The Pro Jo ran a story last week sating Governor Gina Raimondo and the other general officers scheduled an invite only closed to the media inaugural gala at the State House this Saturday night. Two days later, the governor's office announced "upon reflection", we're going to open up the gala at the State House to credentialed media. Allow me to translate: "After we were crucified on social media for lack of transparency, we did an about face." Although Raimondo's office says no taxpayer dollars will be used for the gala, it's not clear whose footing the bill. Maybe now that the media's allowed in, we'll find up who is poneying up the dough. Executive Director of RI Common Cause, John Marion, says corporate funding of inaugural events has been a problem for years saying they're not subject to donation limits for campaign accounts and there's no requirement that donors be disclosed. Marion says its an easy way for people to ingratiate themselves with elected officials without citizens knowing their identities. The gala's Saturday night 7:30 to midnight event is by invite only and black tie is optional. Don't worry, the general public can enjoy an "open house" from 11 til 1pm at the State House featuring sample tastings from RI food and beverage producers and restaurants. No snoot suit's necessary for the LET THEM EAT CAKE gala.
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