that winner, acting like he is too good for everyone here. He has no idea."
Vidal Buffoon November 07, 2012 at 10:37 AM
LOMBARDI WINS BIG ... LANDSLIDE VICTORY !!!!

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