Bruce Sundlun revealed today that he has been in touch with Buddy Cianci and tried to facilitate a jailhouse meeting between the former mayor and his daughter, Nicole. The colorful former Democratic governor was a guest speaker during a luncheon held by the RDW Group.
Sundlun, who explored the prospect of buying the ProJo in 2003, did not disappoint. As state Representative Bruce Long, who presented the former guv with a House proclamation, said: the good thing about Bruce is that he speaks his mind, and the bad thing about Bruce is that he speaks his mind.
During a lengthy discourse (I'll try to offer more details next week), Sundlun described dealing with the state banking crisis after taking office in 1991, and he called the state's current fiscal problems "small change."
In terms of Cianci, moderator Jim Taricani said Sundlun has "bailed Buddy out of more trouble than he's in now." And Sundlun described trying to arrange a meeting between Cianci's daughter, Nicole, and the former Providence mayor at the federal prison where he now resides in Fort Dix, New Jersey.
After writing Cianci a letter, asking to be put on his approved visitors' list, so that he might bring Nicole with him, Sundlun said, Buddy wrote back with a six-page handwritten letter. While the former mayor expressed appreciation for the consideration, he said his daughter was not lacking in the financial means, thanks to monetary gifts from various family members, to make the trip herself. Sundlun quoted Cianci as saying, "She's got more money than I ever had."
Cianci is now in charge of the library at Fort Dix, Sundlun said, and, "I gather he's read most of the books." The big question in determining the success of the former mayor's reentry to Rhode Island later this year, Sundlun said, is, "Can he stay away from the booze or not?"